Saturday, August 17, 2013

Bevington, Bath and Bristol (and Abervegeny)

Our next stop was with friends Paul and Josie in the hamlet of Bevington (or what is left of the hamlet of Bevington) not too far from Bristol. Here we had a great five days catching up with Paul and Josie and seeing the sights in their part ofthe world. We had a day trip to Bath which was excellent - apart from being historically significant it is a beautiful city. We toured the Roman baths, saw the elegant Royal Crescent and had a very nice lunch.

Judith and I toured the countryside one day and saw, among other things, the lovely township of Cirencester. There was an old historical army barracks there which was advertised for rent. "Up to 9,800 square feet with rear parking and suitable for a variety of uses". (WTF!! ?!)


Another day we took a trip into Wales and saw Chepstow castle, Tintern Abbey and Abervegeny. Many parts of Chepstow castle are preserved enough so that one can get an excellent idea of the evolution of the castle and life within it over the centuries. And it is easy to see why Tintern Abbey inspired the Victorians to visit it and write poetry. And Abervegeny is just a lovely Welsh village. We googled the lyrics to the song but let's just say they do the town a disservice.


Paul and Josie took us into Bristol one afternoon to look around and to see the Bristol Hot Air Ballon Festival. We got a good vantage point in the park on the hill and waited... And waited... We walked down the hill to go and have dinner (which we had booked) and they started to float over the late afternoon sky - it's called Murphy's Law. So we saw many of the balloons and then had a very good dinner at an Indian Restaurant.

Bristol is currently also having a fund-raising event for their local Children's Hospital. The creator of Wallace and Gromit is a native of Bristol, and for this fundraiser they have created over 80 metre and-a-half Gromits and given them to well-known British artists to decorate/paint. They have then placed them in various parts of the city for the public to enjoy. At the end of the event they are going to auction them off for the Children's hospital. An absolutely inspired idea!! The one directly below is titled "Being Gromit Malkovich".

Gromits have popped up all over Bristol. We saw about five or six but only photographed two because we were a bit slow on the uptake.


For our last day in this part of the world Judith and I went back into Bristol and saw the SS Great Britain which was designed by a man named Brunel and made in Bristol. This is the first ship to be made out of iron and to have a screw propellor. Like many man-made things it had a chequered history which included taking out emigrants to Australia and being scuttled and left under water for 30 years. It has been salvaged and preserved and is a fascinating museum and piece of history in its own right.


Overall, we had a fantastic time with Paul and Josie, not only because there were such interesting things to see in this part of the world, but because every evening we would catch up over a glass of wine and some excellent food. I will finish this blog with a photo of one of the sunsets over the Severn estuary.


Next part of the tour ... Stratford Upon Avon! Apparently some playwright was born there - yeah, right!


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