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Marathon Man: Trains, Planes and Automobiles .…Travelling in the UK

Wishing everyone all the best 2024, and whatever adventures come your way.
Enjoying holiday travel in England and Wales.

Sue and I have talked about spending Christmas and the New Year in the UK for a while and this year we did it. We wanted to miss the crazy holiday travel rush so we left on December 12. The Air Canada flight from Calgary to Heathrow started off well, no line-ups at security, and we were in our seats at departure time ready to go. However, all goods things must end and due to some maintenance required on a cargo door we were two hours late departing.

Nine hours, and three movies later, we were on the ground at Heathrow. It was then a dash to pick up our checked baggage (not lost), through Terminal 2 to the Central Bus Station and on to the number 504 coach. Another four hour trip and we were in Cardiff, Wales being met by our son, Calum.

The first week we enjoyed visits to several beaches on the South Wales Coast, including Ogmore and Rest Bay. The weather was overcast and blustery but surfers were having a great time riding the waves. I also got out to do some walking along the Taff River into Cardiff.

The highlight of the first week was a visit to St. Fagan’s National Museum of History. Within its grounds, are a number of historic buildings relocated from across Wales, including a farm, a tannery, mills, a pub and a chapel. On the day we visited we watched a play involving a group of wandering players. The event poster stated “Come along to witness two of the most well-known Welsh customs during the Christmas season, The Mari Lwyd and Hunting of the Wren, performed by Cwmni Dawns Werin Caerdydd. These unusual ancient Welsh winter traditions include singing, dancing, and a horse’s skull! Very interesting.

After a week with Calum it was time to jump on a train, travel to Petersfield in Hampshire, England and visit Sue’s sister Lynne and husband Dean. While Sue was catching up with her sister, Dean and I would go on epic walks over glen and dale enjoying the beautiful English country side. The weather remained cool, cloudy but dry so we could tackle some of the more remote footpaths. Not only is Dean a great hiker but he is also a connoisseur of craft ale. At the end of each trek we would stop for some light refreshment at one of the local buildings of historical interest including: The Harrow Inn, The Queens Head, The Seven Stars, The Cricketers Inn, The Town House and The George Inn.

Next stop for Sue and I is New Year's with family and friends in Dorset and Devon.

Wishing everyone all the best 2024, and whatever adventures come your way.

© 2024 Martin Parnell

[email protected] 


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