As I begin this post, I am on the terrace deck at the hotel, sipping a Chardonnay and thrilling to the fact I am off my feet. We arrived at the infamous Cheese Festival around 11:00 AM. A drizzling rain was falling, which allowed me to wear Sandra’s fabulous rain cloak with hood. I felt very dramatic as we walked the Cardiff Castle grounds, cloak billowing in the breeze. We were one of the few who braved the weather, and were greeted immediately by a young man at the cheese tossing area who asked where we were from. Apparently Sandy’s “Hello!” was a dead giveaway that we are not locals. He tried to entice us to toss a large block of cheese to each other. This is performed by one person taking a giant step backward after each successful toss and catch, and repeating the process. Luckily, we had enough sense about us to refuse on the grounds we were each afraid our competitive natures would lead us to potentially render the other unconscious or with a broken nose from an overexhuberant toss.
We did watch others, though…
The jokes of the day? “Stay Stilton!!” and “I Camembert the pressure.” (Jokes courtesy of the cheese toss referee.) Got complaints? Talk to him.
We visited the museum, then purchased our tickets for the castle tour. Premium, baby. Your own tour guide and all. He was a charming older gentleman who could climb the 51 steps to the chamber level of the castle far easier than I. Sandy has taken some great pictures, again, but I took a few with my phone. Items of interest? The castle had central heat in the late 1800s. And, it is still working today.
These were taken in the dining hall. Princess Diana, Prince Charles, and Nelson Mandela have all dined in this room.
We also climbed to the keep, which was amazing, and spotted the peregrine falcon perches in the distance. Note to self: add “Falcon” to Christmas list this year.
And of course, what’s a Cheese Festival without cheese? It’s just a festival, that’s what.
We sampled cheese until we couldn’t stand it anymore. I had visions of trying to sneak a ten pound block of cheese on the plane in a baby blanket, like the episode of I Love Lucy, when Lucy and Ethel have to try to eat the entire cheese before they get charged for another ticket.
We resisted the urge. However, we will be googling and ordering cheese upon our arrival back home.
A couple of bands played as well, but our favorite was the Severed Limbs. (I am not making that up.)
The sun came out this afternoon and everyone lit up with smiles. It was warm and absolutely perfect. Apparently we have brought some Texas warmth here, and temps are expected to continue into the mid and even upper 20s C.
Tonight, we enjoyed a steak, red wine and bacon pie at a nearby pub. Tomorrow,we attempt to be our own tour guides and find some ruins to visit. Caerleon, here we come!