Friday, July 23, 2010

Wales: Day 16 A Big Zombie-filled Pwll

Monday (July 19) was a pretty fun day. It was cool to see things that were more modern and more ancient than the standard castles and forts we see most days.

First we toured Pwll Mawr, or Big Pit. Wales has a significant coal seam and the mining of coal was huge in the late 1800s. Big Pit was instrumental in the mining of coal that fueled the Industrial Revolution, making Wales one of the first industrialized nations. Our tour guide was way funny, and a 90 year old man came with our group. He kept interrupting the tour guide with pointless comments and irrelevant questions, triggering giggles from us every time. But for me, I loved the tour because the entire time I was (in my mind) working out a rough outline for a zombie novel taking place in a mine. It was just flowing through me. I loved every second of it. I continued the trend throughout the day in most of the situations. I will probably do it everywhere we go now. Underground station? Easy. Cloverfield, but with zombies in the tunnels instead of freaky monsters. Done. Anyways, the educational aspect of the mine was awesome too. They had great exhibits and demonstrations. Very cool. I couldn't take pictures inside the mine (electricity safety issues), but this is the exterior.

Right across the valley are the Blaenarvon Iron Works. The iron and coal was transported a few miles across the way for casting in these plants. We learned a bunch of chemistry stuff that I should remember/know from AP Chem in high school, but whatev.

Finally we headed to Caerleon, a Roman fort built when Emperor Claudius invaded Britain in 41 AD. The ampitheater and original city wall are standing, as well as the foundations of some of the barracks.

We checked out a Roman Military museum with tons of cool artifacts, armor you can try on, and stick horses for our amusement. After, we looked at another museum about the Roman Baths, although not as cool as the one in Bath.

We came home somewhat early to make dinner and log in some studying time (I know you're shocked. We actually are doing SOME studying while we're here), and then Tom treated us to Toy Story 3 for "FHE." Phenomenal. It was my second time seeing it, but I still loved it. Great, great movie. We had so much fun walking there, hanging out and seeing it together. Our group is just getting more and more tightly knit and it's more fun every day. :)

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