On day 16 we crossed by ferry from Rosslare across St. George's Channel to Pembroke and drove through South Wales to Cardiff.  Roomie and I were enthralled when we saw the castle, so we threw our bags in the hotel room, and ran out to catch the last private tour of the day.  Our tour guide was Welsh and looked a little like an older Richard Burton (who's from there it turns out).  He was charming and knowledgeable and had a wicked sense of humor.  We wanted to bring him home:) I guess I should mention that a lot of cool people are Welsh; Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta Jones, Tom Jones, Christian Bale, Eve Myles and Gareth David-Lloyd (Torchwood), Russel T. Davies (Queer as Folk, Torchwood writer) Shirley Bassey and a ton more.  There was something about this castle that hit a nerve.  Maybe I lived there in a past life.  It reminded me a lot of Scotland which isn't surprising since their neighbors.  Same ambiance...wild and sort of mysterious in a barbaric kind of way.  I loved it!  

Cardiff Castle

I climbed all those damn stairs to get some photos.  It was worth the effort.

This is one of the shots from up in the tower.  I guess they used it for killing the enemy.
Entrance to the Castle. 
More shots of the bell tower.
Georgian Bath
The next day we were off to Bath where we saw the hot springs, and toured the city.  It's a beautiful town and reminded me of Florence Italy.  In fact, they have a bridge that's similar to the Ponte Vecchio with quaint shops along the top.  I tried my first Cornish pie in Bath and became a fan.  It's cheap and filling and was apparently invented for the coal miners.  It's the English version of a Calzone or a Mexican empanada.  Yummy...
This is the bridge like the one in Florence.

Another view of that bridge

This is a park in the middle of the city.  It's quite large and I would have liked to explore it further but we ran out of time.  There's only so much you can see in two hours.

We stopped at Stonehenge on our way to Plymouth and walked among the stones.  Outlander fans will be disappointed to hear nothing happened to me.  I didn't disappear into another century, much as I wanted to.  Writers are really weird, you know?  We think about the craziest things when we're strolling around. 

Plymouth-I had the best dinner of fish and chips at one of the restaurants shown above.  Great historical city with lots to do.  We were there for two days and really enjoyed the break from the hectic schedule.

Back to London for the end of the tour.  21 days is a long time to be in a bus.  The pace is very hectic.  I'm so glad I went on an exercise program for an entire year to prepare.  It's definitely not the kind of trip you want to take if you can't walk long distances or climb a bunch of stairs.  Lifting suitcases on and off the bus is sometimes required if the porters are delayed.  The trip gave me a wonderful overview and now I know what places I'd like to see in-depth when I have another opportunity to go back.  I would like to see more of Scotland and Wales.  Ireland is gorgeous as well.  I have so many more photos and stories but I think this will hold us for now....


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