Friday, 30 August 2019

Angela's Airbed Adventures Part Two

Off again, we drove out to the coast and up from Barmouth to Harlech. Stop 4 Here we walked on the steepest street in the world, and looked round the outside of the castle [we didn't want to wait 2 hours till it opened] Had a chat with the affable shopowner - including a discussion of the "Hovis Hill" - like many people, he thought it was in Yorkshire, didn't realise it was in Dorset!
The statue commemorates the sad story of Branwen and Bendigeidfran. We set the SatNav for another Welsh Castle, and proceeded inland, stopping for breakfast on the way. The scenery was amazing - Sunday afternoon the Welsh valleys, Monday morning Snowdonia.
Stop 4 - arriving in Dolgellau at 8.55 we walked briefly around the town until the cafe opened. Bob scored his meal 7½ out of 10!
Stop 5 - Powis Castle, a lovely National Trust estate with glorious gardens.
These were planned by the countess, Violet Lane-Fox [one of this crowd] a hundred years ago. The gardens were beautiful, the views amazing. 
Currently the NT exhibit round the house is featuring the evacuee girls [sent from the Welsh School in London] in WW2. 
Photographs inside were not allowed in most rooms. But I did manage a [legit] picture of a Robert Clive jug [there were a number of these on display] Robert Clive lived at Powis and there is a massive collection of Indian artefacts. The exhibit explains that some were purchased whilst he was in India, but many were pillaged and stolen from the Indian people.  I am not convinced about "Clive for Ever" - but I do feel "Huzza!!" is an underused exclamation nowadays, and intend to bring it into conversation more often. Bob took a series of pictures as I skipped happily down the steps to climb into another of those mega-deckchairs
Overall we found Powis disappointing, The WW2 thing rather got in the way of the actual house and its wonderful portraits. Furthermore, there were not the usual "This is what's in this room" sheets to help you find out stuff, and when we then asked questions of the guides, they replied apologetically that they didn't know. And then returned to their script about the schoolgirls. 
The portraits date back to Tudor times- and one showed a lady with some embroidery. There was a list of portraits which one carried from room to room, and this said the embroidery was on view in the house. But none of the guides knew where, and I never did find it! But it was fun, and after a reviving cold drink, we drove down into Welshpool Stop 6 for a wander. This is a typical small town, called Pool until 1835, then it changed its name to Welshpool because people kept confusing it with Poole in Dorset. The two places appear to have very little in common - other than a good range of Charity Shops! I bought a salad in the large Tesco, and we sat and ate lunch in the carpark.
On to Stop 7- Shrewsbury, I wanted to visit the Abbey [Cadfael and all that] But we found the car park we'd chosen was a long walk from the Abbey- and we arrived at 4.15 to discover it had closed at 4pm. There were some splendid half-timbered buildings to look at. It was Incredibly Hot, and Bob was feeling tired.
We went back to the car, and decided we had done enough adventuring - so we drove home to Dorset. Stop 8 was Strensham Services, where we enjoyed excellent meatballs in Leon, and Stop 9 was a petrol station outside Salisbury, where we got milk and snacks in the M&S food section.
We were home by 9.30 having had a fabulous time. I can't believe quite how much we saw and did in such a short time. I was glad to be home and sleep on a regular mattress again. Somehow lying on an airbed makes me feel seasick! But it was way cheaper than any sort of B&B!
Thankyou Bob for an Anniversary to remember. 


  1. I'm glad you had a lovely time! A pity you didn't get to find out more about the fabric of Powys.

  2. You certainly packed in a lot of sightseeing during your couple of days! I'm glad you enjoyed your adventure!

  3. wow! You really got a lot out of your trip. When I saw all the photos I thought you had written wrong about the time you had spent on your trip :) I loved to read about it!


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