Wales; Cider, Castles and Sharp Cheddar Cheeses

Wales is a magical place. A land of castles cider and cheese; sounds pretty damn special to me! Such a magical place has to be a journey to get to, right? No, we didn’t storm the castle or slay any mythical dragons in our journey to Wales but the English country side had a little bit of adventure ready for us in our three hour road trip to Wales.

We left Cambridge early in the morning and the clouds were building in the rolling hills of the English countryside as we hit the motorway and drove to the east and towards our destination… some town I could not pronounce. By the time we were nearing the cutoff for famous Birmingham the sky was black ahead of us. In mere moments rain was thundering down on us and the winds were whipping my friends little compact car. I have never to this day been in a thunderstorm so intense. My friend was white knuckled to keep the car on the motorway as we slowly fought our way towards Wales.. and cider. We could use a cider right about now! The thunder was loud and the winds were trying to whip the little car all over the motorway! It was probably only a fifteen minute freak thunderstorm but it felt like an hour, and I have never seen a sky so dark black ever! We inched along with the rest of the traffic through the country side and finally the rain let up to just light pellets on the wind shield.

We looked at our tent and camping supplies in the back and pondered, with all this moisture our camp site was going to be soaked! We were going to be camping in a swamp, not to mention, the tent was borrowed and we would get it super muddy before returning it to our friends…. It would be such a pain to get the tent clean after our one night camp…. So we came to the conclusion that we would just camp in my friends little compact Honda. We would just lay the seats back and sleep in the car. It wouldn’t be that bad, right?Wales These are the thoughts we would have before my feet fell asleep for eight hours. Seriously, never camp in a compact car. I’ve had some nights of bad sleep in my life, this was one of the worst of them! Before we fell asleep ( or tried to anyways) in a Honda Accord we had to fall in love with a magical country called Wales.

The drive to Wales was easy after we left the thunderstorm behind us in England. We knew we were in the gorgeous country of Wales when all the street signs and billboards became impossible to read. (They all had way to many extra y’s and w’s thrown in just for the hell of it) My first impression of Wales? The color green. I have never been some where so green and lush ever in my life.

Our first stop in Monmouth was Waitrose Grocer. We stocked up on tasty aged cheddars, hard Walescider and yogurts and scones for breakfast. While in the little village area still we went into a tea shop and had tea, scones and jacket potatoes for lunch. Jacket potatoes are something you would never find in the United States. It’s a Welsh dish, kind of like a baked potato with baked beans on top. It’s delicious on a rainy day. After walking around the little village we hit the road back towards the camp site, cider and cheese in town. We had an early night (Of car sleeping, yea!) Before our voyage the next day to check out castles and long-lost Tinturn Abby on the River Wye.