The United Kingdom is officially made up of four countries/nations: England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales. We spent the long holiday weekend on a getaway with friends to the last noted: Wales. The Welsh have a distinctive language and Wales (population around 3 million) is officially bilingual:
Somehow, I’d not been to Wales before. We stayed not far from Tenby on its southwestern coast, where the coastline is truly spectacular in places. Wiseman’s Bridge is one beautiful and popular spot:
Another day, we did a cliff and coastal walk below nearby Bosherston:
The view from Saint Govan’s Head is stunning:
Of course, a cliff-walking selfie was also required:
And walks can have their surprises:
Decidedly less modern, and potentially, uh, explosive, a visit to a castle – Wales is full of them – shouldn’t be missed. We took in the now privately run Pembroke Castle, in the center of Pembroke:
We learned on a tour that it is probably most famous in history as the 1457 birthplace of future English King Henry VII:
His mother, Margaret Beaufort, was fourteen years of age. (Her late husband, Edmund Tudor, who had by then died in captivity having been captured in battle, was twenty-six.) However, the artistic recreation of her there above (the face on the left, below the guide) looks much older than that. Perhaps done for our modern norms and sensibilities?
Although given how hard lives were, it’s not out of the realm of possibility a fourteen year old girl might have looked that way in 1457.
The castle’s most famous resident may have been William de Valence:
He even posed for me:
Standing at the portcullis, looking up Pembroke High Street, one notices also this is the only route an invading army could use to reach the castle entrance. The guide noted that it cleverly pushed attackers into a progressively narrowing “funnel” where
after, uh, the gift shop (left), no more than about two men could reach the entrance at a time – where the attackers would be outnumbered, contained and slaughtered:
No invading army ever took Pembroke Castle. Needless to say the café inside was never reached either, so no conqueror ever enjoyed one of its excellent cappuccinos:
But I did:
Oh, we noticed Elvis also shall be here in June:
‘Tis all the talk of the lords and ladies, who await “the King’s” arrival eagerly:
In the coastal town of Tenby, yesterday, we had a stroll around, entering through a 13th century gate:
But the weather – as we see here on the seafront – wasn’t exactly perfect:
Fortunately it cleared up later in the day:
Admiral Nelson and his lady “slept here”… as did her husband as well, on the edge of the harbo(u)r: “Admiral Lord Nelson, Sir William and Lady Hamilton stayed here in 1802”:
Emma Lyon would today have probably been a “reality TV” and/or social media “fashion star.” Her initial fame came about in the 1780s due to her becoming a favorite painting “muse” of the artist George Romney (an ancestor of U.S. politician Mitt Romney). Thirty-five year old Nelson first met a now recently married twenty-eight year old Lady Hamilton – a title she gained through her husband – in Naples in 1793.
After Nelson returned in 1798 having destroyed the French revolutionary fleet at the Nile (and was now a British national hero), she became his mistress and eventually had a daughter by him. Until the death of her husband – who was 35 years older than she was and probably an illegitimate half-brother of King George III – in 1803, the three of them had
a ménage a trois “an understanding.” (In sharp contrast, Nelson’s wife was not nearly so “understanding.”) Lady Hamilton and Nelson remained “involved” until his death at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
Thus, once again, my friends, the eighteenth (and early nineteenth) century.😂
On a hilltop at the edge of the sea is an important-looking gentleman who doesn’t look like Nelson:
Up close, we discover who it is: an 1865 memorial to Queen Victoria’s adored recently deceased husband, Prince Albert. “Albert” is gazing back at the town:
“He” is seeing generally this view:
Oh, unsurprisingly, back in the town, I also found this intriguing:
What author Dylan Thomas needed to do was to save his work electronically to a “cloud” as he went. With that, there’s no danger of losing a one and only paper version of a manuscript. Obviously, he needed Google Drive.😁
Have a good day, wherever you are in the world.😊🇬🇧