Friday 30 October 2015


This week, in rather unpromising weather, we drove across the bridge to Wales.
Our destination was Llandrindod Wells,a popular spa town in the Victorian era. The town, and the hotel where we stayed, has seen better days - this is polite English understatement!
The hotel was a huge great slab of uncompromising green with interior decor straight from the '50's and a view from our bedroom window that provided a new low in our experience of hotel accommodation. Oh, well, we kept the curtains closed, at least the bed was comfortable and the water hot!
The town is full of fine examples of Victorian architecture

and in the park in front of the hotel we were pleased to see a statue to the artist Thomas Jones (1742-1803), a local man whose Italian paintings we admire.
Victorian visitors once flocked to the town to take the restorative spa waters so we wandered down to Rock Park Spa to see what all the fuss was about.

At the fountain I cupped my hand to drink, the water promised all manner of improvements to my health.
Iron-rich, it tasted disgusting and lay in my stomach like lead!
'No wonder they're all dead!' quipped Himself.
Like the rest of the town, Rock Park was rather neglected and forlorn.

Two of the former Rock Park shops, attractively built in blue and cream brickwork.
The following day the weather gradually improved and we drove along a beautiful and very narrow minor road on our way to the Elan Valley. We stopped under these larch trees to drink from our flask. 
 There were no passing places along the road. Luckily we met no-one coming the other way!

The Elan Valley comprises 70 square miles of moor and woodland, rivers, dams and reservoirs. It is  run by Dwr Cymru  (Welsh Water) supplying water to the city of Birmingham. 
The threatening sky at Cabon Coch looked a promising subject for Skywatch Friday.

But when the sun shone at the Garreg Ddu dam the atmosphere became completely different.

There are six dams in the valley. (The Nant y Gro Dam was used for tests during WW2 in preparation for the Dambusters Raid.)
Pen y Garreg
The water levels were very low.

We reached the head of the valley just before the sun went down.
Perfect timing!


  1. You couldn't have spent much time in the hotel room anyway. All those beautiful places to explore. Thanks for sharing.

    1. It's true that we spent very little time in the hotel other than eating and sleeping but even so a more aesthetically pleasing environment would have been much appreciated!

  2. Nature's beauty beats an uncomfortable hotel any day!

    1. Ah, you're an optimist, Merisi, but I would have enjoyed nature's beauty AND a decent hotel! I know from the images your blog that you are very receptive to beauty.