Our train leaves at 5:19 am so we get up at 3. Our original plan was to take a subway from Victoria to Paddington station, but our little tour incident yesterday has made us paranoid so we pay a cabby 20 pounds to drive us there instead.
Inside there’s a giant screen set up in front of a patch of chairs. Under different circumstances I might call it a theater, but right now it’s split into 8 screens and each one is flashing the times and stops of a train.
It takes us a while to find our route screen, which says:
Swansea, ARRIVING 5:19, ON TIME, Great Western Railway
Below it flashes the stops but it takes some effort to find Cardiff Central because the screen keeps switching before our eyes can adjust.
Protip # 13: If you’ve never used European railways before, you should probably know BEFORE you go to the station that your ride will be identified only by its final destination, in this case: Swansea. Elsewise, you may find yourself squinting stupidly at the screens to find your wanted destination, in this case: Cardiff. Don’t be that guy, in this case: me.
My sister goes to get her and my mother some breakfast while I sulk for some reason so trivial I no longer remember. The breakfast is from—you guessed it! European Starbucks: Upper Crust.
And now we wait. Not like we waited in the Victoria Coach Station for our tour bus. No. Not so casual. We are staring down these trains like the teacher stares down that kid whose talking after a foreboding statement of “I’ll wait.”
That kind of wait.
My mom went all out and bought us first-class tickets for this train. That’s not really something I would have expected from my mom but I guess after 30+ years of travel, curiosity got the better of her. They’re significantly more expensive—totaling about $700 for all three—but with them comes the promise of luxury seats, USB access, and a complimentary breakfast buffet. Also the knowledge that this is the only first-class thing we’ll ever do in our lives.
Finally the train pulls in, but we can’t board until our little screen switches from “ARRIVING 5:19” to “BOARDING AT GATE 5”. That’s the thing. They don’t want you lingering. They won’t tell you your gate number until the train is ready to board.
When it switches we run like there’s an army of sword-bearing clowns behind us. We’re not sure how long the train waits for passengers, but if yesterday was any indication we’d better pull some Usain Bolt miracles here.
Miracles are granted and we board the train. Our car is number 7, the caboose. The first-class car. Luxury.
We go in and find our seats and it’s everything we had ever wanted it to be. Four seats. One table. So nice. Big window. Much wow.
We are the only people in our number 7 first-class car. It’s got about forty other seats—all empty and donning white signs that say “Reserved”.
All said and done, we are comfortable and ready for the next adventure.
“What are we doing today?” I ask. My mom has planned out the first week of our trip and I didn’t do any research on her schedule because I like surprises. Or I’m lazy. Take what you will.
“We’ve been over this like 50 times,” My sister responds. “We’re going to the Beacon Brecons.”
“I believe it’s the Brecon Beacons,” My mom corrects while she snaps photos of our seats and the table and the floor and the ceiling and the handprints smeared on the window.
“No it’s Beacon Brecons,” My sister disagrees.
When the train starts the first thing we notice is that we’re jolting back and forth pretty violently. I’ve never been on a high-speed rail before so I assume this is how it’s supposed to be. Right? Yeah? I hope? We hit a few turns and I swear the train is lifting off the tracks.
Two minutes in we hear a high screech and a burning smell wafts toward us from the back of the train. That’s when we realize. We are in the last seats on the last car on the train—the very back—right next to the breaks. Which means we get to smell this the whole trip long.
Soon the train starts up again, but the smell lingers. We ride as the city of London passes outside our window. It’s too dark to see much, just some buildings covered in amateur graffiti and a few dying trees that look as happy as the “happy” cows that come from California. (Bitch please, happy cows come from Wisconsin. Break yah shriveled drought-ridden ass off the continent and float away).
I kid, I kid. Northern Cali is bae.
After a while the intercom turns on and a voice says: “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Great Western Railway. This is your ride to Swansea. The breakfast buffet will be opening in a few minutes.”
It’s a lady’s voice, she sounds about 30 and talks like she’s not reading off a script. Now, chaplings, you wouldn’t think I’d have need to name such a minuscule character in the story. An intercom lady? We shouldn’t hear from her more than 3 times or so, right?
Not this intercom lady. This intercom lady landed herself a main role in our story. The story of the three Americans who should have stayed at home. Oh yes, chaplings, we’ll be hearing from her again. I’m going to name her Patsy.
