from london took a haggis tour...not overly impressed with the tour guides i must say but hey, what can you do...cheap right...so over the severn river to chepstow, a border town...nowt too exciting...my first taste of a welsh castle...bit too touristy for my liking...there were even people camping there in medieval dress-up...get a life ;pheaded to tintern abbey, the supposed inspiration for artistes including wordsworth...beautiful place nonetheless...everything so green - reminiscent of ireland although perhaps not quite as much...passed by the brecon beacons (call those hills? i think the darling ranges competes well enough ;p)...finished up at abergavenny...interesting spectacle with a foreign family on tour...not happy that they had to share rooms and the son ended up in jail for the night apparently (he was having a go at his mum)...country town, a bit yokel...talked to the locals...karaoke fun...you get the picture...must say disappointed that not same-sex organised for dorms...
next day stop at hay-on-wye (wye river)...BOOK town - yay! mostly book stores...a book store at the towns castle where books were left out in the open to buy with an honesty system - interesting...also a book store where every book was a pound...interesting that the internet was hard to find in these towns..spose it makes sense in a book town especially... ;pafter this...site of llewellyn the last...must admit i was sleeping here after karaoke the previous night (i LOVE my karaoke) but as google says: last prince of an independent Wales before its conquest by Edward I of England...may have had something to do with where he lost his head although im not sure...shame on me...was not overly impressed either way...a dirty stone tub of water lay there...went through the snowdonia national park - abosolutely beautiful - reminded me of new zealand, south island...mount snowdon was unfortunately shrouded in cloud...mostly nice weather but generally a little grey...very uk..spent the night at caernarfon - a coastal town - very local...good pub food...locals spoke in welsh gaelic...i wonder what they were saying...castle town...didnt see inside the castle but the town was walled...quite small...nice independent hostel...
third day - off to Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch on the island of anglesey...yup the longest station name in britain and apparently the only reason to be there...i believe it means st mary's church in the hollow of the white hazel near to the rapid whirlpool and st tysilio's church by the red cave...although this seems widely debated...purely a tourist thing...finally a major stop at straford upon avon - yay! crammed in shakespeares birthplace and resting place...his home cottage was quaint, if a little touristy...wouldnt rate it to be honest, except for the outside...the church where his grave is may be more worth seeing...where he lies with wife, anne hathaway...he had a curse on his grave...something along the lines of:
Good frend, for Iesus sake, forbeare
To digg the dyst encloased heare
Bleste be ye (the) man (who) spares thes stones
And curst be he (who) moves my bones.
go shakespeare! you rock man...
back to london from here