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[personal profile] manyra
March 18th was the insane day. We had thought to make our way to Pembroke for the ferry to Rosslaire via Monmouth somehow. After a lovely breaky at the Badminton Villa, we did some research into bus schedules and quickly realized the timing was off. So we simply hopped the train to Cardiff.

I loved Cardiff. From the Train station we took the free bus they offer that travels a (very speedy) circle route around the city core. Our goal was the Cardiff Castle,  which was incredible. Tim has very specific interests so wasn't really concerned with the late period house but love the how all the influences from previous eras come together. However, I was very disappointed to learn that another of my heros, Capability Brown, in his attempts to romanticize the grounds, nearly cleared away all of the Medieval works. He was an amazing landscaper who apparently had no interest in history - perhaps as was the fashion of the times.

At the gift shop, I bought a book on the castle and was later shocked to find it was written in Welsh although the cover was in English. Luckily, we were close enough to for me to run back and exchange it, and the clerk was very happy to find out about the binding mistake. Ahh, nice to see publishers all around the world experience the same problems.

Then it was food time. We found the Goat Major with a very cute bartender, more cask ales and the bestest pies. I'm inspired to try my hand at making their leek, chicken & potato pie.  After a bit more shopping where I bought coasters & a T-Shirt that says "thirsty Welsh Girls" we caught the crazy free bus and zipped back to the train station.

We decided to take the ferry to Rosslare from Pembroke Dock at 2:45am. We could have caught the Swansea ferry at a decent time but it was much longer and I kinda hoped that we'd see some of Pembroke especially the castle. Unfortunately, we caught the second last train from Cardiff and arrived in Pembroke about 10pm with about an hour or so for dinner until the last train could take us to Pembroke dock.  So we hit the first pub from the train platform. Not the best tourist spot but really, it was our only option - The East Side Tavern.

Tim still describes the scary hair raising feeling he got when we walked in, like disney tourists walking into a biker bar. He was pretty sure we were gonna get pommeled. But I was quickly at ease when a bunch of guys started razing Tim about his Indiana Jones look - he had the hat and the bag, where was his whip? They then gave us suggestions for dinner (which was delish!) and this boxer came over to chat about his bouts in Montreal. If there was going to be a fight, it was good to have the boxer on our side. I even got to flirting with a few of the boys while ordering the Worthingtons. Tim says he finally relaxed when he heard my laugh from across the room.

We then headed back to the train platform at 11:30 where we met up with a gentleman waiting for the last train going in the other direction, which I think he may have missed. Not really worried though, we got to chatting about sports & his childhood while sharing sips of his flask of brandy. He would start a topic with "I've had the very good fortune" and then spin us a yarn of playing with the national ruby league or going to school in Africa. I think I'll keep that little saying and make it my own.

But alas our train came, we left the man, not knowing if he'd ever reach his destination. In a short time we were in Pembroke dock,. starting the long walk to the Ferry dock. It was late, it was dark and we were tired. A few people who drove past stopped to make sure we were going the right way (so sweet) and someone walking his four dogs let me have a visit with them as I was having serious puppy withdrawl by this point. Made to the ferry station with a few hours to wait. So we slept and read until 2:30am!! when we boarded the Isle of Inishmore
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