Soon the smell of burning breaks gets to me and I decide to go check out the breakfast buffet.
Number 7 is a first-class car, number 6 is a first-class car, then number 5 holds the breakfast buffet. On my walk there I notice there is literally only one guy in first class with us. Every other seat is empty. Que the “Horror Game on a Train” theme song.
The buffet is a long counter with some shelves behind it and a brunette man by the register. He watches me as I approach, in that oh-so-intimidating customer service way. “Hello.”
“Hi,” I hold up my first-class ticket even though he just watched me walk out of a first-class car. Regular passengers don’t get a complimentary breakfast buffet, you see, they have to pay for it like peasants. “What’s included with the first-class breakfast?”
He says many words very fast in a thick British accent and the only things I hear are “coffee” and “fruit cake”.
“Okay,” I say, without letting on that I didn’t understand him. I pretend to be considering while I glance over his shoulder at what’s stacked on the shelves. If I could just read the packaging—no. My snooping takes too long and it starts to get awkward. “Okay,” I repeat, “Can I have one of each?”
He nods and I’m surprised that made sense. After a quick trip to the shelves, he’s back with a shortbread, a bag of chips, and—of course—the fruit cake. “Anything to drink?” He asks.
I know my mom will want a coffee so I ask for one of those, then, “Do you have any tea?”
This is England. You’d better have tea.
He smirks a little and asks me what kind I want.
“What kinds are there?”
I shouldn’t have even asked because he lists off maybe 6 teas and all I hear is “peppermint”. I don’t want peppermint tea.
“Okay,” I say, probably fidgeting. “Can I just have like… regular?”
Sure. Yeah. Breakfast tea. Sounds good. I would have gotten coffee but it’s not real coffee it’s Nescafe instant coffee. The shit my dad wraps in a paper towel and soaks in a pot of lukewarm water from a pump when we’re in the desert living like cave men.
I take the spoils back to my family and we’re just starting to discuss our disappointment when the train comes to a screeching halt. On the middle of an overpass. A moment later we get some static from the intercom and Patsy says, “Ladies and gentlemen, we are experiencing technical difficulties. Just a short stop and we should be on our way in around 10 minutes. Thank you for your patience.”
“Of course,” My mom says. “We were so close to escaping.”
My sister sighs. “You can never leave.”
I suppose that’s the only way London can get immigrants, you know. Block all pathways out of the city.
We laugh about it because we figure it really is just some technical difficulties and we really will be off in ten minutes.
It feels too early in the day for chips so I open the fruit cake. I’ve never had fruit cake before, all I know is it’s what old ladies give their garbage men—who have to act like they love it so she’ll smile and they’ll part ways and he’ll chuck it in the back of the truck.
A few nibbles later I understand why. This thing tastes like mold. I don’t even know what mold tastes like, but this fruit cake definitely tastes like it. So I sip at my tea until I’ve thoroughly burned my tongue and open the shortbread.
My sister gets up to grab some breakfast buffet of her own when Patsy comes back on. “Could the train manager please contact the driver.” A pause. “Ladies and gentlemen, we are experiencing technical difficulties. The driver is waiting for the station to contact him and then we will be on our way.”
The three of us exchange nervous looks. Our train was scheduled to reach Cardiff at 7:50. Once there, we’ll have to get a taxi to the steps of the National Museum, from where our Brecon Beacon Bacon tour leaves at 9 o’ clock. We’ve already lost 15 minutes.
My sister returns with her ration of tea, shortbread, chips, and fruit cake. She eyes the fruitcake while giving me the look, then stuffs it in the unused area of the table. As far from herself as she can get it without outright throwing it on the floor.
Ten minutes pass and Patsy is back. “Could the train manager please contact the driver. Ladies and gentlemen, we appreciate your patience. We are just waiting for the train manager to contact the driver and then we will be on our way.”
My mom sighs and gives us a defeated look. “Shoulda known,” She says. Her meaning, of course, is that London has screwed us over one final time and we will miss our Brecon Bacon tour.
“How much did you pay for the tour tickets?”
“About 300 dollars.” At this point my mom can’t look us in the face. Yesterday was a huge disappointment and it looks like today will follow suit so of course she blames it on herself for poor planning, as opposed to the real perpetrator here, that is: the universe. Or Britain. Which—historically—believes that it is the universe.
