Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Grouch's take the British Isles by land and by sea! Part 5

 Day two on our cruise found us docking in Milford Haven, Wales.  The seaport was established as a whaling port by Yankee whalers in the mid 1800s.  When whaling died out  the port switched to commercial fishing, then to being a natural gas and crude oil port.  The latest incarnation of the seaport is as a LNG port.

The town itself is small and struggling financially.  The collapse of the commercial fishing devastated the community and while the crude oil port helped some with employment, the opportunities for young folks are just not present in large enough numbers to keep them in town.  An aging resident of Milford Haven told us that when the teens finish local school, they leave and never return.

All of that said, the town is charming and very friendly.  We were received by folk dancers, a man showing his pet owls, and a local bakery gave out free Welsh cakes.  We needed to try 3 or 4 of them to insure that they were all tasty.  They were.

We took a tour of the local museum and received a guided tour by a woman who grew up in town.  She was eloquent and well versed on local history.

Before exploring the town, we boarded a bus that took us to the walled town of Tenby and then on to the ruins of castle Carew.

Our charming tour guide who grew up speaking Welsh as his first language warned us to be back to the bus in one hour when we reached Tenby.   We needed a whole day and maybe more!  The city is surrounded by a wall and within the wall are a myriad of tiny shops and eateries.  With only an hour, we had to hustle to see and get back to the bus.

Our next stop was castle Carew which was built before the Normans arrived from, well Normandy, and conquered the Saxons who previously had moved in and taken over from the Romans. The Normans allowed the castle to remain but 'slotted' it (as our guide called it) or 'demilitarized' it (as I suggested) by cutting large windows into the walls and removing exterior battlements.  After a quick visit, again all too short, we were back on the bus and headed back to Milford Haven for a couple hours of visiting and snacking.

The weather was perfect and the temperature just right.  Our guide said that so many Welsh have red hair because they are rusting from all the rain but we experienced only sunshine.

The green grass and friendly people really tugged at us, and even though we have no Welsh in us, we felt a connection to the country.  Probably the most friendly people we encountered on the trip, which is saying a lot!

"Willpower" getting ready to dock our ship in Milford Haven

Approaching the town of Milford Haven

A trusty tender arriving for another load of eager passengers ready to visit Wales

The green countryside of Wales

A suburban home near Tenby which looks suspiciously like the homes in my tract

The wall around Tenby and the Missus ready to do some shopping

The five gates and the Grouch clan ready to see some sights

By the seashore

The beach was inviting and the water looked great but the Missus said it was time to hit the shops.  Perhaps another time.

Outside of the wall 
The tides around Great Britain are extreme.  I'd like to see the tide coming back in!

Castle Carew

Seen from one of the towers looking out

Another tower view

Taking each other's pictures!

Our ship at Milford Haven

The Welsh are a very polite group

A steel hulled antique yacht at Milford Haven

We loved Milford Haven and Wales!

1 comment:

  1. Very beautiful! I feel like I'm on the trip along with you :)