Barry Island, Big Pit, and Caldicot Castle

Well, due to no Internet, I have not been posting at all. Nothing about moving here has been easy. I’ve been thinking about blogging over the past couple Internet-less weeks, and I realized this year will be so fun to share with all of you. I don’t think a lot is going to change, but there will certainly be more travel posts! Today, for example, I’ll share some little trips I’ve been on with my roommates and the Canteach crew.

Barry Island

 After we got the house sorted out, the team (aka #thegroupoffive) decided to head out on a little day trip. The nice man from the train station had suggested going to Barry Island. It was a beautiful day, so we thought it was perfect. So did everyone else. The beach was absolutely packed with people.

We took a walk out to the cliffs and took a gazillion pictures. We have all become each other’s official photographers. It’s adorable.

We stopped for some fish and chips (obviously) before heading to the little theme park by the train station. It’s called Pleasure Park, and, yes, several inappropriate jokes were made. We all went on a couple rides. It was a great little afternoon.

Barry Island is a half hour train ride from Cardiff. If you have a chance and the weather is nice, definitely check it out.

Big Pit

The next two items came from our social day with Canteach. We were brought on a day trip to some really awesome places. The first trip was to Big Pit. It used to be a huge coal mining town. It was shut down a while ago, but they now run tours with men who used to work there. It was so different, and it’s not something you would think about doing by yourself.

I could not take any pictures since my camera was not allowed in the mines. The tour itself was fascinating. It’s so rare to get a tour of someone with the full experience. It was heartbreaking at some points (particularly when he mentioned the exploitation of children and animals) since there is a lot of dark things that happened down there. This career is stained with so much death.

Of course, there is a ghost story that freaked me the eff out. Just ask Abigail about how jumpy I was. I may or may not have grabbed her in an effort to protect myself.

The scenery outside was stunning. It was a great morning.

Caldicot Castle

This was obviously my favourite part. I opted to wander off by myself and discover every nook and cranny of the place. I found everything I possibly could.

It turns out they do weddings there, and I found the cute little banquet hall they hold functions in.

This is not the most authentic castle. It was done over in the Victorian era to suit the style of the guy who bought it. The coolest thing about it is that it was used as actual homes for families after WWII to meet with a housing crisis in the area. I internally (and maybe externally) freaked out about the fact that real people (meaning not royalty) actually lived there.

I love castles so much. I learned that Wales has the most castles per square mile in the world, so I need to make a list of all of those trips I need to take. I’m so excited for the rest of the year.

That’s it for now! I’ve done some major “adulting” the past few weeks. I’ve already learned so much, and I’ve made a couple points on my yearly “lessons learned” post. I’m feeling really happy overall. When I first got here, I was not. I missed home. I missed my room. I didn’t feel like myself. I had to get accustomed to being around people that are different from my friends at home. Part of me knows I still have a lot more settling in to do. This experience is completely different from my last move to the UK. I’ll get there, but this adjustment period will be longer.

How are you guys doing? Tell me about your most recent day trip! If you have any suggestions for day trips/weekend trips while I’m here, please share!



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