Caerphilly Castle

Fresh from another night of 12 hours sleep, perhaps the best part of touring, Carrie and I planned an assault on the Castle of Caerphilly. Little did we know we’d be in for the best cycling day of the trip so far.

We leave the Bristol Channel behind on our way to Caerphilly.
We leave the Bristol Channel behind on our way to Caerphilly.

There are two things we’ve noticed since leaving England for Wales: The Welsh are friendlier, and the roads are hillier. I prefer both.

That’s not too say the English haven’t been friendly. Indeed, we’ve met some wonderful and generous Brits. They just seem perhaps more wary of strangers.

The Welsh however radiate that small town glow. They smile more and are quicker to engage in conversation.

As for the terrain, we’ve traded tow paths for rolling hills. The hills here are short, but they pack a punch. I finally broke a sweat on the steep climb out of Pontypridd. It felt good to stretch the lungs. On the descent though the road was so narrow that Carrie almost collided with an oncoming car. Both Carrie and the driver stopped in time. The driver then folded in his side view mirror so he could squeeze around us.

This is perhaps the first quesadilla made and consumed on the premises of the Caerphilly Castle.
This is perhaps the first quesadilla made and consumed on the premises of the Caerphilly Castle.

Before the near death experience, and before we ride through Pontypridd, we visited the town of Caerphilly and it’s fairytale castle.

The Castle was built in the 13th century. The town has done a lot of work over the years to restore it, and to make it more accessible the public. Although many parts of it have crumbled, a majority of it is still in good shape, good enough that we could get an intimate look at what living in a castle would have been like. My guess is it was cold and wet.

Carrie rides along the levee of the outer moat of the Caerphilly Castle.
Carrie rides along the levee of the outer moat of the Caerphilly Castle.
A group shot in front of the impressive Caerphilly Castle.
A group shot in front of the impressive Caerphilly Castle.
We've breached the outer walls and are getting ready to lay siege to the inner castle.
We’ve breached the outer walls and are getting ready to lay siege to the inner castle.
After a successful campaign, Queen Carrie of Verdi prepares to hold court in the great hall.
After a successful campaign, Queen Carrie of Verdi prepares to hold court in the great hall.

This is by far the most impressive and interesting museum I’ve been to. Walking along the walls, peering through the archer’s slots, climbing the twisting staircases, it was a sight to behold and an experience I won’t forget.

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