Thursday, July 18, 2013

Day the Fifth

OK, now they're just messing with my head.  Today, after dinner, the "hotel manager" -- who is very nice, friendly, and accommodating -- came by my table and asked if we were going to participate in the post-dinner entertainment (read: dance party).  Answer:  no.  I did inquire, however, if my journal was working yet.  He said no, it's still the weekend.  We have to wait until Monday.  I said, "Really?  It's still the weekend?"  "Yes," he said, "It's Sunday."

Now, I know this means little to you, seeing as you're probably not reading this until sometime much later in the week.  But I went back to my cabin, and read my schedule for tomorrow, which was clearly labelled "Tuesday."  Now, I may be suffering a bit from Vacation Brain, but I'm pretty sure Monday comes before Tuesday.  Grrr.

Eh, whatever.  I go to put away my laundry (my nice, clean laundry) which requires laying it out on the bed, and I notice a spot on my duvet.  Not on the part of the duvet that touches me, but on the duvet itself, under the duvet cover.  Is that blood?

I pull the duvet out from where it is tucked in and peel the cover back.  Yes, that does appear to be blood.  

There's also an inkstain (which I didn't bother photographing) and an "eww, what the heck is that?"  

 All on the far end of my duvet, on top of my feet.

Yes, that's on the duvet and there is a cover between me and it.  Even so, I am pretty ooked out.  (Take that, Windstar.  You block my 'blog, you get my undercover reporting.  And what is under my covers is kinda gross.  I thought you just did a renovation -- didn't that include the bed covers?)

OK, let's set that aside (really, though ... I've got the pictures on my camera.  I wonder what the hotel manager would say if I showed him tomorrow.  And a calendar.  I should probably show him a calendar.  IT'S MONDAY!)

So, yes, setting that aside.  We were in Wales today!  Never been to Wales.  Took some photos from the tour bus window.  It's green there.  With sheep.  And cattle. But mostly sheep.  

Today's shore excursion took us out to Pembroke Castle.  This was an actual castle, as opposed to a stately home. 

There was a keep and a dungeon and, although royalty didn't own the place, Henry VII was born there, so it's close enough.  (The dungeon was noteworthy.  In that they noted that although everyone thinks there were always people imprisoned in castle dungeons, it very rarely occurred.  But it did occur at Pembroke.  Henry V's younger brother owned Pembroke at the time, and got into a dispute with someone regarding the ownership of some land on the Isle of Wight.  So, he resolved the problem the old-fashioned way -- he locked the other claimant up in his dungeon for, like, seven years.  Dude went blind, as well as suffering many other ills.  (The brother of Henry V who did this was apparently also Duke of Gloucester.  In hindsight, this probably should have been a sign that those Gloucesters had a nasty habit of taking out anyone who stood between them and what they wanted.)

We did not have a ton of time at the castle, so I separated from the tour guide, in order to peek at the dungeon, shoot a picture out one of them arrow slots in the wall around the edge, 

and ... and then I had about ten minutes left, and decided to go down the spiral staircase into the cavern.

The cavern was neat.  It was also quite old -- inhabited in prehistoric times old.  I was also alone in there -- which was slightly creepy but mostly awesome.  I like being alone in historical places -- it just gives me a chance to experience the place directly, without having my thoughts guided by some preconceived notions coming from a tour guide.  Most places, I'd touch the walls to get a (literal) feel for it, but these walls just said "don't touch."  (They also said, "we're potentially growing thousand-year-old bacteria.")  Alone, the place just felt ancient and untouched.  I got a mystical feel from it, too.  The castle was a well-preserved tourist attraction with placards and a dummy in the dungeon to help you envision what it must have been like for the prisoner.  But the cavern was unkempt and genuine, with something dripping from the ceiling.  Also, it made for awesome echoing.  (I considered singing a bit of "Floyd Collins" in there, but that would have been wrong.  I just let out a very soft hum and it reverberated around the room and came back to me in stereo.)

We then piled back on the bus and went to Tenby, which is ... hell if I know what it is.  It was a walled city, probably medieval, but I won't swear to that, as, again, I ditched the guide to get some time on my own.  Tenby had an old church in the middle of it.  But it was also a old-fashioned British seaside resort city, full of little shops selling cornets and candy floss.

 (I asked the woman selling ice cream which flavor was best.  She said "raspberry ripple."  So, of course, I had to buy some.  Welsh raspberry ripple is way ahead of Cornish triple chocolate.  I'm just saying.)  This is the view I had where I stopped to eat my ice cream.

Tonight, Windstar had a massive barbecue for dinner.  There was a ton of food, a lot of which was tasty.  I ate my very first pineapple fritter.  (I then went back for my second, third and fourth pineapple fritters.  I decided they worked better as a dessert, so I put some vanilla ice cream on top.  The dude serving the ice cream seemed to approve of my creation.)

That's about it for today.  Let's see what happens tomorrow.  TUESDAY.

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