Good news! We went to bed an hour earlier last night.

Bad news! We got up an hour earlier to get in a cab from the hotel to the station, to catch the train to Newport, to catch the bus to Raglan. Once in Raglan, we walked and walked, and found the dirt road that led to the castle. And some cows. Say hello to my little friends.

The “incident”of the day, in which we are reminded we sound like hicks, occurred just after this picture. A car pulled up and a woman with a lilting British accent asked if we were locals. Sandy answered, “Unfortunately, not, no.” The woman’s eyes got big and she exclaimed, “Oh, no…no…” as if it had been made abundantly clear with those few words. They drove on. Sandy turned to me and said, “Really?”

“Nails on a chalkboard to them.” I said. “Definitely lacking in sing-songy quality. Although I, for one, adore you.”

Our excitement returned as we approached our destination. Sandy is attached to this particular castle due to her love of the show, Merlin. Apparently they shoot at Raglan on occasion.

Here’s the view upon arrival.

Now, THAT’s a castle. Once inside, we were speaking in hushed tones as we wandered about snapping pictures. The silence was suddenly broken by a little boy with a sense of the dramatic as we heard him call out in his best Gandolf voice, “YOU. SHALL. NOT. PASS!”

Max was his name. We know this because his mother called it repeatedly – perhaps several dozen times, trying to slow him down, or locate him. I believe Max made it up and down the first spiral staircase about four times by the time we’d made it up once.

We were snapping more photos from the top of a tower when we heard him explaining, “If you fell from here, you’d go SPLAT.”

Thank you, Max. I never would have thought of that.

From Raglan, we walked back to the bus to head toward our base camp in Cardiff, but stopped at Caerleon to see the Roman ruins. We visited the museum, the baths, then the amphitheater and barracks.

We actually ate today, which was novel, and had great fun with all our various bus drivers, who were extremely helpful.

Also, we were the youngest people on the bus by at least 30 years, which made us feel quite jaunty.

Tomorrow, Caerphilly and possibly Carmarthen or Abergavenny, again, on our own. Thursday is the official tour day, so all we have to do is make it to the bus and let others worry about getting us where we are supposed to be.

The good thing about going around at this time of year, and without a group, has been the lack of others at the sites. Castle and ruin pictures look so much better without tourists rambling about in them.

Cheers! (See, I’m getting this lingo business down.)

Say goodnight, Max.


Shut up, Max.

5 thoughts on “FROM MAX TO MAXIMUS

  1. Well done for hitting so many of the sites on your list. Caerleon looked to have given you a dry day, hope you enjoyed the sites there (I have a strong Roman bias when it comes to recommending Welsh heritage sites!)

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