Archive for December, 2012

A trip into Hereford

Hello again!

Still with me? Good for you, because this is a big one. Well, it’s not all that exciting really, I just got carried away when taking pictures inside Hereford Cathedral and they deserve posting.

Anyway, slight digression. This was from a day trip I decided to take to Hereford on one of the days it looked as though I would get wet walking in the hills. Basically, it was a decision whether to go left to Abergavenny at the end of the road to my home village, or to go right to Hereford. Looking on my super duper smartphone (that got signal only from the main road on, thank you Orange) I saw there was also a Cider Museum in Hereford. Mmmm, cider. Hereford it was then. I would have probably reconsidered if I knew what a blooming nightmare the one way system was in the City.  Thankfully, the museum (www.cidermuseum.co.uk) was outside the centre…a very interesting and educational place with an awful lot about the history of what is treated as an art in Somerset and the South West. It also smelt lovely! No Smell-O-Vision for these pictures though I’m afraid…

I imagine you need a whole heap of biceps with that apple press...

I imagine you need a whole heap of biceps with that apple press…

I had my elbows tucked in very tightly for this picture; the sound of breaking glass would have been awesome though! Some poor sucker has to come down here every so often to turn the bottles to stop sediment ruining the cider. I feel a claim for RSI coming on….

Driiiiiink!! Even though it doesn't look like it, they are ALL FULL

Driiiiiink!! Even though it doesn’t look like it, they are ALL FULL

Ever driven past where you want to go but been unable to get there due to stupid routes? That happened to me…a lot. Finally, I alighted in a fairly cheap multi storey and search for a Costa or something only to be hounded by “chuggers” (charity muggers for those of you unfamiliar with the term) which I ignored to the best of my ability. I eventually found a coffee shop and remarked on the abysmal road planning; the waiter looked at me and said “yeah, we get that a lot…be grateful it’s not Summer and you don’t live here”. Touche!

Once I had drunk my coffee, went for a bit of a wander. Hereford is much like any other city I guess…many charity shops liberally sprinkled with branches of Greggs and cheap clothing stores. Mind you, there is a fair amount of history there, as shown by a Tudor building which is slap bang in the middle of the main square. Looks quite bizarre I tell you, but very pleasant none the less.

Oooooh, pretty Tudorness

Oooooh, pretty Tudorness

More imposing is the cathedral (www.herefordcathedral.org) up by the Wye river; I like cathedrals mainly for the architecture in most cases, as I am not exactly a religious man. I tend to take the view that you should try to be as good as you can and do a good deed every so often…why this needs me to stand in an unheated stone building every week is beyond me. But hey, each to their own and I don’t wish to denigrate.

Thankfully, I was able to stand at an angle which cut out the two drunks sat by the gate slowly dulling their senses with White Lightning. I guess some things never change, as I’m sure a similar happened many hundreds of years ago, seeing the building was established in 1079. Those gates have seen their share of beggars I suspect….

Hereford Cathedral...minus boozers

Hereford Cathedral…minus boozers

Inside, the decoration is most impressive. I always give a donation for taking pictures in places like this and frankly when all the stonework starts to fall apart, they are going to need it! However, that is me being cynical, it was a lovely place to walk around and deceptively large inside.

What a nice window, picture taken with all natural light thanks to that. Nice

What a nice window, picture taken with all natural light thanks to that. Nice

Most impressive was the ceiling though; when you next go into a cathedral (as per my pictures from Rome too), you really should take the time to look up….

These stonemasons, really knew their stuff didn't they?

These stonemasons, really knew their stuff didn’t they?

Well, there’s my whistle-stop tour of Hereford. If anyone ends up there for a break or a day, I heartily recommend the coffee at Diegos on Bridge Street not too far from the cathedral (www.diegoscafe.co.uk) as it was proper stuff, not the freeze-dried rubbish!

Thanks for reading….next post will be about the Wye Valley and it’s a pretty one, so stay tuned. See you all soon.

Advertisements

,

1 Comment

More holiday pictures

Hello All!

Yes, yes, yes, I know. It’s been a long while since I have posted anything and I apologise for that but in between madness at work, overnight stays in Bridgend for work and then delivering the course I learnt on the overnight stays to people with very little IT knowledge, it’s been a bit busy! Mind you, good things come to those who wait, I have a lot of time off over Christmas so I am spending time in the local area and will be staying at home as my Dad is cooking an awful lot of super meals over the festive period. I suspect help may be required.

I shall continue with the theme I started of late, being my break near Abergavenny. I had a whole load of castle pictures on the camera card, but I figured seeing I put one in already, I should do something a little different. In this load, there a bit more history, but of a more recent nature, as the pictures are from the Blaenavon World Heritage Site (www.visitblaenavon.co.uk) near Monmouth. This is the seat of coal mining in South Wales and was actually very interesting, both from the structures around and the information given. The latter I could have had more of, but it appears that off-season no-one was really encouraged to go…in fact, as I sat sheltering from the rain having a coffee in a cafe up from the closed visitor centre, I texted a friend saying that it all looked a little like a third world town, but pebble-dashed. Oooh, how I hate pebble dash.

Anyway, moving on, the first picture of a smelting area; at the right you can see the original workers cottages too…the oven (I think) is a pretty imposing structure when you figure out the scale isn’t it?

Blaenavon World Heritage site

Blaenavon World Heritage site

Secondly, much to the annoyance of my Dad who wanted to visit it too, I went the short distance up the road to Big Pit which is exactly what is says it is…a big pit. Well, a coal mine to be precise. I undertook a tour which involved going underground just as the miners did, but to do a lot less I assure you, although there was a good mile of walking I am told.

Interestingly and unexpectedly, we had to take off everything that would potentially create a spark down there, even down to my automatic watch! Fascinating stuff with all the original braces and the constant sound of running water (those with a weak bladder beware) but no pictures I’m afraid, as the flash could have set off gases when I was down there…maybe. It all seemed a bit “belt and braces” to me. When I emerged, the rain had stopped, so I could get a good shot of the lifting/winding gear with a clearish sky….

Winding gear at Big Pit

Winding gear at Big Pit

Lastly, I left slowly over the hill back towards my cottage. However, as has been proved by many a holiday in the past, I find it very difficult to go past a view such as the one following, this is the Heads of the Valley road towards the Black Mountains, without taking a few snaps. This one turned out just right with no filters or anything, just the dusk sunlight. Nice.

The view from Big Pit across to The Black Mountains

The view from Big Pit across to The Black Mountains

Anyway, that’s me out of posting breath for now. I suspect that it’ll either be close to or past Christmas next time I upload a post..I haven’t decided what of yet. In this case, I will take the opportunity to send a Happy Christmas greeting to you all, speak soon!

,

Leave a comment