Friday, November 15, 2013

Day 11: Caerleon

I'm writing this during the next day at picturesque Caswell Bay. We left Bristol around 10:20am - or the hotel at least. I would later discover that I left my soap and face washer behind. Whoops.

When we were checking out, Cazy told me he wanted to see a suspension bridge nearby - built 150 years ago by the ingenious Brunel. We fought with but surrendered to the satnav and found it. We paid the 50p toll and crossed the very narrow bridge. Cazy was taking photos as he drove! We passed underneath it shortly afterwards and realised just how high up it was. Astonishing feat. Brunel - what a guy!

I noted a disused railway and cliffs with lines at angles that suggested tectonic plate movement. 

We journeyed to Caerleon which has numerous Roman ruins open to the elements - all free to visit. We parked at the amphitheatre and walked to it. It’s a circle with evenly spaced lumps covered in grass. And it’s not small! We clambered over and through it. The masonry is impressive. When I jokingly quoted Caesar III in the centre of the structure it sounded overly loud and echoed. The acoustics still work!

"I heard there are jobs here - ha! I want to be a lion tamer!" - Caesar III

We walked to the barracks which I found because of the defensive earthworks leading up to where the wall should be (now a school). We crested the hill and then suddenly we saw it - the surprisingly large layout of the barracks. The foundations seemed to stretch on and on. We found a drainage system which I suspected was connected to the toilets and a sign nearby proved I was right - although I was looking at the wrong building (the centurion quarters)! We stood in the rooms, amazed that we stood where others had many generations ago. Millennia!

A lot of rooms for a lot of dudes.

I wondered if the guys in one corner wanted to go home to Rome or if they liked it in Britain.

Then we left Caerleon, driving past old buildings on the one-way street that looped us back around. I napped as we headed to Swansea. The traffic was yuck but we found Caswell Bay. We were early so we went nearby to a vendor on the beach - hot chips, hot dogs etc. 

South Wales: second only to New South Wales

We are in a superb beach apartment, although we just had our first tumultuous experience with an electric shower. 


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