Thursday, Friday … Castleday

My previous post on Wales was Split Shift.

Saturday, our eighth day, was also to be our last day of touring about Pembrokeshire.  When Deb came down in the morning the kitchen radio was on, just came on by itself.  I looked at it to turn if off and there was a push button on-off.  I pressed it and it came on louder.  Pressed it again, it went fainter, but not off.  Strange.   Course I’m the lady that automatic doors don’t work for.  Strange too is that I don’t even remember any of this, yet it was noted in my journal … in my handwriting … I’m really not good in the mornings.

The Plan for our last day was Narberth and Carew—Deb wanted to visit a castle.   Unfortunately, all we had were castle ruins so Carew would have to do.

First, Narberth—which has a ‘growing reputation as Pembrokeshire’s prime boutique shopping destination’.  This piece of tourist propaganda was well received as we are both inveterate window shoppers, able to poke about in the tiniest of British shoppes without breaking anything, and often, without buying a thing. And all we had was an hour because all we could find was one hour parking.  Hardly time to get into it.

From there, good navigating took us to Carew. This castle predominates the flat land around the tidal reaches of the Carew River.

The excellent setting sets the mind free and the imagination loose to visualize it in Norman times, and later, in its grandeur when it was used as an Elizabethan residence.

These are such great places to let the mind roam – we stood in the Great Hall which would have been the site of feasts for six hundred;

I’m sure if one tried, one could hear the raucous revelry of such a gathering and glimpse at the lives of those who walked the hallways and trod the back stairs of this castle through the centuries.

Still owned by the Carew family, the castle is considered to be one of the finest in south Wales and is leased to the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.  It is also famed for its thirteen foot Celtic Cross, said to be one of the three best examples of Celtic crosses in the region.

From Carew we headed to Lawrenny on the Daugleddau waterway  – I came to learn that ‘dd’ is pronounced as a hard ‘th’ but that is as close as I got to understanding the pronunciation of the Welsh language.The road to Lawrenny took us down a long winding lane …

… to the Lawrenny Arms and Free House. Here we rested at an outside table with a coffee and breathed in the fragrance of the sea on this, our last day to imprint on our memory the beauty of the Welsh countryside.

It had turned into another glorious fall day, beautiful light and warm sun.  Once back in St-Davids I went down for a last look at the Cathedral in the beautiful afternoon light which provided gorgeous  shadows on the façade and stretched across the grounds.

Before supper, as per my last post, Split Shift, we headed over to David and Irene’s accommodation to get our directions back to the Hertz rental in Cardiff.  David had reproduced a map for us and drawn a large-scale version of the exit and round-about.  This was going to be a big help and would greatly reduce the stress of the drive back to Cardiff.  After sharing a glass of wine we all decided to return to The Bench for supper.

It took some convincing to get Deb back to The Bench as she thought it was lacking in adventure to return to the same restaurant.  I however, wanted to return because of the most excellent meal we had the day before—so excellent in fact that I had exactly the same thing again.

Supper was very enjoyable with lots of conversation with our new Welsh friends.  Late in the evening as the restaurant was emptying, two other diners joined in our chatter—Simon (no last name) from Port Talbot, Wales via Dubai, and Forest McCready.  Apparently The Bench has a reputation for excellent home-made ice cream and Simon made a request to the waiter for a teaspoon of each variety of ice cream that the chef and owner had in his pantry.  Confused and unsure at first, the waiter soon returned with a large platter on which rested about a dozen teaspoons in an artistic array, each with a different flavour of ice cream.  Simon brought them over and encouraged each of us to try some.

Forest was a character, giving a good rendition of a free spirit.  He sat himself down and began a pen and ink drawing of David, which actually turned into a good likeness.  He signed it and presented it to David—what a great memento of a great evening.

When we left I noticed that the closed sign was hanging in the window—we had successfully closed yet another restaurant.

Lastly, a watercolour and ink I did of Carew Castle.  To see more of my paintings click here.

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