vrijdag 15 juli 2016

Those were the days of roses, poetry and prose

In my last travel post, I left you on a rainy Wednesday with some sun thrown in later in the day.

On Thursday we finally woke to the sun streaming in through our cottage's windows! This obviously called for a day at the seaside and that's exactly what we did: we drove 35 miles south to the lovely seaside town of Tenby.










From previous years, we knew exactly where to park, but were not sure how to get there. Nor did the lady who lives in our Sat Nav, whom for some long-forgotten reason we call "Marie-Jeanne". After taking a few wrong turns and ending up exactly where we started, somehow my instinct took over and I effortlessly guided us to the correct street at the end of which was the car park in question. Needless to say, Jos was duly impressed!

The sun continued to shine and I could have worn a dress for the occasion. Unfortunately by then I had lost all trust in the weather, so I wore jeans combined with a vintage top. One particularly naughty seagull did not approve of my choice though, as I was promptly bombarded. Luckily, we were able to remove most of it by using paper hankies and antibacterial hand gel, so that I didn't look like a complete dunce for the rest of the day.


As we were picnicking on a bench tucked away on the steps below Tenby's Esplanade, the gull was probably venting its disappointment at not getting its share of our sandwiches!

In spite of the glorious weather, most of the 2 mile stretch of South Beach was relatively empty, the much smaller Castle Beach being the place of choice for most people, who seem to prefer being packed like sardines onto this rather limited space.


The tide was out, so we were able to walk right up to St. Catherine's Island, which at high tide is completely surrounded by water. I guess that's why it's called an island ...

Since last year, St. Catherine's Island and its Fort can be visited but as I have vertigo, the see-through walkway to the main part of the island was a definite no-no, my legs turning to jelly by even looking at it.


Instead we just wandered around enjoying this colourful seaside town, and popping into every charity shop we came across.



We woke up on Friday morning to the news that the UK had voted Leave and had breakfast while following the developments on TV.  If it all felt a bit strange to us, I wonder what it was like for those UK residents who had confidently voted Remain ...
In the following days, most people we spoke to, upon learning we were from Belgium, actually apologized to us. It certainly was the topic of most of the conversations we overheard that day.

After breakfast we drove south again, this time over the border with Carmarthenshire, to the lovely village of Laugharne, well-known for being the home of Dylan Thomas for the last four, and very creative, years of his life.



One of his most famous works, Under Milk Wood, was written here. It is an absolute favourite of mine and I have even borrowed its opening line as the title of my very first blog post.

Dylan, with his wife Caitlin and their children, lived in the Boat House from 1949 until Dylan's death in 1953.

From the car park at Laugharne, which is liable to flooding, the Boat House can be seen set in the cliffs overlooking the Taf Estuary.



Walking along the estuary and up the steep path leading to the Boat House, we first passed Mr. Thomas's Writing Shed, the inside of which can be glimpsed through the small window.







As we already visited the Boat House itself a couple of years ago, we only stopped by for a coffee this time.
















Afterwards we returned along the foreshore, where we had our picnic with a view. Not only did our bench have a view, it had a roof too, which was a good thing as it had started raining yet again!


Dylan Thomas is buried in the churchyard here, his and his wife Caitlin's grave marked by a simple white cross. I found the churchyard, and especially the older, overgrown part, quite atmospheric.


We ended our day by visiting Laugharne Castle, the "castle brown as owls" as Dylan called it in his "Poem in October":

Pale rain over the dwindling harbour
And over the sea wet church the size of a snail
With its horns through mist and the castle
Brown as owls


A delightful surprise was the Summer House, where it is said that both Dylan Thomas and author Richard Hughes put pen to paper. I tried to leave my mark by writing a blog post, but the typewriter's ribbon was in an even worse condition than my Corona's!


The view from its windows as well as from the castle's ramparts were breathtaking.



By this time a week had passed and we were already halfway through our holiday. I'm sorry to say that the weather did not improve dramatically during our last week, but I will tell you all about its ups and downs in a next post.

In the meantime, this weekend I have a flea market right outside our front door to look forward to. Let's hope the weather is dry, if not sunny, for it.

30 opmerkingen:

  1. I've never been to Tenby it looks lovely.
    That tearoom looks like our type of place as well Anne.
    Glad you got some sunshine
    Lynn xx

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    1. Tenby really is a lovely seaside town, and we surely tried to make the most of every ray of sunshine ... xxx

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  2. How exciting that you have a flea market to attend this weekend. Fingers crossed that the vintage powers-that-be smile favourably on you, dear Ann.

