Firstly photo’s aren’t the best, sorry, only took video camera.
While I like living in Lee, nice community feel, beach at the end of the road – I do miss hills! So feeling it was time for a bit of a fix I took the boys over to South Wales to stay with my Father in Law (North Wales girl myself but beggars can’t be choosers 😉 )
Having caught the early train we were in Cardiff by noon on Thursday so having stopped off for lunch we decided to spend the afternoon in the National Museum of Wales, which is a fantastic place to while away a few hours.
Our interest was concentrated on the geology gallery this time to follow on our rocks theme.
We watched some videos – they alternate between playing them in Welsh and English to the boys amusement. I can probably pick up one word in 10 in Welsh now, I was never anywhere near fluent but shocking how much I’ve forgotten.
There were fossils – brilliant ammonites
Models of meganeura – extinct giant dragonflies for those who have not sat through every episode of Prehistoric Park several hundred times.
Skeletons of dinosaurs and ice age creatures. This is a megaceros.
Then into the mineral and crystal gallery.
At Father in Laws we relaxed and played lots of chess. I got beaten by Sam! I was trying to help him and concentrating so much on that I screwed up my moves. He is getting the idea though and knows the correct names and moves for all the pieces. On the other hand I am actually impressed if I beat Jack. My strategy is to drag the game out until his concentration level drops and he makes mistakes as he is a better player than me.
We indulged in what passes for great entertainment in Wales, we walked to the top of a very big hill in sub-zero temperatures.
This very big hill.
So we could look at other big hills.
And down at where we started.
Something about standing on a big hill that makes me want to launch into singing “Land of my Fathers” but as I don’t actually know the words with them being Welsh I refrain (watch the welsh rugby team trying to sing it – hilarious).
We played in the little stone hut at the top for a while. No one knows what the hut is, best guess a shelter for shepherds.
Until we turned blue. Achilles the blue nosed reindeer had the advantage of starting off that way, the rest of us just got that way through getting very, very cold!
On Saturday we went to Caerleon which was one of three permanent Roman forts. Apparently Geoffrey of Monmouth claimed it to be the site of Camelot.
Anyway for my little Roman enthusiasts it was fantastic. Lots to explore and all of it free.
We started off at Tescos where we added jumpers, hats, gloves, scarves and in my case an extra pair of trousers to what we were wearing as temperature was below freezing again.
When we arrived at Caerleon we started at the Baths.
There were lots of replica items to handle.
A sponge on a stick!
As well as the ruins to look at.
Then to the Roman Legionary Museum, which was a bit rubbish – lots of pots in display cases type of thing.
But there was a room where kids could dress up…
And a game where they had to fish mice from a ‘latrine’.
A reconstructed barracks room.
And more helmets to try on.
And a shield to hide behind.
Then to the amphitheatre!
For a Gladiator battle…with lightsabers. Good planning to take the lightsabers – meant I avoided getting conned into buying ridiculously expensive model swords in the museum.
Eventually the setting sun forced us away. We didn’t even walk the walls or go to the ruined barracks – definitely due a return trip.
On the way back we were treated to one of the most amazing sunsets I have ever seen – brilliant red sun.
Sunday was a leisurely play in the park day.
With a trip to the shopping centre for new shoes and coat for Jack.
Monday, we had a walk around Cardiff to pick up paints for the airfix kits and browse the lego shop – a whole shop just for lego – talk about heaven. They even had a ‘pick and mix’ fill a cup with different lego bricks for a set price…
Then train home.