On our flight here Jen, Alexis and I all agreed we would go to a soccer game in Europe before we left. This weekend we went to Swansea, a city in the South of Wales, to accomplish just that. Their brother actually did a semester abroad in Swansea, 8ish(?) years ago and gave us all the hot tips to a weekend in Swansea. While he was here, Swansea was the best team in their league and had some great games. Now Swansea stands near the bottom of the standings, so we weren’t sure how the game would go, but thought it was a great excuse to go explore another city for a weekend.
On Saturday we took the Mega Bus to Swansea, the drive was 2.5 hrs. along the coast then through the mountains. Riding at the top of a double decker bus over and around mountains and valleys with a very jerky European driver, is a unique experience, but hey at least we got some good views! We finally made it to Swansea and the weather was nasty, cold and windy with the hardest rain we’ve had. We all had our rain jackets and were determined to not let it dampen our mood!
Most Seats had cover but there was no roof over the field,
we were close enough to the field that we got wet
When we were buying our tickets we had a little bit of trouble, so Alexis was sitting by herself and Jen and I were sitting next to each other in the section just next to her, so we weren’t far from each other. We ended up getting really good seats, in the 4th row in line with the goalie box! The stadium was buzzing and we were ready for the game to start. It was cold and windy in the stadium and since were so close to the field we got rained on as well, good thing I bought a Swansea sweatshirt for the extra layer of protection. But would we have gotten the authentic European soccer experience without a little weather. The home crowd wasn’t quite as rowdy as we had expected, but the visiting crowd sang and chanted the whole game. That didn’t stop us from getting into the game and rooting for the home team. While the fan experience didn’t quite live up to our expectations we still had a great time and loved every minute. The next step in my European soccer experience is to watch a Real Madrid game in Spain!!
Saturday night we went to the White Rose pub at the recommendation of the Scheidt’s brother, and we loved the little pub. After dinner, a round of drinks and a game of pool we retired to our hotel. My advice to you is to find hotels on the edge of town, you get a lot more bang for your buck. For £25 a piece we got a 2 bedroom apt, I got a king bed and bathroom to myself, definitely the most comfortable bed I’ve slept in since I left home. (Now would be a good time to mention that I can feel every spring in my bed at Aber)
Sunday, we had no real plans, just to explore the town. We ended up having a pleasingly chill day. After a delicious breakfast of pancakes and bacon at the quaintest little café on the water we walked along the water towards the pier. We walked past the pier and went down into this little rocky bay area that is full during high tide. I was actually a really cool little beach and I’m glad we went out and found this area. Sometimes the best places are ones that you just stumble upon. There were tide pools everywhere with snails, crabs and we even saw a starfish!! Then we walked back and went to the castle, unfortunately it was closed for winter but it was a pretty little castle built in 1140.
Saturday at the pub, a local lady said we needed to go to Castle bay because it was so beautiful. So, after the castle we tried to find this bay, but we couldn’t find any mention of Castle bay anywhere and thought well maybe she was just talking about the castle. When we were googling for other things to do we stumbled upon a mention of Caswell Bay and realized that in her British accent, this is what she was talking about. We got a bus to take us there and it ended up being an amazing beach. It could possibly be the most beautiful beach I’ve ever been to, the tide was out so the beach was so long and magnificent. People were riding ponies, playing with their dogs, surfing and going for a hike on the hills and cliffs above. This beach had one of the coolest atmospheres I have ever seen at a beach and had the prettiest views. Both sides of the beach were surrounded by mountainous cliffs, I found a house on the top of one of the cliffs that whenever I win the lottery I'm going to buy and get a couple ponies to ride on the beach. I’ve never been to Australia but I feel like this beach belonged there. Afterward we went back to Swansea and got dinner before catching the Mega Bus back to Aber.
I knew Aber had a storm while I was gone but I didn’t think it was worse than storm Ophelia, so I was in for a Surprise when I got home. When I turned on my street in Aber, I couldn’t believe the amount of rock and sand covering my street. There was a spot of the Promenade that had been washed out and there was sand 5 inches deep on the street in front of my house. They have since used an excavator and backhoe to work on clearing the sand off the street.
|This is supposed to be a street, instead it's part of the beach|
➹“Oh the things you can find if you don't stay behind.” – Dr. Suess➷