Week 3: Our tour of Wales 

This tour is subdivided into several sub trips:
Llandovery and Fishguard
Carew Castle walk in Pembrokeshire.
    Green Bridge of Wales and the Stack Rocks.
    Pembrokeshire beginning with the St. Govan Chapel.
    Stackpole Head.


The map to the left illustrates our curious route. Our route is the one colored magenta. The yellow line is the Wales/England border. We left Hereford on Saturday morning and headed due north in order to see the birthplace of Charles Darwin. who, in my opinion, was the most important of the English scientists. 

His family home was in Shrewsbury and so we decided the this would be a good place from which to launch a tour of Wales. Our second consideration was not to visit any place we've seen before, with a few exceptions which are noted.

Below is the Shrewsbury town center. We had a map showing where Darwin went to school and where he was baptized. 
The building to the left is the Unitarian church where Darwin was baptized. In his early days, he planned to become a cleric, devoting much of his spare time collecting and cataloging  beetles.
We finally drove up to his old house, called The Mount -- now a government building. 

To the right is the ancestral home of the wealthy Darwin family. 



Left, I peered into the darkened interior through the front entrance and took the picture below.

That sign should read "Town Dog", right? We followed the road to the library, seen below. 
To the right is the current public library, but was the school that Darwin attended as a child. His college education was meager --  failing to get a medical degree from the University of Edinburgh and performing modestly as a clerical student at Oxford.
Elaine is reading the plaque on the wall of the driveway into the property. Of course, the building was closed because this is the Saturday of an English bank holiday and all government buildings were closed. But the plaque says it better than I can and it is shown below in a readable size.

Our first stop after Shrewsbury was Welshpool. As you can see, it is just barely into Wales. We were there in time for a walk around town and a pleasant lunch.
Lunch was tasty and pleasant.
Note that the chancel is not central to the nave -- a very unusual arrangement.
This is St. Mary of the Salutation Parish Church in Welshpool.
This is the pipe organ -- the blue cloth covered the keys.

Driving south from Welshpool to Llandovery

The River Wye. The very same river we photographed behind the Hereford Dean's garden.  Below, a telephoto of the picture above.
This is the least populated portion of Wales -- our only company for most of the drive were sheep. Lotza sheep.
Suddenly we came across this huge clutter of parked cars. We had no idea why, so we parked and looked.

No, this isn't a cricket game, but a rugby game -- the Wales national sport.

On to Llandovery  -- our first night in Wales

As we entered Llandovery, and saw at least one B&B with a vacancy, we were confident we would find a room. At the local tourist information station, the bloke told us there were NO ROOMS.  It's the last UK bank holiday in the summer. Back to the B&B with vacancy, were dismayed when the B&B lady said, "Oh, I forgot to take the sign out of the window." But, she was then committed to finding us a place. Four phone calls later, we were booked in the upstairs of the pub below.
But after crossing this bridge, we really started to climb. Those little red berries were just to the right of the tunnel (picture right), are rowen berries. Thanks for the information, Kay. 
Branded sheep all over.
At the top, the view was so impressive, a single picture will not suffice. Please click on Panorama to see a four picture stitch which was done automatically with my Nikon software. Use the scroll bar below to get the whole view, and then return.
We decided to take a "short cut" home. Look back at the map and see that yellow marked road going to the right on those tiny, unmarked "roads". We went through Twynillanan, Llanddeusant,  Myddfai and back to our pub.
We walked to that hotel in the distance to have dinner. In the afternoon while checking their menu,  we took this picture ....   
We told the publican that it was too early (4:30 P.M.) to quit for the day and would he recommend a nice Black Mountain drive. Then we would check in. He suggested the route pictured in the map to the left and highlighted yellow. If we followed the red road (A4069) it would take us to a very nice mountain view. We followed his advice and our pictures are below.
The route pretty well followed the creek to the left.
Expansive views of fields of all colors.
They were largely single track roads, and once when two sheep got between us a car ahead and giant hedgerows, we followed them for miles. The only way to know which way to go was to see road signs directing you to a town. Elaine navigated superbly and we were back to our pub before dusk.
 and I scratched the bumper of our rented Fiat on a stone wall.

Please join us in our first full day in Wales: Llandovery and Fishguard