I was sorry to have missed the contact with my fellow bloggers during my recent absence - truly I was. My only excuse is that I was enjoying myself. We, Doreen and I, with two mutual friends from my college days, Judith and Bill, usually aim to have a few days away together each year. This year Cardiff had the honour of our presence - well just outside Cardiff, actually, in a rather splendid Country House Hotel tucked away (though we did manage to find it, eventually) beneath a mountain and with a magnificent view looking down on Cardiff and beyond it to the Bristol Channel and further still to the North Devon coast.
Dragging ourselves away from the temptation to stay and do nothing, we spent much of the first day exploring Cardiff's regenerated waterfront. Particularly interesting to me was the Norwegian Church, dismantled, shipped across to Wales and reassembled piece by piece by the Seaman's Mission for the use of Norwegian sailors using the port. Roald Dahl was christened in it. It now contains a cafe (everything in Cardiff contains a cafe, bar or restaurant) and upstairs an art gallery showing some quite respectable works. But equally as interesting was the lightship, now permanently moored and open to the public. Surprisingly for such a small ship, it boasted a mess room serving snacks and drinks (well, that wasn't surprising, I suppose), a library and a chapel.
The following morning things began to go slightly downhill when Doreen's mobility scooter shed the main bolt from its steering column (called a tiller).A very obliging hotel maintenance man tried his best to effect a repair, but without success. From then on our choice of activity was somewhat curtailed. There followed a fruitless search for a spare part in Merthyr Tydfil, during which we came upon the wall painting and whilst photographing it was approached by the artist who told us proudly that he had painted it nine years ago.We then decided to take a ride on the Brecon Mountain Railway, only to discover that we were using an out-dated timetable and it was closed. Instead, we took ourselves off for a drive through the Rhonda Valley.
We did eventually ride the mountain railway, but that was the day I forgot to take the camera...! In addition to which, I have to say that I have ridden on more exciting mountain railways. Come to that, I have ridden on more exciting Welsh mountain railways. Very pleasant, though.
Bill and I did also get to take ourselves off to Castle
Coch (pronounced Cock), an accurate reconstruction of the original thirteenth century castle - at which there was a wedding. I make no further comment, but include a photograph.
Circumstances prescribed that the highlight of our days away would be the hotel, but what a highlight it was!
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