Wales 2010 – Day 7

Today started with a disappointment: as I stepped out of the shower pain struck in my lower back. This is doubly disappointing, firstly, because it is inconvenient to be hobbling about in pain when on holiday and, secondly, because I had thought that the exercises had strengthened my back and prevented this happening.

Admittedly, the pain isn’t as severe as on some past occasions but it is enough to cause me difficulties in moving about. Fortunately, I have brought my walking stick with me for just such an eventuality.

A blank stare: maybe his back hurts too
A blank stare: maybe his back hurts too

At least it’s not raining but it is cold. We breakfasted as usual at The Bank Statement then continued up the road towards the station, looking in a few shops along the way. We are later than usual so the shops are open. The town is quiet, though, making it feel more like a Sunday than a weekday.

Newport station
Newport station

The train we took carried us on the first leg of our journey to Cardiff, where we found another for Newport. Here we had 40 minutes to wait for a connection. It wasn’t worth struggling out into the streets and back, so we waited in Upper Crust with coffee and chocolate shortbread.

Old drinking fountain, Bathurst Park, Lydney
Old drinking fountain, Bathurst Park, Lydney

We took this train as far as our rover tickets permitted, which was to Lydney. The most striking characteristic of Lydney is the endless streams of traffic passing through, so much so that it is hard to get across the road. Note that this is traffic that is passing through, not traffic coming to Lydney.

Katie's Cafe does nice soup
Katie’s Cafe does nice soup

We had soup at Katie’s Cafe, went for a look around and then walked to the small bus station to take a bus out. I don’t think it unfair to say that Lydney is a small town without any pretentions that you would not visit except in the unlikely event that you had business there.

Town Gate, Chepstow
Town Gate, Chepstow

The bus took us to Chepstow, a rather more interesting town. Though it is in Wales, Chepstow, like its name, has an English feel to it which the few signs and inscriptions in Welsh do little to dilute.

The Lime Tree
The Lime Tree

We had a pleasant late lunch at the Lime Tree and checked times of trains and buses. The best bet seemed to be to take the bus back to Newport and the train from there back to Swansea.

After a final look around Chepstow, we took the bus. This eventually reaches Newport but makes a few diversions off the main road in order to serve smaller towns. This, however, is a general pattern with intercity buses and not just in Wales.

Chepstow High Street
Chepstow High Street

The bus station and the train station in Newport are some distance apart. Although this is an easy walking distance, my back was stiff from the bus ride and I was glad to arrive. We then found that a train for Swansea would depart from platform 2 – which meant climbing the steps to the footbridge – within 4 minutes! We made it, though.

German submarine gun captured during the First World War
German submarine gun captured during the First World War

As this was our first Friday night in Swansea, we discovered that the street where our hotel stands is closed to vehicles at this time. There are lots of pubs and clubs along here and the merrymakers were out in force.

Despite the disappointment of a recurrence of back pain, the day went well. Lydney wasn’t very interesting but Chepstow was worth seeing and the journeys by train and bus provided views of the countryside, not only of Wales but also that other place, called in Welsh Lloegr.

Boatman by André Wallace
Boatman by André Wallace

Tomorrow we return to London but it will be with the feeling of a successful trip in this beautiful and at times fascinating country.

Copyright © 2010 SilverTiger, https://tigergrowl.wordpress.com, All rights reserved.

About SilverTiger

I live in Islington with my partner, "Tigger". I blog about our life and our travels, using my own photos for illustration.
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