St Briavels Castle

Trip Start Sep 07, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Sunday, February 19, 2006

It is half-term here (spring break more or less) and everyone is away on adventures and I have been home alone all week! The great thing about it is since Rachel is in Israel for the week, she lent me her car. So, off I headed on another adventure weekend.

Right now I am writing from probably the coolest place I have ever stayed - a castle! It is called St Briavels, and it is now used as a hostel. Which is great, cause I can actually afford to stay here! This is the first weekend since I arrived it has been open, so I was glad to fit it in before I start travelling again. Anyway, it is very quaint, the lounge I am in has lovely red velvet drapes and big comfy armchairs, hardwood floors and stone walls. I have to go up this really steep stone spiral staircase to get to my room, I feel like I am staying in the tower!

On the way here I went to Clearwell Caves, which is a deserted mine. You can go quite a ways underground, and there are still rail tracks and many tools down there. There was only 3 other people there, and I let them go on ahead, so I had the place to myself, It was very quiet, the only sound s were water drops hitting the puddles.

The countryside is very beautiful out here, and it's fairly remote so there isn't much traffic. I find the driving much more relaxing now, and not quite so hair raising! I enjoy watching the scenery go by, you see lots of sheep and horses, rolling green hills, old farm houses, and many trees. Unfortunately not everyone driving behind me is on quite the same sightseeing mission. Most tend to be a little more destination oriented! It's fun to drive and have an idea of where you are going, but no set destination. It's been a long time since I just drove down some random road to see what was at the end. The great thing about this area, is often you'll find a castle, an old church, a beautiful meadow, sheep grazing. It's gorgeous!

Tomorrow is Sunday and I'll head back to Southampton via Ikea. Ha ha, and you all thought I was fighting the shopping addiction! Actually, as I am living out of a suitcase, I really have no need for "stuff". However, I have been provided with a sizable list of "wants" from the rest of the gang, since I will be driving right by.

Sunday night everyone will be home from their vacations, I imagine there will be many pictures and stories. Karen & Pete went skiing in France, Ellie went lambing, Rachel to Israel, Catherine & Simon to the Canary Islands...quite an adventurous lot!
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