Wales is a beauteous place filled with country-side landscapes, plains that go on for miles and old towns run by the jolly Welsh natives. On my weekend excursion to Wales I visited various places taking in the historical beauty of the landmarks and ancient buildings. There is not much excitement when it comes to the country of Wales and if you are someone who enjoys the fast paced style of city life, it is not the place for you. The Welsh are calm, tranquil people who take joy in living off the land and being home with the family by 6pm every day. On my trip I visited several places including the Chepstow Castle which is located on top of cliffs overlooking the River Wye & is the oldest surviving post-Roman stone fortification in Britain dating back to 1067! it is massive and ancient with walls of warn down stone an moss covering many of the walls. The views from the windows of the castle are certainly a sight to see. Right on the ground on the castle you can actually have one foot in Wales and the other in England, quite the experience.
After the Chepstow castle, I went on to visit a couple of other historic places in Wales. The Tintern Abbey was founded by Walter de Clare, Lord of Chepstow on May 9th 1131! The ruins are incredible and you could sit and gaze in awe for hours at the architecture. The Tintern is situated next to a vast hillside of greenery; when it is warmer out many visitors will walk around the grounds of the ruins and up through the trails in the trees. The Tintern also looks over the River Wye, which runs past the town of Wales, Hay-On-Wye. Now, when you think of one of the major locations of a country you may think of London or Paris but no, Hay-On-Wye is a quaint town filled with ma and pa shops and over 38 bookshops, and for that reason possesses the title of “The Town of Books”. All the shops in the town close at 5pm and the locals seem to go about their daily rote without a care in the world. It is very peaceful to see such a different way of life. Next to the hotel that my travel group and I stayed was a a small dance hall that we later found out was the only night club or any of the sort in all of Wales. We happened to meet a few young Welsh men aged 19 – 21 who informed is that the dance hall was “the place to be” and “the only thing to do in Wales”. They actually hire party buses to take them there on the weekends, which I found quite surprising. One boy who was 21 years old said he moved from hours away to work in Hay-On-Wye, I could not believe the difference in culture and lifestyle, it was very interesting to hear their opinions on their native land. Most of them said they wanted to leave and go afar for school and probably not come back but that may just be the angst of youth talking.
On the last day of my excursion, I was allowed the opportunity to go pony trekking on the mountain side past the grassy plains and cliff sides of Wales. I have to admit that I was absolutely terrified. Ponies and horses and not my cup of tea and I had never rode one before but it was an experience and i am so glad I was able to do it. All the ponies had different names like Oscar, Ralph, Blaze, Tammy etc. My little brown one was named lady, but she did get a little impatient at our trekking pace and 2-foot kicked the pony in back of me. While we trotted around I was able to take in the overwhelming beauty of the nature around me.