Confessions of a drinker student abroad

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Tenby and Caldey Island

Righto, presentation rocked, projects handed in, free time before exams, let's write some stories. Returning to the beginning of our adventures, herein will be set forth an account of our trip to Southwest Wales, specifically the seaside town of Tenby. Early morning train journeys, winding along the southern fields, ending up in Swansea (*spits). I had to take an extra shower that night just to wash off the stink. And yes dear reader, I flipped on the Jack Bastard's stadium, and all the houses with the dirty black and white flags of those low down scoundrels. Might as well have been the White hand of Saruman on the black fields of Mordor. I've been told that "Swansea isn't that bad, it's got a nice beach and the people are nice." I guess for the car theft capital of Europe it's got to have some positive least it was until the Jack's realized that being on the Dole meant they could lay at home and not even have to steal cars to raise the legions of illegitimate children sired in that cesspool by the sea. On the other hand they do have the Gower, which I hear is quite nice.

All I know is that at Gowerton station and American clan on holiday boarded, led by the proudly international but still sporting her metallic New Jersey accent wife of a local (well, not really local, he's an Englishman). She talked incessantly about life in the UK, giving worse than tourist grade information to a gaggle of her relatives. The children squabbling over who gets the window seat, the mothers pointing at the castle ruins. My favorite was the Jersey broad's lecture on what an estuary is, granted, she did know it involved water, but that was about as close as she came.

Eventually we arrived in Tenby, David and I made a beeline for the docks to catch a boat out to Caldey, an island just off the coast that had a Monastery on it. Out on the island we did a bit of the tourist shtick ourselves, walking all around it, visiting the old chapel, the cliffs on the outer shore, the fudge store (yeah, Monks make good sweets) and finally dragging our weary selves back to the dock for a boat back to Tenby.

Back in town we had some time to kill before the train back to the promised land of Cardiff, so we hit up a pub for some food and a pint after a long day of walking in the sun. We grabbed a window seat so's we could watch the street and the people while we relaxed in the cool interior of the pub. In both directions as far as one could see, about a block and a half, the houses were all painted bright shades of blue and green and pink, glowing in the evening sun. Along the street walked one of the most singular parties I believe I've ever seen. A lad walking with his girlfriend hand in hand along the cobblestone. Attached to the girlfriends other hand was a younger child of around 10-12, a little brother. You're thinking, aww, she brought her little brother on their date. But the boyfriend was also escorting a younger sibling, a sister who appeared to be around 15, and was wheelchair bound. Had either member of this couple been American, or at least the American you're likely to find in a seaside town, I can't imagine them bringing younger siblings, much less one that requires constant assistance getting around, but this was one of the most happy troupes we had seen all day, nothing but smiles and affection. From the comfort of my leather couch and cold pint, I remember thinking, these two are gonna make it. I sure hope they do.

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