Uk and Italy 2012 travel blog

It has been a few days since we added anything to the journal sorry. Continuing to have a fabulous time and we have now struck some sunny weather for 3 days in a row. Great!

We travelled up to Cardiff from St Ives, a long day of travel broken by a number of stops -the first being Padstow, or Padstein as the locals call it following the take over of a number of businesses by Rick Stein. His name is everywhere and it is a bit much to be honest. We tried to have lunch at his cafe but it was jam packed and we were asked to share a table. Packed in a bit like sardines which is of course an irony in a seafood joint. Decided better to push on so stopped at a great cafe in Bude; a seaside town further up the coast. Funny kind of layout for the town with very little overlooking the beach; instead rows of houses parallel to the river and a golf course. Good lunch though. We then expended some energy exploring Clovelly which has a very steep and long walk down to the small harbour. The locals use sleds to transport their goods from the car park at the top of the village (no car access in the village). They used to use donkeys to transport their supplies and still have a stable of donkeys at the top of the village. It was very cute and well worth the entry fee (yes, an entry fee to look at a village).

Then it was foot to the floor to get to Cardiff. A late dinner in our hotel room (and very nice the room and the dinner were too, with views over the Millenium Stadium).

We met my friend Anna for coffee in the morning and a wander around the city centre which was lovely and thanks to Anna, very informative. Lots of development in the centre lately including a huge indoor shopping centre. Mum and I then drove to Cardiff Bay for a quick bite to eat and then hit the road for Pembroke via Tenby. We really enjoyed Tenby, with a walk along the esplanade in some lovely late afternoon sun, and in behind the old (Norman) city walls down to the harbour and then back to the car (with a coffee stop en route of course). A very lovely seaside resort with a great beach.

We stayed overnight at Pembroke which was less exciting but has the best castle in the country alongside a river. The castle is Norman and was the birthplace of Henry the VII who subsequently founded the Tudor dynasty. It was a beautiful day which was great as I went on a great coastal walk from Dale to Marloes. This required Mum to get behind the wheel and drive down some narrow lanes with passing areas as two vehicles cannot fit at the same time. All went well and we both had a good day. The walk was entirely along the coast with some superb views and at times some steep climbs. We then drove up to St David's which has a most superb Cathedral and in behind some very lage ruins from the Old Bishops Palace surrounded bu wtone walls builtmin the 14th century. Beautiful setting with a choir singing in the cathedral for Evensong. All quite perfect really. St David' is a lace of pilmagrage, so extensive history too it. Next day a bit of a repeat with me walking this time for only a couple of hours along the coastal path to Solva and Mum meeting me there with the car. We drove from there further up the Welsh west coast stopping at Aberystwyth to walk along the promenade, still in glorious sunshine, arriving here (Porthmadog) just before 6pm.

The houses are a lot more colourful on the Welsh coastline and we have passed some great beaches along the way (which we hadn't necessarily expected). It seems we are a bit lucky with the weather, and this morning, it is again glorious.

Will try and load some more photos on this site; unfortunately it takes a very long time and only landscape photos seem to work. Something to do with Apple comparability with the software. Anyway will add some more to my Facebook page for those that can access that.

No doubt Mum will add some words later. She's having a shower at present getting ready for the day ahead. Off to England today and Todmorden in Yorkshire to be more specific - staying with Pete and Annie-May for a few days.

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