Thursday, March 12, 2015

Wales: Caerphilly Castle

Hola, peeps!  I am continuing my virtual tour of Wales with a visit to Caerphilly Castle, near Cardiff.  Turns out this is the second-largest castle in Britain, take a looksie:


As always, you can click on the pictures to see 'em bigger.


This was the morning of our second day in Wales; we left our hotel pretty early to drive to Caerphilly and had breakfast at a cafe there since the castle wasn't open yet.  Then we walked around part of the castle perimeter for a bit before we went in.  Caerphilly Castle is also the site of what are arguably the most elaborate waterworks defense system in Britain, which is cool.


Caerphilly was built starting in the 13th century by English-dude-with-a-French-name-so-he-was-probably-Norman Gilbert de Clare, and I'd lay money that he was related to the Walter de Clare who started Tintern Abbey in the 12th century.


There's the gatehouse, and some very nice flowers to set it off.  As you can see, the weather gods favored us once again with gorgeous blue skies.


It was tough for me to get a good picture of the entrance gate, this reminds me of the paper crafting technique called serenschnitte.  I could be misspelling that, German is not my strong suit.


We went in one of the outbuildings that turned out to contain Ye Olde Chamberpot, and this mannequin dude.  It had a motion-activated recording thing that would make farting noises when you walked in, though thankfully it lacked the historical chamberpot smell.


Early in its history, Caerphilly Castle was important in the struggle between the native Welsh and the English who wanted to take over the entire island.  Centuries after Wales was conquered, the castle fell into disrepair and the waterworks drained out, which is probably what causes that half-ruined tower to lean.  At least, according to the source of all knowledge on the interwebs, Wikipedia.  Because I believe everything I read on Wikipedia.


Just trying to get some interesting shots of the ruined tower.


I like the statue dude "holding up" the tower to keep it from toppling, rather a fanciful addition to the castle grounds.


I spent several minutes taking pictures of the Welsh flag flapping in the breeze but never got one where you can actually SEE the dragon any better than this.  Argh.


More castley bits...


And the same castley bits from up in a tower.


And there's a bit of the gorgeous Welsh countryside surrounding the castle.  I'm kind of in love with Wales, and if we ever move to Europe again I'm gonna want to go back here.


That is not a ghost on the left;  Lee set up the camera to do a super-long exposure to photograph the fireplace, which you kind of have to do to get pictures inside because of the low light conditions.  So those people happened to wander in during the one or two minute exposure, and they look ghosty.


Here's another artsy shot from me, just because I liked all the texture here.


And there's an artsy lens flare for you.


Another statue on the grounds...


And the exit part of the gate, which is also very cool.


Caerphilly Castle was pretty fun to explore, and the town was absolutely charming.  Glad we decided to check it out!

1 comment:

CCsMom said...

LOVED this tour. Very nice. And it looked like a gorgeous day. I really like the castle grounds. Now I want to go to Wales!