He didn't get where he is today by stealing somebody else's catchphrase.

Wii all the way home.

After about 500 miles of driving, I'm back. It would be fair to say that although I did a fair bit of driving, that was the joy of the entire thing - the freedom to go where I liked and explore - pure driving for pleasure. I haven't been to Wales for about 10 years and I shan't be leaving it that long before I go again. The trip was exactly what I needed. Here's a summary of the 3 days for you:

  • Cardiff.
  • Perfect sandy beaches
  • Some great scenery.
  • Friendly people.
  • Beer.
  • A bit of geocaching.

  • Swansea

It doesn't take long to get to Wales from my part of the world - I'm just over two hours from Cardiff. In all honesty, I'm now starting to wonder why I've haven't done this more often before. I explored some stuff on the south coast, but I shall be back for more. A rough summary of my route would be:

Home -> Cardiff -> Swansea -> Tenby -> The Gower -> Cardiff -> Home

You'll probably be asking why I went to Cardiff twice. Well, as it's on the M4 and you go straight past it it'd be churlish not to do explore some on the way into Wales and back. The first time I visited as an irritating tourist, the second time I visited as someone needing a bit of shopping therapy - different purposes, y'see.

Things of note, just in case you pay a visit:

1) Cardiff Castle is almost unreal. It's a weird place that demonstrates what people can do when they've got far too much money. Each room is amazingly decorated, originally crafted by tradesmen who spent between five and seven years on each room. It's mad, but interesting. In the modern world, this sort of thing would never be created.

2) Swansea is ugly. I'm sure there are Welsh people out there now, screaming abuse at their screens for the very fact I've suggested such a thing, but as a visitor it did nothing for me. It's full of awful concrete accidents, similar to Drake's Circus/Charles Cross in Plymouth, (pre-demolition). It's grey and nasty and creates the ideal environment to get mugged, although please feel free to correct me with examples if you think I've got it all wrong. An unwelcoming place, I spent less than an hour there and felt no inclination to stay longer.

3) The Gower (south of Swansea) and Tenby (south-west coast) have both got their charm. I liken areas of The Gower to being similar to Dartmoor (ponies, sheep, wilderness and gorse), but without the rocky tors. It deserves its status as an area of natural beauty. As for Tenby, well it's a beach-town, but the pleasant part is that it's got lovely golden sand, a nice town-centre (kiss-me-quick hats are in fairly short supply here) and some photogenic old buildings such as a nice little castle, a nearby private island and some pleasant gardens. It's only about an hour from Swansea and worth the drive.

Accommodation was courtesy of a few nice B&Bs I found along the way.

So all in all, I had a good time. I had a pint or two of Brains beer, ate ice cream and left the real-world behind. Oh - and as the title suggests, I bought a Wii during my retail therapy - but I'll write about that later.

Pictures will be added when time permits.
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