23 September 2013

Wells and Wales

Dear Coco
Wells is the smallest city in England apparently - with a magnificent cathedral that Mom wanted to see again as it is one of her best places in all the world. We parked in a pay and display and set off up Market Street to the cathedral. En route we needed to draw some money out to pay for our next board and lodgings and the Lloyds ATM rejected my credit card telling me that there was "an error" which FREAKED me out and spoiled my day.
As we were not allowed to take photos in the cathedral without paying, the first photo I took was of the cathedral's cat, Louis, who was curled up in a basket in the gift shop, behind a pile of books all about him. A bit like the late lamented cat at Hamish Curry's vet.
On the way back to the car we spotted these in the street market. Thought you might like them  but I am not sure I could talk my way through customs with them.
We eventually left Wells - luckily without getting a fine for being a bit late for our pay and display time - which freaked me out some more - and soon we were in Wales. Mom and I kept thinking that dogs were barking in the road ARF ARF but in Wales all the road signs are in English and Welsh.
We tried to find a scenic route to our B&B and avoid some motorways, but the main route we had planned was closed and so it took us a bit longer than we had hoped to find our way back but eventually the Sat Nav delivered us to the front door of Nant yr Onog, our B&B in Snowdonia, which was really out of the way and off the beaten track. This little dog called Phizz was there to greet us.
  As was Holly, the Welsh sheepdog with one blue eye and one brown.
Mom has stayed here before and was happy to see Pat and her Dartmoor ponies again. Pat's daughter, Georgina was also there for a while but she left to take a pony to Cardiff soon after we arrived.
 The next morning we went to Powis Castle in nearby Welshpool. As it was threatening to rain so we thought we had better do outside first. The gardens were just gorgeous,
 and the only snail I saw the whole holiday was on a label for a South African plant - Plumbago.
 Dogs feature a lot - this one on a bronze statue in the garden,
high up on the middle terrace.
 It started to rain so we ducked into the castle - but as we were not allowed to take photos, I can't show you what was inside, but it was pretty amazing.
 There was a display of the carriages and horses outside with this ghostly horse to show how they are decked out for pulling carriages here.
 We also went into the shop - this one in the old stables with their lovely wooden stalls.
 I saw some "fire car" wellies that Philip would have loved as a kid, 
and a fluffy Welsh dragon that Simon would have loved.
 After lunch at the Castle, we drove to Dolgellau and up along a small road on the edge of Cadair Idris where Mom had to keep on getting out to open farm gates,
and we had to drive slowly behind long tailed sheep,
 in order to get to this pretty lake called Cregennan. I felt as if I had tumbled into an episode of Fireman Sam. It was quite chilly and we didn't really feel like walking, 
so we ended up driving all the way down the coast to a pretty godforsaken and windy spot called Fairbairn where we could see across the river mouth to Barmouth. We found a nice little pub called the George 111 on the river just before Dolgellau and had some supper before 
returning to Nant yr Onog, Pat and Dotty the sheep, 
the ponies 
and two comfortable dogs.
We were quite sorry to say goodbye the next morning to Pat and Dotty, but had to get going early so we could do some sightseeing in Chester.
But I will leave that for tomorrow as it is late now and 
we had a hectic day in the wilds of Northumberland with the Schroeders and once again, I am ready for bed. I hear that you had a lovely walk up to Cecilia Waterfall and that it stopped raining. How is the little Lad? Not too annoying I hope!
lots of love to you all from the FL xx

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