Sunday 28th May, we went for a boat trip on the Viaduct in Llangollen.
It was a slow relaxed ride and the lady speaking taught us a lot about the canal.
The boat company was called Jones The Boats and the boats were long skinny barges that floated low in the water. We passed several other boats, with people, cats and even ghosts living on them!
We travelled across this amazing canal bridge called an aqueduct. It was built on stone pillars high up in the air, quite scary to look over the edge! Did you know that they drain the aqueduct every 5 years? It is closed for about 3 days, and they start the process by draining it, how they do this is there is a big pin in the middle of the aqueduct which you pull and it empties the water into the river below. They then have to scrub it by hand before filling it back up again and re-opening the canal.
Canals changed life for industry in Wales. Prior to the canal horses and carts were used to take goods such as wool, coal, hay, pottery and other things to markets. Horse and Carts had limited space for goods but boats could carry much greater loads and much heavier loads. During the winter months’ roads got very wet and unreliable and in the summer months they baked and got quite rutted, and the introduction of canal boats drawn by horses meant that exporting of goods became much easier – this was also the precursor to the railways.
After the boat trip, we walked back and fourth along the canal before having an amazing roast lunch at the Telford Inn. We then made our way to the Horseshoe Falls which is this beautifully designed and picture perfect ‘falls’. Where a river flows over the side of a horseshoe shaped wall about a metre tall, it flows directly into the canal. The water that flows into the canal then gets cleaned and it put in to the canal.
We went back to where we were staying and we had a very nice BBQ, and went to bed early so that we could wake up early on Monday morning
Monday 29th May, we left very early to get back down to Pwll (it took 4 hours). Outside it was the perfect day for travelling as it was pouring with rain and we were all tired. Once we were back in Pwll we started packing for our trip to Cardiff the next day. Mum wasn’t coming (she was working!) Dacu was driving us up to Cardiff for 2 days. Once we were all packed and food had been bought we settled down for dinner, after dinner everybody got to bed pretty early.
Tuesday 30th May, Dacu, Emily, Carter and I dropped Mum off at work, and then drove to Cardiff, Once in Creigiau we unpacked our bags, grabbed our togs and headed for the pool, Nia took us to Cardiff Bay Pool, we swum for about 1 ½ hours and went down a slide, we would have gone down more but as it was half-term the lines were really long. Then we went to the waterfront and got an ice cream, and some delicious Welsh cakes, all different flavours.
We then went to Caerphilly Castle where we met up with Euros and Sandy, we went in and around Caerphilly castle, and climbed all the way to the top of the biggest castle in Wales (Caerphilly). It was gigantic there were tons of rooms, we went around the same tower twice because we were a bit lost!!! We saw the red dragon and a picture/story of the green lady and her daughters/granddaughter. We also saw the leaning tower and the great hall (Dacu once sung in the great hall).
After we had seen Caerphilly Castle we went to Euros and Sandy’s for a delicious lasagne and salad, We also watched the second semi-final of BGT. My favourite was Izzy the 8yr old magician. She won!!!! We decided to go back to Nia’s at about 10pm.
Wednesday 31st, Dacu took us to the Big Pit, in Cardiff. We went on the underground tour, the guy there was really friendly and he was very educational. One of the most interesting things was that if you were a girl over the age of 12 you would have work in the coal mines opening and closing doors when ponies and boys with carts of coal came past. The doors were kept shut so that the air circulation kept going and the gas or methane gases couldn’t get through if there was a leakage.
After the underground tour, we went up and through the bath houses and there were a lot of showers that the miners and family would have used. There was also a lot of information about all of the different jobs and the higher ranks meant better clothes for family members. Once we had gone through the bath houses we then went into this cinema room with a 20-minute movie on the life of a miner, and we went through a whole heap of different rooms with different machines that they would have used in the different years to get it done quicker. Then off to the café for a nice ice block, juice, hot chocolate, tea, sandwich or slice of Bara Birth!
After we had been to the Big Pit we went back to Nia’s where Carter and Dacu dropped Emily and I off before driving back to Pwll (and stopping off for some Chinese noodles).
Meanwhile Emily and I stayed the night with Nia, which included painting our nails, watching The Devil Wears Prada and getting a good nights’ sleep.