Wales quickly won us over with its lush green countryside, fairy-tale villages, historic castles, medieval churches and coastal scenery. It was hauntingly beautiful in the misty fog and gray skies but when the sun broke and illuminated the shades of green it was strikingly vibrant.
The day after arriving in London, Gatwick from Venice, Italy we made our way to our first house-sit for this next leg of our journey. We arrived in Cardiff (the capital of Wales) by train mid morning and made our way by bus to the airport where we then picked up our rental car and made the 2 and half hour drive to our new home in Llanfalltag, Carmarthenshire, Wales. It was an easy drive up the coast passing better known towns like Swansea before arriving at our destination where we were greeted by our new home owners. They made us feel so welcome and we quickly developed a genuine friendship that continued following their return from holidays (see my post on the joys of house-sitting).
Our first trip out was during a storm, a bad weather phenomena called a weather bomb that they nick-named Storm Doris. We thought it might be a cool opportunity to go storm watching on the coast so we headed out to a town on the tip of a peninsula called St. Davids. The storm had caused a lot of damage in some areas but by the time we got there it had totally settled down. We drove into town and headed to the information center where we parked and informed ourselves on the area, I would recommend starting here on any visit to St Davids and a good spot to park for exploring the town.
We decided to head down to the beach to watch the surf and had enjoyed the scenery on our way down to the waterfront. We eventually arrived at an area surrounded by farmland on one side and the sea on the other, a cliffside landscape that ran as far as the eye could see. We hiked down to the waters edge and just sat for hours mesmerized by the crashing waves and hypnotic sounds of the surf. Before we knew it was getting late and time to return home.
The weather had improved the next day and we returned for a second time to explore the town of St. Davids and its famous cathedral which makes the village the official smallest city in the UK. The present-day cathedral had begun construction in 1181 and was completed shortly after maintaining this as a place of significant importance. If you are interested in the history- Google it and read its Wikipedia, the history is quite fascinating. Then in the afternoon we headed out to Whitesands Beach, had a cappuccino at the beachside café sitting outside and watching the seabirds play in the winds and people wandering the beach.
Another great side trip is to the town of Narberth which we frequented often as it was only about 15 minutes from our home base. A cute town with numerous gift shops, clothes stores, antique shops to explore, many restaurants and cafes. One of our favorites was the cheese, food shop and restaurant of Ultracomida known countywide for its excellent menu of Spanish tapas. There are also remains of a castle near the town center, a museum and an old church to explore.