Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Adventure Begins

April 2016
Welcome to my blog as we go to Wales and England for some great hiking.  Keep in mind that I blog for you AND for me - so I can remember what we experienced each day.  Just flip through if it is toooo much detail for you!

Leaving from Goerkes Corner in Brookfield on a Coach to Chicago O'Hare for a direct flight to Dublin.
We flew AER Lingus for the first time and would recommend it.  The personnel were very kind and helpful in every way.  The food was fresh and tasty.  We left Chicago on time and arrived on time as well.  I watched three movies (Joy, The Secret Life of Bees, and Crazy, Stupid, Love) --- and we were there.  3700 miles in 7 hours,

Unfortunately our smaller comuter plane into Cardiff was delayed 2 1/2 hours due to heavy fog.  We were given a coupon for snacks at the little store in the terminal which was nice.  We had a hot breakfast on the plane just before landing.

These two pictures were over Dublin as we flew out.

From the air we could see the coast of Wales.  These were taken of the southern portion of the Pembrookeshire Coastal Path.  We are hiking the northern end of the path, but it was still cool to see it.
We will walk 8 to 12 miles a day.  As the crow flies, it is probably only 3 to 4 miles.  It's a lot of twists and turns along the coastline and a lot of up and down on the cliffs.

These are shots of the Cardiff area as we were going in to the airport.

We knew we were not going to make our planned train and bus connections.  The down side of that was, we didn't  have much time to spend in St. Davids, a quaint little historic tourist town.

We caught a taxi from the airport and got to the train station about 50 minutes early.  Andy and Clark sat on benches at the train stop and rested.  Me?  I went exploring.  Does that surprise anyone?!?  Haverfordwest, I discovered, was a pretty little town with a long back to the 1400s.


An historic old bridge

Old churches

Hotels and even an old Barclays Bank

I walked up this old street to get back to the train station.  A man stopped  me and commented he appreciated that I would take pictures of their old buildings.  He felt most people don't enjoy them much anymore.

Loved seeing these old phone booths - with no phones inside anymore.  They are probably too heavy to carry away!

The town was called Bon-y-mean in the principle county of Swansea.

The gal at the gate was very accommodating and helpful...she let me leave to sightsee after we found out we would wait for the train.  We enjoyed many friendly, helpful people in these first two days!

On the train...the trains were quite and smooth.  We enjoyed little towns, herds of sheep, old churches and castles, green fields, rivers, the coastline with sailboats and lighthouses...
It was a two hour ride up to Haverfordwest where we could catch a bus to St Davids.  The train west pretty fast so I didn't catch many good pictures...only as we were slowing down before a stop.

We walked from the train station to the bus station and caught the bus within minutes.  Two nice ladies helped us and even told us about the senior discount.  All students and seniors who live in Wales and England can take any train or bus anywhere for free!  I'm guessing there are other countries as well.

Two different people gave us poor directions to the Glendower Guest House so it took a bit to find it.  We got settled in to our room and checked the schedule for church services at the beautiful St David's Cathedral just blocks from the guest use.  Even song at 6:00...

We walked down the hill to the Church...

And were amazed at the incredible beauty of the church, inside and out...

The evensong was wonderful...readings, choir, prayers...we sang one song as a congregation - and it was one of Andy's favorites.  Immortal Invisible God Only Wise.  All in all it was a great start to the hike. St. David's was a popular pilgrimage site in the Middle Ages 

As we headed to back up the hill we saw some activity in the bell tower building...and ended up staying for a few minutes to see a demonstration of the ringing of the bells.  As it turns out, it is quite an art form and takes some muscle!

Our next stop was at The Bishops for supper...a recommended pub on the city square.
We all slept well that night after 18-20 hours in transit.

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