04.04.2013 - 04.04.2013 0 °C
We arrived in Wales today. Our snug country cottage has been swapped for an urban apartment in Cardiff. Before we got there, however, we visited one of England's most famous sites: Stonehenge.
We might've been able to appreciate it a bit more if it hadn't been so incredibly cold. As it was, we could barely focus on it whilst being buffeted by torrents of wind. We took a few pictures of and in front of it, but tried to limit the length of time anyone had to expose their hands to the elements. Shivering, each of us trekked around Stonehenge and half-listened to the audio guides that were freezing to our ears. Though it was important to see and worth refrigerating for, I have to say that we were all relieved to step into the warmth of the packed gift shop. Dad promptly bought a toque, which he donned before leaving the shop and heading back to the parking lot. If you want to learn more about the Neolithic monument, click here.
We spotted a restaurant on the side of the road, and stopped for lunch. It was absolutely packed with seniors. The only kids there were with their grandparents. Fish and chips seemed to be the go-to dish once again, as the restaurant proclaimed that theirs were award-winning and the majority of diners had ordered them. Abby decided to have a pie instead, and Dad and I had a variety of seafood as opposed to the traditional battered piece of white fish that my mom and aunt got. I'm worried I'm going to get sick of it. Still, these were the best fish and chips we'd had so far. And we're going to have to do something with the bottle of malt vinegar that was bought last time.
After lunch, we drove on and made one last stop in the small town of Wells. We visited a church that my parents had seen twenty years ago. Wells Cathedral is stunning. While its ornate facade is impressive enough, the interior is even more so. Its ceiling is reminiscent of that of the Westminster Abbey. It practically looks brand new, apart from the style, of course. The second oldest clock in the world is here, still chiming every half hour. An imposing pipe organ rests at the front of the church, gleaming gold and silver. There are a few chapels and a number of stone coffins with carvings of their inhabitants on top. One of these was absolutely covered in carved graffiti. The writing was so dense in almost looked artistic. Still, it stood out in such a polished environment.
Just before we continued on to Cardiff, we took a peek down England's oldest residential street, Vicars' Close. It was built in the 1300s, constructed from cobblestones and lined with delightfully old-fashioned houses. You can actually rent number 14, though the others are all currently occupied. Walking down the street was a little like stepping back in time. Though the residents of Vicars' Close certainly live somewhere beautiful and unique, I don't envy the amount of tourists they must have to put up with in the summer months.
Finally, we arrived in Cardiff, the capital of Wales. The apartment didn't seem bad at first. It was sizable enough, and seemed reasonably comfortable. However, as we started to move in, we discovered a more unpleasant aspect of the place. Grime seemed to be everywhere. We ended up washing all of the dishes, and Abby and I decided against using any of the extra bedding in the closets. The fan in the bathroom had something growing on it, and many linty dust bunnies had made their homes all over the carpets. But we'll cope. At the very least, we're doubly motivated to get out of the house during our two days here.