    Big hugs,
    ♥ Jessica

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    1. It must have helped you crossing your fingers, Jessica, as we had a sunny day and found some lovely things. xxx

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  3. Gulls are terrible birds, terrible! My dad always said having a bird poop on you is good luck, but I'm sure he meant...for the bird.

    Beautiful view, even if the sunshine was short lived.

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    1. Surely you dad must have meant for the bird ... it's already the second time it happened to me in the same town. I don't know why we keep going back ... xxx

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  4. Wow! Those are beautiful pictures from your holiday! Thank you for sharing those.

    Naughty seagull indeed! I've been bombarded too! Not fun.

    Hope you had good luck at the flea!!

    happy thrifting ;)

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    1. I didn't trust another seagull for the rest of the holiday. Not fun indeed, especially when you're wearing a treasured item of clothing! xxx

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  5. Reacties
    1. Thank you, it's really lovely over there, which is why we keep returning I guess. xxx

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  6. Tenby looks so pretty! I love those multicoloured seaside houses. Augh to the wretched seagull, though. Those things are menaces.

    I shall say nothing about Brexit beyond, the whole country is going to regret it VERY badly, and I wish we didn't have to learn the hard way, but there you are. This is why we can't have nice things...

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    1. We keep returning to Tenby, so I guess we love it, as long as we stay away from the tourist honey traps. Boo to seagulls though ... xxx

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  7. cheeky seagull! :-)
    thank you for taking me around - as for this year our vacation plan is cancelled.... so i travel with you thru the beautiful english landscape!
    cant wait to see your fleamarket finds!!!
    hugs! xxxxxx
    p.s.: this sound like a really bad case of vertigo! stay safe :-)

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    1. It's my pleasure, Beate, but I'm sorry to hear your vacation plans are cancelled :( And I'm afraid I've indeed got a serious case of vertigo. It's the worst on man-made structures though. xxx

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  8. What a beautiful place to visit! I would love to see the sights there, it must have been lovely.

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    1. Thank you Jessica. If only the weather had been just a little bit better, but unfortunately that's something you cannot control, so we really made the most of it.
      xxx

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  9. Some lovely photos there and so many interesting places to visit. I've never been to Tenby, but it does look very picturesque. I couldn't have walked over that see-through walkway either - gives me the heebie-jeebies even thinking about it! xx

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    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one! My vertigo is at its worst on sea-through staircases or walkways like that one in Tenby. xxx

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  10. Goodness me, when I was a child we used to rent a tumbledown cottage that overlooked Dylan Thomas's house. I looked out on it over several childhood Summers!
    You're making me want to go back to Tenby although JOn definitely couldn't cope with the height of that precarious walk. xxx

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    1. That's quite a coincidence, Vix. Was it open to the public back then? It's a lovely area and very tranquil. Tenby, of course, is quite touristy in comparison. xxx

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  11. I do apologise for our dreadful weather! It's a shame you're not here this week as it's absolutely glorious. Sorry, I won't rub it in. I hope the flea market was successful, it's always great to have a good rummage. xx

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    1. The weather's gorgeous here in Belgium as well now, and it was dreadful while we were in Wales, so we haven't missed anything. Oh, I love a good rummage! xxx

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  12. Oh my! These photos are just amazing! What a beautiful place Tenby is! My work colleague comes from there! Sooooo pretty. That beach is dreamy!

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    1. Thanks Kezzie, and your colleague is very lucky indeed. xxx

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  13. Ann, you definitely chose the wrong month, it's proper scorching now! I've been to Tenby a couple of times but never to Dylan Thomas country. It sounds and looks rather wonderful, maybe you should work for the Welsh tourist board?! As someone who voted remain I can tell you that it felt like a disaster, but I'm now in denial. When they trigger article 50, I'll be sad all over again. Xxx

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    1. I know! It's scorching here too, Tania. I guess I'd need to learn proper Welsh if I wanted to work for the Welsh tourist board. I did have a Welsh language course on my Ipod, but I didn't get very far. Oh, and I can fully understand that you're in denial. I would be too ... xxx

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  14. Such beautiful photos!! It is like going on holiday with you. I love the pastel coloured buildings the best.

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    1. It's been my pleasure taking you on holiday ... xxx

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    2. Such beautiful photos! One day we'll go on holiday, but I can't see it being any time soon xxx

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    3. Thanks Melanie, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that you'll be able to go on holiday soon! xxx

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