December 6, 2008

day 13..

day 13..

After booking the 7.45am National Express to Chepstow, we had to wake up at 6am to prepare, and leave the apartment at 7 for the 45min walk to the interchange. We had a simple breakfast of ham and croissants, and packed buns for our brunch. It was still dark outside, but the sky looked clear. It looked as though there was going to be sunny weather throughout the day.

The bus was empty, and so were the roads. We got to Chepstow at about 0835Hrs, and we realized that the first bus of the day to Tintern Abbey was at 1010Hrs. So walked around we did, taking a couple of photos and shopping a little.

We entered this opening in the above-mentioned wall. It was quite scenic, on one side was ruins,
and on the other side was the Chepstow Castle.
It was quite a steep slope behind me, so I was quite cautious about slipping and rolling down the slope.
This photo shows the irony of the vast amount of space behind (the bench and the castle in the background) while the two tiny critters rest on the bench. (: And yes, I love my sheep.

Beep’s birthday is also on the 4th of December, and he turned 7 two days ago! One of my best friends gave him to me, and he’s been going everywhere with me ever since.

There was an amusing sign on the way out of the port wall:
so if a pet doesn’t purr, does it not belong to Pam? Or does Pam only sell pets that purr?

Walking on into the city centre, there was a street market today which sold lots of art&craft. We also managed to find a Woolworth’s store, which I got this from for 2 pounds:
Cute? It’s a dog reindeer costume, and my Patches is going to be a reindeer this Christmas! There was a cat santa suit which I nearly bought for Pepper, but it was polyester and I was afraid that it’d be too warm for him. Such a pity that Woolworth’s is closing after Christmas, they’ve been around for so long and they sold nice stuff!

Got onto the 1010Hrs bus to Tintern Abbey. It was about 15 minutes away from Chepstow, and the weather there was very different! It was much colder, so cold that there was a thin layer of ice on the ground, making it very slippery. Even the grass has a white layer of ice on it.

The Tintern Abbey was mostly ruins of a monastry, of which it was so ruined that we could hardly tell one room from another and its functions without the guide-signs around. I took loads of photos, but I’ll just post one or two here.

A picture of the abbey from across the road

The highest arch up close
and my dear Beep with the ruins behind.

On the way towards the entrance we saw this:

Cool huh? Was brass really invented in UK?

On the way out, at the exit of the gift shop was this notice:

A promise auction! Some of the stuff auctioned were dog walking, yoga lessons, a plant of choice from a Nursery, and holidays! I’ve never seen stuff like that before.

We were just in time for the 1247 bus back to Chepstow. At Chepstow, we headed for the Castle first. It’s the one in the photo above.

Today was Medieval Day! The castle had a troupe who “lived” out Medieval life inside the castle. There were tents pitched just like in medieval times, a guy who was an archer and a bow-maker, a castle musician who played welsh tunes on the medieval flute, recorder and dulcimer, a leg of lamb roasting above a fire, court jesters, weapons, knights and all.

Roasted lamb leg! We stood near it for the heat from the fire, and smelt all smoky for a while after that =P

All the tents were colour-coded and of different sizes.

This man was a bow-maker. He actually made those bows. He carried an assortment of weapons on him, from knives in his boots, to scissors and other knives on his waist-belt. He was attempting to teach me how to hold a bow.

This was a quiet little corner that was a medieval kitchen. The hole with smoke coming out of it is actually a fire- oven that uses charcoal, and there was meat roasting inside when we went! The ladies cleared the table of all modern-day stuff just for me to take the photograph, and everything else went…
under the table! 😛

It was pretty cool, these people looked like they were all having fun, and were paid to do so! The weather was much better in summer, and they’d all be working on their bow-making or whatever in the sun. Because of the cold winter, they all stuck to walking around and talking instead.

We walked out of the “live exhibition” area, and went to explore the ruins of the castle.

Look, I fit into a crevice in the wall! (:

a VERY BIG tree.

This room was interesting. See the hole there? It’s actually a toilet, with the hole leading right below to the Lake Wye.

Can’t see the river clearly because of the light, but the hole goes straight down.

An attempt to look contemplative. With a huge red nose just like Rudolph the reindeer.

Remember this game we used to play, mum? (:

Visited the Chepstow Museum after that, as we had about 2 hours before the National Express took us back to Cardiff. The museum was full of things from the sixties, like a kitchen

with all the little labelled tins of bread, coffee, tea, sugar and spices on the top shelf, a stove on the right, and

a pretty English teacup on the table!

In the other parts of the museum was an exhibition of how the town developed, with

policemen uniforms (kuku, this one’s for you!)

Cigars, pipes, sugar-cutters, hair curling tongs, charcoal irons and many many other things.
There was also a bear cupboard for children to bring along a bear with them as they walked through the museum. Suce a cute cuddly idea!

We walked back out to the main street. Looks like the Medieval people were out for a walk to see modern-day Chepstow! They posed with bottles of ale and their weapons at the street market.

and that’s us, tired after 9 hours of walking, while waiting for the bus back to Cardiff. I’m exhausted, going to sleep for now. Cheers~

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