Having removed half the leaflets and brochures from the hotel reception last night, Mr FWL and I went through the pile and separated them into yes, no and maybe by location at first. Then we delved deeper into what each tourist attraction had on offer and scheduled our day which was meant to be 24 degrees (Celsius) and sunny. We awoke to rain. Not to be stopped in our tracks, we headed north towards the Brecon Beacons. The rain did not appear to be stopping and the cloud cover was pretty low over the hills, so we were less than enthusiastic about the real weather outlook for the day. Coupled with that, Gertrude (Satnav) took us on a merry dance down a rather entertaining B-road to arrive at our first location – the National Showcaves.
The main cave, Dan-yr-Ogof, claims to be the largest in Europe and is one of the major tourist attractions in Wales. The first section of the cave system is open to the public but the extensive cave system beyond is a national nature reserve and is open only to bona-fide cavers. The cave was first explored by two local brothers in 1912, Tommy and Jeff Morgan, using candles and primitive equipment. They were unsure what they would discover and hence, armed themselves with a revolver!
Tommy and Jeff Morgan were two of the six sons of William Morgan who was the eldest son of Morgan Morgan – no, I am not joking! William Morgan developed Abercraf Colliery and various quarries using the Swansea Canal and when he died in 1905, William left an estate of £35,000. Professor Myron Wyn Evans book, O Hudd Ei Ddoe, gives more detail about the Morgan family and is available on Google Books.
A super place to visit – lots of photographs taken – and we managed to take in the National Trust Aberdulais Tin Works and Waterfalls on the way back to Swansea (as well as Machine Mart, but that – for me – was not so worthy of note!). Lovely day out and about and the weather improved enormously during out time in the first cave, with the sun shining brightly for the rest of Saturday.
I struggled to drive past a non-conformist chapel and graveyard on our journey today – in fact, I failed! However, we didn’t stop long. I just took a few snaps of the chapel itself and a few gravestones. Amusingly, I saw very few names other than Jenkins, Morgan, Williams, Evans, James and Jones! [Although my maternal grandmother was born as an Evans and she always said she was Welsh, I – at the moment – have no family lines in Wales.]
Tomorrow, we are expecting the worst (weather-wise) so Swansea-based indoor museums are the order of the day prior to departure from Welsh Wales.