I want to lighten her spirit. I felt very disappointed about missing the Cotswolds yesterday but thanks to my poor research skills I don’t actually know what this Bacon Brecon tour consists of. Therefore—I don’t know what we’re missing and can’t possibly be disappointed. So I shrug at her. “Well, maybe they’ll wait for us if you email them and say the train’s late—”
“They’re not gonna hold up the whole tour just for us,” My sister counters. It is clear from her tone that she has done her Beacon Brecon research. She knows what we’re missing and it’s something good.
I sigh and hand my mom the Chromebook she’s keeping in my laptop bag. “Well, might as well try cuz they’re probably not gonna refund us either.”
Protip #14: Tablet, smartphone, laptop—trying to decide what to bring on your Euro trip?
- Is the whole trip booked but you wanna keep in touch with fam? Smartphone.
- Wanna book hotels, surf the web (translation: Facebook), and type long work emails? Chromebook.
- Wanna store and edit photos? Laptop.
- Are you a hipster? Use Morse code on a telegraph key. It’s a surefire way to get your work to stop emailing you. And your family. And everyone you love.
*static* *burning smell* *Patsy* “Will the train manager please contact the driver. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your continued patience. The driver is just waiting for contact from the station. It should be about 10 minutes and then we will be on our way.”
My mom accepts the Chromebook and emails the tour operator—a Welsh lady named Jan—explaining our predicament. I can already see that she’s given up, but you know how it is. Hope is a strong feeling.
We sit on this high rail for about 45 minutes before the train starts moving again. It pulls up to the next station—by the name of Reading Railroad or whatnot—and stops.
Patsy welcomes us with a, “Ladies and gentlemen, just an update: we are waiting for a new driver to come out here from in the city, it should be about ten minutes and then we will be on our way.”
I think Patsy is stuck in a ten-minutes-to-everything time loop.
“Jan says they can wait 5 minutes for us but they have to leave by 9:05.” My mom looks up at us in a final, defeated way. We’re already running about an hour late, meaning the earliest we could reach Cardiff would be 8:50 and we’d still have to get a taxi and ride to the museum.
That’s assuming Patsy’s time loop has unglitched and we really will be off in 10 minutes.
My sister and I decide we’re going to go talk to a train employee. Give ‘em a piece of our minds. JK we’re too awkward for that.
Past the breakfast “buffet” counter we enter one of the peasant cars. To my shock they pretty much look like the first-class cars. The same four seats around a table—uglier fabric patterns but they don’t look less comfortable—and what?—no! They ALSO have USB access. My whole first-class experience has been a lie.
We find an employee a couple cars down, who’s about to exit the train.
“Excuse me,” my sister says, “Do you know what’s going on?”
“Er, yeah. What happened was, because it rained last night, now the tracks are wet and so of course they’re slippery.” He’s using hand motions as he talks—one hand is the track and the other hand is the train. The way he portrays it, we’re sliding all over the track like the puck in an intense game of air hockey. “So the driver accidentally skidded through a red light and now he has to be taken in for drug testing—it’s just standard procedure.”
Uh, three things sir:
- So the train driver ran a red light?
- So the English train driver is apparently unfamiliar with the effects of rain?
- So we paid $700 to have our lives put at the hands of a driver who needs to be taken in for drug testing?
“Okay,” I say. “Any idea how long before we keep going?”
“Yeah, well now this driver can’t legally drive the train anymore, see. So they’ve called in a new one but he has to drive out from the inner city so it should be about twenty minutes.”
No doubt Patsy’ll come on any second telling us it’s ten.
“When does the next train going this route come to this station?” I ask. Translation: If we walk off here, can we get on the next train because it would probably still be faster.
“Er, the next Swansea train would be here in about 30 minutes. I think we’ll be off by then.”
I don’t know, sir. I’m a little skeptical.
With this new information my sister and I return to our seats. Our mom has all but given up on her dream of finally seeing the Beacon Brecons.
“Well if we’re not moving within twenty minutes then we’ll get off and get on the next one,” I say.
But my mom just sighs. “We’re not going to make the tour anyways.”
There’s another obligatory “ten minutes to take off” announcement from Patsy…
One hour and thirty minutes later than scheduled…
Our train takes off from the Reading Railroad station.
But it’s too little too late and the three of us just give each other looks. London has screwed us over one time too many and we are going to miss our tour. Finally my mother grins. “We should upturn all the armrests so they have to go through and put them back down.”
