Tenby could be mistaken for any Cornish seaside town. It’s just how seaside towns should still be in the UK. The hotels are still grand, the shops still sell stuff rather than Kiss Me Quick hats and rock willies, and the beaches are still clean and popular. Compared to the likes of Skegness, Scarborough, Margate and even Barmouth, Tenby is leagues away and still comes across as a popular happy seaside town and any rundown areas seem well concealed.
We nipped over to Caldey Island to see the monks. Of course the monks are in isolation so we didn’t see any, but it is clear that island monastic life is quite lucrative judging by the £12 ferry crossing, the overpriced food and how busy the expensive gift shop was.
Resembling Port Merion and the Prisoner set, Caldey is like a different world. Home to a holy order of Cistercian monks, they make their own perfume and offer spiritual retreats on the island while they lock themselves away in solitude and contemplation (read, play Xbox and smoke fags all day). Sounds ideal, if it wasn’t for the praying and the abstinence, but I guess you’d get over that bit after a while.
As already described, dinner was had in Plantagenet on the main land following which we headed inland to meet up with former LJ stalwart stephmog, her daughter (all grown up now) and some swans.
The last day of a holiday is often one where you pine for a bit longer, but to be honest, by this time I was fed up with driving and, if you’re sitting down, Wales and couldn’t wait to get home.
Trying to be the smarty pants I intended to nip up the A40 and join onto the M50 rather than face Cardiff again. Instead I subconsciously took a wrong turn and ended up going into Hay-on-Wye, capital of second hand books.
Hay also seems to be on the decline. Bookshops giving way to second hand tat and fleamarketry akin to Quiggins in Liverpool. I love these places but, probably on account of the location, the shops in Hay seemed overly expensive. However, I was delighted to see in one of the shops there shelves full of more science fiction books to rival my eldest brother’s miniscule sci-fi book collection. Moreover, I’d hazard at there being more books there than in the Sydney Jones special Sci-fi collection at Liverpool University.