DAY 12:  Liverpool to LLandrindod Wells

We left Liverpool this morning and started our day with several hours in Chester.  Chester has a broad mix of history, including Saxon and Roman.  The city reminded me of York, but more urban.  A lot of restoration has been done in Chester, so many of the major buildings and city walls are in tact.  We walked through several old streets, but the majority of the city is modern.  I had a bit of a headache this morning, so Douglas traversed the wall while I puttered around in town.  The Chester Cathedral is a magnificent building with an active church community.  The site has contained some type of church since the 900s.  Inside, the Cathedral contained the best stained glass, woodwork, mosaics, and tile we've seen.

We continued winding through the roads of Wales, past Horseshoe Pass and then on to Llangollen for lunch.  Llangollen is another small village that at one time must have been a quiet and quaint town.  Over the years, it has evolved into a tourist stop.  Douglas and I struck out towards the outside of town and found a small restaurant to have a good lunch.  Douglas had Shepard's Pie, while I had the fairly common meal of egg, peas, and chips

The streets of Chester.

The afternoon took us on a long sleepy drive through Wales.  Douglas and I joined in, and catnapped along the way!  Every once in a while, we would open our peepers and catch a glimpse of the Wales countryside.  The route we traveled was mostly farmland and open valleys. 

Douglas in Chester.

We approached the little market town of Ludlow in the mid-afternoon.  Ludlow was an old small town with narrow streets and buildings.  We snaked our way through the narrow streets and came out at the other end of town.  A small castle appeared at the end of the drive.  The Ludlow Castle wasn't particularly impressive, but there was a newly opened Tudor house next door.  This house was very well restored.  As we walked in, an old style coal fire burned in the fire place.  The woodwork, panels, ceilings and floors were in excellent condition.  While talking with the owners, we found out that they may lose the house despite all the time and money they have put into it.  The town was pleasant, full of markets and retail.  It had quite a bit of old stone work and houses with exterior woodwork.

After Ludlow we made tracks for our hotel for the evening in Llandrindod Wells.  We arrived shortly before dinner time.  When Douglas and I arrived for dinner, we saw it was another multi-course dinner.  These are good, but they take a LOT of time.  We quickly devised "Plan B".

Douglas and I excused ourselves from the dinner and headed down to the pool (it was going to close in an hour and the dinner would have run past).  After a brief dip in the pool, we jumped in the Jacuzzi.  Then we went into the wet sauna, and finally the dry sauna.  I was as limp as a noodle!

Afterwards, we got dressed and headed into the small town.  It's a great little village with a real home town atmosphere.  We stopped at a nearby fish and chips for sandwiches, and then headed for a local fair.  We terrorized each other on bumper cars (you can just imagine!) and then headed off for a nearby lake. 

At the lake we fed bread to the swans.  At one point, we had close to a dozen swans at our feet!  We got a couple of good photos of our Doctor Doolittle excursion!  Finally, we headed for the hotel where we sat outside and watched the world go by.  Fortunately, it didn't go too far....  Tomorrow we're off for Bristol. 

And it all started with just ONE...

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