Sunday, November 17, 2013

Day 13: Oystermouth Castle

After a languid morning, we drove to Oystermouth Castle in The Mumbles a little after 11am. The grey clouds loomed overhead and I fretted as Cazy attempted to find a free parking spot (both free of cars and free of tariffs). Rain pelted the windshield and  soured my mood but Oystermouth Castle beckoned.

What happened to yesterday's dazzling blue sky!?

Juggling an umbrella and the SLR camera, I approached the castle and proceeded through the entrance arch. After paying £5 for the two of us, I roamed with my brother through a multitude of rooms, stairs, nooks and crannies. We began on top of the visitor centre on a glass floor, apparently the location of the chapel. I stood in the confessional area for a time. Then we spent a while trying to find the other areas and that was fun due to our unhurried pace. We could see the obvious remains of fireplaces and a few of the nine toilets the castle ruins are reputed to have.

Don't look down!

We noted that the stones had two main phases - 12th and 13th century (indicated by red and yellow squares respectively). We also saw what appeared to be in situ rocks built into the walls. We clambered onto the curtain wall and took in the view of The Mumbles and Swansea Bay. The castle is perched atop a hill and earthworks - a good place to defend.


There is a Welsh flag flying at Oystermouth which I saw as the last laugh, the last claim on a castle built to keep the Welsh under control. By this time, there were only a few drops of rain which made things easier. We trundled down the narrow spiral stairs to a level near the visitor centre and purchased wares. I bought items to inspire my writing.

The last laugh.

We returned to our apartment for lunch then I finishe...did I finish my book this morning or then? I forget.

At 3pm, I forced myself out into the drab weather for a walk to Langland Bay. It was cool and windy which made the umbrella fight to escape my right wrist. I mostly relied on my rain jacket which was sufficient. The rain here comes in spurts, it seems.

The 1 3/4 mile walk to Langland was pleasant (probably two miles from the apartment) and I noted the crazy 45 degree angle of the cliff rocks. They looked smooth but were gritty and rough when I ran my palm over their dark surfaces.

Nearer to Langland, I saw a woman with her two grandchildren. They had come from a track that led into the bushes. The woman plucked a snippet from a plant next to the path and informed her grandchildren, “This is wild garlic.”

They all had a taste - it must have been strong from their reactions!

I turned back at Langland Bay and bought brownies on my way past the cafe at Caswell Bay.

Bedtime I think!!

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