My sister and I laugh and she suggests, “Close all the drapes so they have to tie them back again.”
“They leave the creamer out on the counter, we could go take it all,” I add. This plan is gettin’ good.
We continue to discuss passive aggressive ways to get back at Great Western Railway—like leaving hordes of fruit cakes in unsavory places—and I google our Swansea train to see what time we’ll actually arrive. Maybe I can find a list of 101 free things to do in Cardiff. When I find our route I stare in surprise.
Swansea 5:19 GWR … Arriving Cardiff Central 8:47 am.
That’s not possible. We’re running an hour and a half late. The train was scheduled to reach Cardiff at 7:50. That means we should be getting there at 9:20, 20 minutes too late for our tour.
“Google says we’ll reach Cardiff by 8:47,” I say.
“It’s wrong, obviously.” My sister is examining the drapes to see how much pain we could cause the workers if we drew all 32 of them in the first-class cars.
“If it was wrong why wouldn’t it just say 7:50?” Our scheduled arrival time. I get that the internet takes time to update, but this is Google we’re talking about. They’ve got the locations of every traffic accident and construction area in the continental US on Google maps and it’s never been inaccurate for me before.
The Google. Never. Lies.
A moment later Patsy comes on, “Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your patience. All technical problems have been resolved and we will… hopefully… continue on our way without further delay. A quick note, we will no longer be stopping at Didcot Parkway, Swindon, Chippenham, Bath, Bristol, or Abbey Wood. Our next stop will be Newport. If you need to get off at one of the listed stops, please see a member of the crew and we will assist you as best we can. Again, our next stop will be Newport and then we will continue on to Cardiff Central.”
“Yeah, see.” I glance back and forth between my mother and sister. “They’re skipping stops which means we’ll make it to the station by 8:47.”
I have a delightful feeling in my stomach and my mom looks a little less hopeless.
Protip #15: When in doubt: The Google. Never. Lies.
“I doubt they’ll get us there by that time though,” my sister argues. “There’ll be some other issue—”
“This driver better not be drunk too,” My mom is updating Jan on her Chromebook while I look up the National Museum to see how long our taxi ride will have to be. The route is really windy but google says it can be done in 8 minutes.
“It’s 8 minutes to the museum from the station,” I tell them.
That leaves us 10 minutes for train delay, unboarding, getting a taxi, and unaccounted traffic. 10 minutes. For the rest of the journey we sit in eager anticipation.
We roll into Cardiff Central at 8:48. We’ve already grabbed our bags and are waiting at the back door to our car. The train stops. Our door remains shut.
I start to panic. They don’t wait at these stations very long. Nobody here waits for anyone. The door still isn’t open.
It takes me .02 seconds to abandon that door and I’m racing toward the middle doors. The ones by the buffet counter. Those doors have to be open. Everything centers around food locations.
I race through the 2 first-class cars and—hallelujah!!!—the door is open. Motioning back to my mom and sister, I put myself halfway outside the train. In retrospect that act was probably useless because a train is not an elevator and the door would more likely just crush me than wait.
It’s a London train door, after all.
My mom comes racing to join me but my sister stays determined, picking and prodding at her door in search of a magic button.
Of course, I think. Now she’ll get stuck on the train and we’ll have to sit at the station waiting until she gets somewhere with internet access and—
My sister manages to exit the back door and the three of us walk away from the train just as it starts moving.
We give her questioning looks and she shrugs, “It just opened.”
Yeah, sure. Don’t tell ME about your magical powers. There have to be at least 50 fantasy novels explaining why keeping these things from your best friend is a bad idea but yeah—you know—it “just opened.”
The goal now is to find a taxi. Heading toward the station building, we spot two station workers.
“Excuse me, sir?” I call to them. They walk faster. “Excuse me!”
They ignore me, heads down, trying hard to get away.
Now that just pisses me off. We ain’t got time for your immature little better-than-thou ego games. Your ass gets paid to be here now listen to my goddamn question.
I run after them until one realizes that I’m not giving up and spins around. “Where can we get a taxi?” I’m not bothering with politeness because we ain’t got time and they ain’t deserve it.
“Yeah, just go down these stairs and out the back, there should be some there.”
“Thanks,” I say. But deep down, inside, I don’t mean it.
