About Me

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Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

N is for NEWPORT


N is for Newport - Wales, that is.  The one place my DL wanted to visit was Newport as his grandfather was born there.  He has the whole clan listed in his grandfather's Bible and Grandpa Herbert was born in the late 1800s but immigrated to Canada when he was in his twenties.  Since my paternal grandmother was also born in Wales, both of us think of ourselves as part Welsh.  Before we went together, I visited my friend Jane with my travel partner Cathy and stayed for 3 nights.  I'd stayed with Jane 6 years ago when she kindly showed me around Newport and Cardiff, but this was Cathy's first time in Wales.

We caught the train in Salisbury around 10:30 am and arrived at 12:30 - not a long trip at all.  Jane and her friend Neil, along with Freyja - Jane's new dog - met us at the station and after dropping our bags, we went out to Duckpool Farm where another of Jane's friends lives.  It's a beautiful location with lots of property and a paddock, just right for someone who owns a horse.  That evening, Neil took us all our for a lovely dinner at a traditional Welsh pub called "Cripple Creek." (photo at left)

After a breakfast of cereal and yogurt, and visiting Jane's new horse, we three girls headed out for a day touring the area around Newport.  First stop was Abergavveny for gas and then we drove to a town called Crickhowell.  We strolled through the narrow streets and arrived at the local church where I took a few photos of the beautiful rolling hills beyond the cemetery.  The locals were obviously still celebrating the Queen's Jubilee as there were flags and pennants everywhere. Next stop was Hay-on-Wye, which is world renowed for books and bookstores. We stopped at The Granary for lunch where Cathy & I tried "bubble and squeak."  Fully fortified, we walked down to the River Wye and strolled along its banks.

Next stop was the Skirrid Inn, famous for being the oldest public house in Wales. The first record of its existence was in 1110!  From earliest times, courts were held on the first floor, complete with a Judge's retiring room.  People believe that the Master-Hangman, Bloody Judge Jeffreys (1644-1689) sat in judgement at the Skirrid and many men met their end hanging from a beam.  The scorch and drag marks of the rope can still be seen to this day.  The owner, Geoff Fiddler, was there upon our arrival and when I told him I have Welsh blood, he offered to allow us upstairs to view the rooms where people can stay.  As we cautiously crept up the stairs - past the rope - we suddenly heard a blood-curdling scream, followed by our own screams and the sound of 3 hearts pounding in fright.  But it was just Geoff trying to scare the bejeezus out of us.  Well, mission accomplished.  And then we all howled with laughter! There were 3 rooms and one actually felt like there was a ghost in there! We all felt a chill go up our backs when we went in. If you'd like to read a bit more about the haunted areas of Wales, just click here.

Our final stop of the day was at Llanthony Abbey where I took lots of photos of the ruins.  It was an Augustinian Abbey and is found in a secluded valley in the Black Mountains, dating back to 1100 when a Norman nobleman, Walter deLancy, came upon a ruined chapel and decided to stay and dedicate himself to solitary prayer and study.

Newport has had a great history since medieval times and then it became the focus of coal exports in the 19th century. Now it is famous for its transporter bridge, of which there are only 8 in the entire world.  It was built in 1906, and it was fascinating to see it span the River Usk and learn how it functions.  The river banks are very low so near to the city center so an ordinary bridge, which would need very long approach ramps, wouldn't be able to allow ships to pass underneath it. Also, a ferry wouldn't be able to cross during low tides.  To read more about the bridge, just click here.
 Our third day in Wales was spent in Swansea and Rhossili, which I'll tell you about in a later post.   Naturally, I must thank Mrs. Nesbitt for creating ABC Wednesday many years ago and keeping it going now with her numerous assistants. I hope you enjoy this short slideshow I made up using my own photos.  The music is "Angel of Monmouth" which I thought suitable since Newport is in Monmouthsire. My most noteworthy memory of Wales is that, even under grey skies, it is so colourful, especially the deep greens!  See for yourself.
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

26 comments:

nancygrayce said...

Wow! What a beautiful place and how great tot get to visit.

Roger Owen Green said...

Ha, you fooled me. I thought you meant in Rhode Island! Yours is nice, too!

Powell River Books said...

That's an amazing bridge. I've never heard of anything like it. - Margy

Reader Wil said...

You 've done me a great pleasure by showing the wellknown places in Wales. We camped there three times not far from Llandrindod Wells. We enjoyed every minute of it!!
Thank you! And thanks also for your visit and comment. If you come to Holland come to my place . I live close to the windmills of Kinderdijk. It's a twenty minutes walk from my house, but we have to take the ferry to cross the river. In March 2011 I met Kaye Davies , a country woman of yours near the mills. And.there are still some people wearing clogs. There used to be a factory for wooden shoes near my village. So Leslie you can stay here if you want, for I have had a lot of nationalities staying here. It's always great fun!

Carver said...

When I saw Newport I was thinking of Newport News, VA. Good post and sounds like a fun visit.

Meryl said...

Sweet visit! I particularly enjoyed the Skirrid Inn. Sounds absolutely fascinating.

ewok1993 said...

what a beautiful story. i like listening, reading to stories like this.

photowannabe said...

I do believe that Wales was created for photographers.
What an amazing lush place.
Loved your video.
Leslie, I really liked the color treatment on a lot of the photos. Terrific enhancement.

EG CameraGirl said...

The ruins are so magical. We just don't have any fallen-down castles here in Ontario!

Hildred and Charles said...

I look forward to your Smilebox creations, Leslie, - this was lovely - gorgeous photos - and I was fascinated by the Transport Bridge, never in all my years having heard of such a thing!!!!

Joy said...

I enjoyed your trip around Wales. Brought back a lot of memories and of buying too many books in Hay on Wye:-) The Black Mountains are one of my favourite areas. I have a Welsh surname but my Grandfather was an orphan so the trail ends there.

VioletSky said...

I loved my two visits to Wales and need to go back. The haunted bits sound interesting and that bridge looks definitely worth seeing. I will pass on the bubble and squeak, however.

Island Rambles Blog said...

great write up and photos also, really enjoyed learning more about Wales. Thanks so much for your kind comments on my blog, you always add such nice comments. cheers.

Paula Scott said...

I wonder why it is that I always have an unexplainable desire to travel when I stoop by your blog!? : )
We'll just settle for vicarious thrills.

Chubskulit Rose said...

Newport is beautiful!

Nuggets of Wisdom
Rose, ABC Wednesday

uberrhund said...

Lovely trip,thank you for sharing with us!

Carola said...

Wonderful slide show! That is living history. Great that you had a fantastic time!

Lisa said...

Looks like a wonderful mix of charming old world and progressive advances! Come to think of it, I think there may be a bit of Welsh in my family tree!

Lmkazmierczak said...

Great trip and documentation of it♫♪

ChrisJ said...

Loved your video. Your photos are fantastic. I love Wales too.

Lisa said...

What a great tour!!! You have made it all sound so wonderful. Love your photos

Wanda said...

Wonderful Leslie...as a result of your wonderful slice shows, I have incorporated "Smile Box" in my computer.

Thanks!

Cheri said...

Beautiful place! And great music to go with the pics.

Ann said...

Isn't it nice for DL togo back to his roots. My husband is opposite when I want to do the same.

Sextant said...

I love the Newport Transporter Bridge. Sort of an aerial ferry. Cool

Black Jack's Carol said...

I loved the slideshow and the music. Nice to see Freyja and the other animals. And, you were right.. so many vibrant shades of green.. just magnificent.