Moving down south, we had come to the famous book town in Wales. Every year there will be a major literary festival called the Hay Festival. It’s happening during winter while we were there. So, we missed it.
This place is a paradise for bookworms. It was an eye-opening experience as I have not seen anything like that in parts of Asia. There were so many second-hand bookshops and the books were priced reasonably, except for rare first editions of course. All the bookshops are like TARDIS, all looked smaller on the outside and bigger on the inside. They usually have many floors of well-organised book shelves. My favourite is definitely classics/fiction. You can spend a whole day here, if you prefer, you may come back again and again.
Baskerville Hall Hotel
I had the privilege of staying in Baskerville Hall Hotel, thanks to Lyndon. This was one of the surprises he had planned. As we are both quite fond of Sherlock Holmes stories, he found this hotel which was an estate once belonged to Thomas Mynors Baskerville. Author of Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle was a family friend who often went to stay. During of his visits, he learnt of the local legend of the hounds of Baskervilles. It is said that he wrote his famous tale based inspired by this. However, he set the story in Devon instead.
The building itself was very old but rather grand. I would imagine it was one of the places which hosted parties and events of the high society during late 19th century. It overlooked the Wye Valley on the edge of Brecon Beacons and Black Mountain National Park. The estate grounds were very large and they also serve as a camping site for backpackers and campers.
Ogmore-By-Sea and Southern Down
This was one of my favourites places throughout the whole trip. I’ve only seen beaches like that in documentaries. But first-hand experience will always be the best. The coastline is very wide and you can take a stroll far out the shore when it’s low tide. But be careful of the tide, it always comes very fast and before you know it, the waves will roll you away. There were interesting patterns everywhere to be seen. Water patterns on the sand, erosion patterns on the rock formations and many other kinds. You’ll only know it when you visit this place. There are usually creatures living in the rock pools but I didn’t manage to see any except some slug-like creature, snails, and tons of limpets.
At Southerndown, there were two massive cliffs. These cliffs had intricate designs on them. They looked man-made with little structural steps on the surface but the patterns were made by the tides hitting on the cliffs over the years. Nature’s such an amazing thing.
I never stayed in Cardiff long enough to know more about it. We merely went to the shopping arcades and an antique shop (Jacobs Antique Centre). It was a day of window shopping and chilling(literally freezing my ar#% off).
Even so, I didn’t manage to snap enough good photos. Probably I’m not one who’s big on shopping but I do know I missed out on these everyday things because this guy, Time Travel Turtle, had better understanding of the shopping arcades and took some pretty photographs of them.
I will get to know more about Cardiff and its culture when I visit again. Till then.