There are no Dragons in Wales

I’m telling you, I looked. There are no dragons. Except that red dragon icon they put on everything, but don’t let that fool you. The only fire breathing going on there is from old men eating mushy peas at 9am in the pub.

So no dragons, sorry to disappoint. But there are rolling green pastures, sheep, and castles, which is really what I was there for anyway. Particularly the latter.

Let me back up. Caleb and I had left London on a Sunday evening on a train out of Paddington Station. It took maybe three hours to get from there to Bridgend, our final destination. You have never heard of Bridgend, nor will you ever again after this post. It’s just a small town in South Wales. There’s nothing there. Oh sure, a couple castles and a river live there, but that’s like all of Wales.

Guinness Chips

Guinness chips (sorry, “crisps”) that we had on the train. They were rubbish.

Anyway, we arrived in Bridgend and made our way to the hotel that Caleb’s work was putting him up in. Pretty much the only hotel in town, above a pub. Naturally.

To set the scene, I’ll start with the main core of the town. Everything is old, as Europe does, and of course lots of stone. Cobblestones, stone houses, you get it. A few fine examples are in the slideshow below.

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The one week that I spent there Caleb went to work every morning and I would see him at lunch time and again in the evening. I spent my days either in the hotel room, at a cafe, or wandering around.

The hotel room was, how shall we say it, bland. It was fine enough. They gave Caleb a “family room” so it was bigger than the other rooms. But the place was definitely old. Single-paned windows, dingy carpet, and uninspired decor. However, they did provide a tea tray. Because any upstanding member of the U.K. provides tea trays, as far as I know. Pictures related to the hotel below, though of course I never took a picture of the room or the building. Really not much to see. At any rate, the place did the job. We could even get wifi from the pub.

Random comment about Wales: they love Welsh. Sorry, it appears that they do. I never found anyone who could understand Welsh, but every sign was translated into Welsh (and Welsh was often listed first). The announcements on trains were also in Welsh. It seems that someone somewhere is trying very hard not to let the language die.

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The cafe that I went to every single day was about halfway between the hotel and Caleb’s office, really just a few blocks. It was called Bauhaus and it was run by a very kind Jamaican man who gave me a free bagel when I discovered that I didn’t have enough £. One of the best meals I had in all of Wales (well, Bridgend) was goat curry and an iced coffee at that cafe. It was just perfect.

After I spent the first half of the week on work, since I had a big project I needed to finish, I spent Thursday exploring the area. Which I will have to cover another day, but I promise there will be castles and sheep.


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