The three of us head down the stairs, where we search for the station exit. When we find it we run like Usain Bolt is chasing us dressed in a clown outfit wielding a sword. We make it outside and find ourselves…
In an empty parking lot. There are a few cars parked in the slots and a few people exiting with us, but there’s one very important thing that is nowhere to be seen:
“Excuse me,” My mom stops a young ginger man with a backpack and a friendly smile. “A man in the station told us there would be taxis somewhere around here.”
This man—whose ass is NOT getting paid to be here—stands politely, granting my mother eye contact, and listens to her words. “Hmm,” He thinks for a moment and then, “I know there are taxis at the front entrance, that’s around the building—” He points back the way we came, “—you can’t usually find them back here, maybe a stray one every once in a while.”
“Thank you so much,” My mom tells him. She really does mean it.
“Best of luck, eh, cheers,” He says, and walks on.
The three of us exchange another disappointed look—though at this point being lied to by customer service workers isn’t a shock any more. Then we traipse all the way around the building to the front entrance.
My mom has a bad back so she can’t walk very fast. I’m afraid the taxis will figure everyone from that last train is already accommodated and drive away.
So I run ahead—trying to keep my mom and sister in my sight—but I still don’t see any taxis. I look back and my mom is rolling her eyes as if to say—screw this whole trip it’s not even worth it—then I turn the corner and—
The Holy Grail of Taxi Line. There’s gotta be 30 taxis here, they’re lined up 2 by 2 and the line curves half-way around the parking lot.
I stand for a moment in appreciative awe. This is what Lewis and Clarke must have felt like when they crossed the continental divide. I—JK Rivers of Wisconsin—have found the taxi line of Cardiff Central.
So I run up to the closest taxi who looks like he can escape the line. He’s got one window rolled down and he’s listening to Taylor Swift, but we’ve done less savory things than get into a car blasting T-Swift.
“No,” He waves me forward before I can speak, “Go to the first one in the line.”
“Oh, thank you!” I call, and I run around the semi-circle to the taxis near the front. A Nigerian guy comes out to help me with my bag and I hold up two fingers breathlessly, “Two more.”
I nod. I think I need a little more cardio in my life. When I look back, my mom and sister are halfway across the parking lot.
Five minutes later we are in the heart of Cardiff. We’ve told our driver where we need to go and alluded as politely as possible that we need to get there fast.
I’m watching the clock on my phone. 8:55. Holy Fish-and-Chips, I think. We’re actually gonna make it.
We get caught in some traffic and I watch the clock slip to 8:56. I look at the driver. He doesn’t look concerned. Finally I can’t take it. “Do you think we’ll uh… be there by 9:05?”
“Oh yah…” He nods slowly to himself. “Oh yah, is no problem.”
At 9 o’ clock sharp we turn a corner and there’s the National Museum.
“There’s the van!” my mom announces. It’s a small white van with the words “When Where Wales” printed on the side in faint coloring.
I’m pretty sure our driver thinks we’re over-reacting but in our rush he gets a pretty big tip so in the end I don’t think he much cares. He helps us with our bags and we run over to our tour.
A short woman with a puff of dark hair greets us at the door, “Oh, bless you!” She calls, “Jon, come help them with their bags.”
“Yeah, well I have to open the door you see.” Jan and Jon look to be in their 70s. Jon comes around back to help my sister and I throw in our bags, then the three of us board. I get the front left seat, right across from Jan, who announces she is to be our tour guide. Jon takes the driver’s seat and off we go.
Now I could write another 4 thousand words on our adventures with Jan and Jon but, frankly, this post is getting long. So I’ll sum it up for you.
The tour is pretty all-encompassing for Southern Wales. We get to see the Rapunzel castle.
And the biggest castle in Wales.
I’ve befriended this Indian woman who seems determined to shelter me with her umbrella in exchange for me holding said umbrella while she takes pictures with this giant ipad.
I get to find out what the Beacon Brecons are—it’s these green squared-off hills covered in sheep. I’ve seen these on Pinterest.
We pet some wild horses that really couldn’t care less.
Me and this rando get magic juju from a druid rock of debatable origin.
And I buy some NomNom Proper Welsh chocolate which I will later feed to my hostel roommate for good measure.
As we will find later in the trip, every tour includes a lunch stop. The lunch stop we get from When Where Wales is the best one we will ever get because it includes options. We stop in the middle of a bustling little town and get to pick from seafood, Chinese, pub-style, etc. My mom, sister, and I get some lasagna and chowder from a hotel restaurant and it’s A-OK.
