We really enjoy open air museums. This one is the Museum of Welsh Life located in Cardiff, Wales. Here we see guinea hens on the left and a huge pottery kiln on the right.
Not only do we get to see how houses looked in the past, but...
we also get to see how their inhabitants might have lived.
I love half timbered houses!
I call this "Woodhenge"! :-)
The countryside around Bristol is quite interesting. We took a driving tour of Cheddar Gorge. We would have done a little hiking, but the weather did not cooperate.
In our previous reports there were a lot of castles. In this one, it's cathedrals! Here is the Wells Cathedral, reputedly one of the nicest in the U.K. (Notice that "winter" has arrived!)
One of the neat things about this cathedral are it's internal arches. They look quite modern in styling but date to the middle ages! Andrew Kitchen says: "The reason for those unusual arches in Wells Cathedral is a very practical one. The central tower began to subside (a common problem in those days, they didn't have surefire methods for estimating how massively to build the foundations for these immense structures). So, the crisscross elements were inserted to reinforce the supporting pillars. Another cathedral that shows evidence of these problems is Ely Cathedral. Built in the fens north of Cambridge, where there is very little solid foundation, its tower collapsed. Instead of trying to rebuild the massive tower, they built a lighter crown-like structure filled out with flying buttresses. It is quite unusual looking and is called the 'Lantern'." (Thanks, Andrew!)
After touring the cathedral, I took a little tour of the town with Paddington Walt. :-)
These houses were constructed to house the choir. Seems like a nice touch until you realize that it was done to keep them from town. The building shown at the right housed their dining rooms and provided a bridge to the cathedral (again to keep them in rein!).
Here is the Bishop's Castle inside a moat and other fortifications.
You can see here, how close it is to the cathedral itself. It's difficult to see here, but the "gun ports" are cross shaped.
We both left Bristol for the week of November 10 - 17. Walt went to Texas to attend Stacy's wedding. Here are the bride and groom with pastor, Billy Smith, and at the reception head table. Happy marriage, Stacy and Charles!
Stacy announced her wedding plans just after I had made two trips to the U.S. within three weeks. At that point I could not face another bout of jet lag. Later, I decided to use the time to travel to the Netherlands instead to take some of our stuff there before we move back in TWO weeks! Hopefully our car will not be quite so full as it was coming to the U.K. and to Bristol, in particular. I spent a couple of days in Eindhoven and the rest of the week in Amsterdam where I visited the Van Gogh Museum ( another) and the Willet-Holthuysen Museum. I stayed with our friend Natalia. It was fun and I got to do a little shopping as well. (There seems to be only one store in the Netherlands that carries Beanies, Bijenkof.)
We've been very fortunate to have several friends living in the U.K. and several of them in Bristol. Rhona and Alan Chalmers have been especially kind to keep us entertained. This past weekend we made two day trips into Wales. The first was to Red Brook in the Wye Valley for a pub lunch and a short hike.
We hiked across a foot bridge to the Boat Inn, where we would have lunch.
The Inn and the company provided a congenial atmosphere.
Lunch and drinks were enjoyed by all! (That's Maya, folks!)
After lunch, we did a short, steep hike and then drove by Tintern Abbey ( another) and Chepstow Castle ( another and another); we'd planned to visit them but ran out of daylight/open hours.
On Sunday we went back to Wales to Caerleon (another) which is not too far from Cardiff and visited the Roman ruins there. On the left, we see the amphitheater and on the right some of the remains of the walls that surrounded the barracks. The map of the city is on display with an overlay of the area previously covered by the fort. It's size is truly impressive! There are also ruins of a bath house that are nicely displayed as well as a museum.
It was especially interesting to see this partially excavated amphitheater after having seen just the depression of the one near Richborough fort.
Another good lunch was enjoyed by all!
After lunch we visited Castle Coch ( another). It's a bit bigger than Blaise Castle, but was also not used as a "real castle". The interior decorations are spectacular, truly a fairy tale setting.
Our final weeks here will be busy. Besides our work, we are celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend with the Bristol crew and another visiting American. Our final weekend will be spent with friends from Bournemouth touring Bath and then visiting other friends in their new home. They will have just moved from Portsmouth to Wickham.
We leave for Eindhoven on December 9 to spend Christmas and New Years there. We'll be stopping over night in Canterbury on our way to the Chunnel. We can't believe our time here is almost over! The time has really flown by!
We wish everyone a happy holiday season and a wonderful new year....just in case, I don't get to another one before then!
Nan Schaller's and Walt Bankes' Sabbatical Page