Today, we slept in a bit and Sandy, our navigational expert, studied maps and trains and bus schedules so we could find Chepstow Castle and Tintern Abbey.
Here’s the decision of the day: I refuse to visit any other towns built on hills as steep as any you find in San Francisco. Plus, the so-called sidewalk was just wide enough to make you feel as though even if hugging the building on your left, you were sure to get clipped in the back of the head by a truck’s side mirror.
We walked approximately 100 miles, according to the non-existent muscles in my legs.
Chepstow Castle was amazing. Some portions as old as the 11th century, and at one time William Marshall lived there.
Beware spiral staircases. These people obviously had feet the size of a small child’s, because climbing up and down was a bit nerve-wracking, as we wedged our feet sideways to gain a foothold that felt even tolerably solid.
To my dismay, I had no ghostly visions, no invisible hands tried to shove me downstairs, and nothing moved in the shadows. Perhaps they realized I was too fragile to mess with today.
A friendly bus driver teased us as we headed to Tintern Abbey, asking why we wanted to see an old building with no roof. I also had the surreal experience of reading this roadside sign (stolen from the internet, as I was too busy trying to comprehend the warning to snap a photo of my very own.)
So, I guess in the US, we are blissfully unaware of this badger situation in Wales.
Despite missing its roof, the Abbey is gorgeous. The bones are majestic, if a bit forlorn. At one time, the Abbey hummed along with the daily rituals of the religious brethren. The sanctuary was beautiful, and had as a benefactor the owner of the castle at Chepstow.
When I could no longer stand, (seriously) we found our fish & chips meal at Simpson’s and ate on a bench in Chepstow. I thought it would take dynamite to get me moving again, but it only took the promise of the hotel bar.
Sandy is plotting our course for tomorrow, and I believe I will be bedding down WAY before midnight tonight, or I may not make it.
The favorite word of today, was “Ta!” as uttered by our poor bus driver who made the mistake of thinking we knew which side of the street to wait upon his return. You should have seen his face as he passed us by, then stopped and reversed so we could cross to the correct side of the road and climb aboard. I think he may have been pleased to not feel responsible for us anymore. Thus, the “Ta!” as we alighted. I think he “peeled out” too, if a bus can be said to “peel out.”
Getting around is not as difficult as it must be for tourists in the States. Between the trains and buses, it’s really quite simple – if you have a Sandy to direct you and do the research. Just don’t expect her to feed you regularly.
A note to my hubby: Thank you for encouraging me to do this.
And again, much better pictures are available via Sandy. I’ll eventually get them posted upon my return.