All in all I’d give it a 4.5 star rating and recommend to anyone planning a trip to Wales. Had to take off half a star because I disagree with Jan’s choice of music and also the weather really determines how much of the Brecon Beacons you get to see.
After the tour Jan and Jon drop us off in Cardiff’s main square. Our mom has booked a room at the Sandringham Hotel in the shopping district and we walk around the square to get to it.
It’s a lovely square, with many a shop and pub. We stop halfway to relax in a seating area and my mom suggests, “Why don’t you two go check in and come meet me back here and we’ll have some drinks.”
Woah, woah, woah. Check in? On our own? What are we, adults? Seriously.
I don’t remember how it goes down but we ditch that idea real fast and the three of us continue on to the hotel. In retrospect this was a very good thing. Ohana means family, and family means no one gets left behind.
When we enter the hotel we are greeted by a sweltering heat wave and two flights of stairs. This place looks like a house from an Anne Frank movie—dull carpet, white walls. Paintings of ugly flowers and dead winter days follow us up the stairs, which creak and groan under the weight of each step.
By the time we reach the main landing we are sweating. I don’t know if they’ve got the heater running or what but this place feels like a rainforest.
“Hi,” My mom says to the lady at the front desk. “We’ve got a reservation.”
She asks for our name and info and we ask where our room is.
“Your room is on the fourth floor, through that door and then up three flights and to the left.” She points to a door.
“Okay. Where’s the elevator?”
“We don’t have one.”
She glares at us through her small square glasses. “The website doesn’t say there’s an elevator.”
Thank you Miss Sass.
“Okay.” The three of us exchange looks. “Do the rooms have air conditioning?”
She looks at us like we’re the most entitled little shits she has ever encountered. “No.”
There’s no way we’ll be able to sleep in this sweltering heat, let alone three more flights up. “We’re just gonna sit down over there and talk about it,” We tell Miss Sass.
The woman rolls her eyes and goes back to her computer.
As we sit down in their seating area, the man at the next desk over—who has overheard our conversation—comes to greet us.
“You don’t fancy the stairs, eh?”
My mom laughs, “No, we don’t fancy the stairs.”
“It’s actually a lot cooler up on the higher floors, I can give you the key if you want to take a look and then decide.”
Ah, he is the manager. He is embarrassed of Miss Sass and her poor treatment of customers.
My sister and I accept the offer and make the climb up to our would-be room. The stairs are a hassle because they twist and turn and each one is a different height. The room itself looks like it was crafted in an attic space. It’s narrow and bent, with the three beds tucked in wherever they fit. There’s one small window, which opens onto the busiest street around and it’s already loud with the beginnings of a wild party night.
This hotel feels like a brothel.
No words are necessary as we descend back to the landing and give our mother a unanimous “no.” The manager suggests some other hotels we might consider and offers to call a couple of them. My sister and I take to the internet to book somewhere else and I find a place a couple miles away called The Elgano. It looks pretty nice—I mean, not like a brothel—so we book it for the night.
The manager apologizes for the miscommunication from the website—he really is very nice.
Protip #16: A Welsh person is either the sweetest person you will ever meet or a complete and utter asshole. There is no in-between.
So it’s back to the streets to find a taxi.
The Elgano is an Italian-run bed and breakfast with small—but nice—rooms, only one flight of stairs, and the best restaurant in all of the British Isles. We have named it so.
The woman who checks us in is the same woman who waits on us at the restaurant—one of the loveliest people we meet on the whole trip. We tell her we are leaving tomorrow before the scheduled breakfast time and she tells us we will have packed lunches waiting outside our door in the morning.
Alright, on to the food. Praise the laaaaawwd, this food is amazing. The three of us split a seafood pasta with pomegranate. Now, I would never think to put pomegranate in a pasta and THAT—chaplings, is why I am not a millionaire. Pomegranate in pasta—I tell you. The next. Best. Thing.
And then the tiramisu. This is my mom’s favorite desert so we order it almost everywhere we go but THIS one… this one takes the cake.
Eh? Eh? Cake pun? Anyone?
And so we retire to our beds. It has been a long day and I’m surprised it ended this well.
Thus we say goodbye to the shithole that is England and hello to the cheap-and-upfront countryside that is Wales. Tomorrow we venture on to one of the last remaining walled cities of the world—Conwy.