Back to Wales
10 April 2019
Halfway down the road towards Hereford we realised we had left Jack's two dishes behind, the collapsible ones for food and water. So we had to find a branch of Pets at Home in Hereford before doing much else. Nevertheless we parked in an NCP in the middle of Hereford and headed for the cathedral, where we quickly found our wy to the exhibition of the Mappa Mundi, the oldest extant map of the world from medieval times, drawn and written on vellum, with Europe in the bottom left, Africa at the bottom right, Asia in the top half, and Jerusalem as the centre of the known world.
I had look at it, and a handy facsimile beside it with the latin trnslated into English, to discover Scotlnd as a little island on its own, with the following places listed: Edinburgh, Aberdeen, St Andrews, Roxburgh, and The Grampians. That was it! So I asked where Glasgow was, as it didn't appear, and it was all down to when the cathedral was completed and consecrated, so the guide thought. Just missed the cut, I think!
The map is an amazing glimpse into the mindset of people at the time! Well worth a visit.
As it was lunchtime we headed for a small Italian restaurant near the cathedral, and had a very pleasant lunch, returning to the van with only three minutes of our two hours left. A result!
We found the pet store and purchased the replacement items, and promptly took the wrong road out of town for Abergavenny. A detour ensued, of some miles along a single track road with passing places, in order to get back on to the right road.
Our trusty satnav, Jim, redeemed himself by finding Les and David's house on the edge of town, in a new housing development, with a lovely view over open country. We settled in after warm greetings all round, and spent a chatty afternoon and early evening catching up with each other, and sorting out the ills of the world over gin and tonic.
The boys took us out to a lovely restaurant for dinner, and we rounded off a very full day with some sundowners when we got back!
Late up on Wednesday morning, leisurely breakfast, then a trip in the car to Blaenavon, to visit an old ironworks museum, a pithead museum, and have lunch in the cafe at a heritage centre. The ironworks was a world heritage site, complete with steam hammer, water lift and old furnaces. The history of iron ore mining and smelting here was clearly explained, and we were amazed to learn that Wales was the first country where more people worked in industry than in agriculture.
A brief visit to the Rhymney brewery followed, with some beer tasting, t shirt buying and beer barrel purchasing, then back to the house for a welcome zizz.