The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Wednesday 9 September 2009

Dora's 1st Outing

It has been something of a cultural week thus far.

On Sunday we spent an uncommonly long time perusing Carlisle castle (often in the rain).

Had all gone to plan both this and Monday's itinerary would have been with Ma-in-Law, in consideration for whose interests we chose the location for our long weekend. Alas, she was taken poorly at the last minute, so it became a holiday for two - but we stuck with the planned touristy activities nevertheless.

Monday was fortuitously dry (mainly) and before opening time we were at Vindolanda waiting for another dose of culture.
Once again we proved that we have the ability to spend longer than most examining things historical - so much so that we were running out of time to visit the Roman Army Museum and having bought a joint ticket we felt obliged to go there.

The Roman Army Museum I found disappointing (if you're in the area my recommendation would be to just spend a long time at Vindolanda; preferably on a nice day as it's an outdoor attraction).

Tuesday the weather in the North West was dreadful, but that wasn't a problem as we simply spent the morning window shopping in Keswick. Any thought of walking anywhere was soon discounted, given the wind-driven lashings of rain, and so in the early afternoon it was to home that we headed

Our sojourn there was short. This morning we were on the road again, this time to Wrexham where we enjoyed a tour of Erddig house and gardens. Unlike any other visitors, we had a personal tour guide and also got to see some areas that are closed to the public. An excellent excursion to a worth-visiting National Trust property.

From Wrexham we were on the road again, this time to Barmouth.

Why in the world people come on holiday here I do not know. How the eating establishments here survive is a further mystery given the general poor quality, often hideous-datedness and dearth of customers outside of August (there is only one decent place in town and that was booked out). But we are only here for one night and with particular business to attend to. By 10am we will be on our way again.

For the first time in my history with Barmouth (I lived here for a while and thanks to a (now ex-) family property have always had a bed available to me) we are camping. The campsite isn't too shoddy and we do have sea views, albeit at the expense of a level pitch.

And purely because she hadn't enjoyed an outing in the 10 months that we've had her, Dora (our Aztec Dura) is having her first trial. She's overkill for the conditions and we thought we would never be done pegging out all of those guys, but she's very spacious and I'm sure that if we were caught by a freak storm she would cope admirably.

Tomorrow's agenda (after a trip up a hillside with a bunch of beheaded flowers) is to visit either Chirk Castle or Powis Castle. Chirk will likely win purely for the reasons that we camped within sight of it on our Big Walk last year and met a chap at the Oykel Bridge Hotel who knew it well. What better reasons for a visit could one have?
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