Roman and Mediaeval History, Illlustrated Travel Journals, Mediaeval Literature, Geology


27.4.08
  Winterbirth, Weird Art, and Wales

Winterbirth

Don't worry, it's not about more pics of the two snow showers we got this spring, but about a novel by Brian Ruckley, first in the Godless World trilogy. According to the reviews, this Fantasy trilogy is losely based on a darker version - if that's possible - of Scottish geography and Dark Age-ish history, with magic, battles, and some interesting twists. Sounds like a read right up my alley, so I ordered the first book from Amazon.de. The second, Bloodheir, will be out in June.

Ruckley has a blog where he sometimes posts photos of Scottish landscapes (here, here, here, and here) and Northumbrian castles.

Weird Art

Well, not so weird, actually, because one can make some sense of it, but I needed a W for the alliteration. There is a new feature in the Junkerberg cemetary outside Göttingen.


If you look through the stones, you can distinguish the shape of a cross. A number of those stones has been arranged in the lay of a church, with an altar and some stone seats in the centre. Several walkways meander through it, giving different views of the cross-stones. I can imagine that once the trees have sprouted leaves and grown a bit, it will be even more interesting.


Wales

If everything goes well, I'll be off May 14 - 28, which gives me two weeks to explore Roman remains and great whopping castles. I'll take a four corner trip, so to speak: Cardiff, Pembroke, Caernarfon, Chester (ok, the last is just outside Wales, but it has too much Roman stuff to be missed). From those places I should be able to cover a good number of interesting sites, even by public traffic. Some on my list are Caerleon and Caerwent Roman remains, the castles of Caerphilly, Chepstow, Pembroke and Manorbier, Caernarfon castle and the Roman remains of Segontium, plus the castles of Beaumaris and Dolwyddelan.

The only part of the trip I'm not looking forward to is the transfer Pembroke - Caernarfon, an 8 ½ hour journey with several changes of buses and trains, and King Arthur knows if there'll be the chance to see a bathroom any time. I could rent a car, but I really don't feel like driving on the wrong side on single track roads. Or on normal roads, for that matter.

So if anyone feels like picking me up in Carmarthen and give me a ride .... *grin*

A little lake, also in Junkerberg cemetary

It's still a low winter sun in those pics, because I took them back in January.
 
Comments:
I would love to go to Wales, alas neither the schedule or the budget can handle a trip of that length. And it looks like next year is going to be conventions (I hope, anyway). Good luck and have a great time on your trip. :)
 
Have you been to Wales before? Caerphilly is where my father was born and worked in the mines for many years. My cousins still live there so I visit often. I've also been To Caernarfon castle and to nearby Llanberis where there is a very old castle ruin (before Romans). Lucky you!
 
Oh, I'm jealous! I got to go to Caerphilly several years ago, but didn't make it to Cardiff.
 
Caerlon, eh? You are so incredibly lucky. Better bring back some pics :)
 
Argh, the jealousy! You'll be away soaking up all those Roman ruins, and I'll be in exams. :(

Make sure you bring back plenty of photos! I know you will. :)
 
Ann,
I could not fund it without my father, either. And I'm collecting every damn little snip of receipt and hand the whole lot in for tax refund. It's a research tour, after all. :p

Wynn,
it's my first tour to Wales. I didn't know you still have family there.

Susan, Celede and Kirsten,
you really need to so something about those green faces. :)
Of course I'll try and get lots of pics. Just pray that the camera will hold, and there won't be too much rain.
 
What a beautiful cemetary. I love the lake photo.
I'm sure you'll have fun in Wales. I love the Welsh accents. When we visited we used to go to the tiny teashops for morning tea each day and eavesdrop on the locals. Fun times :-)
 
Shelley, it is a beautiful place. I'm glad my mother found her last rest there, in the oak grove. She would have liked it because it doesn't look like a graveyard; and she always loved trees and water.
 
"...and King Arthur knows if there'll be the chance to see a bathroom any time"

LOL! No kidding. Still it sounds like a fabulous trip!
 
Gabriele

Lovely pictures.

That looks like a much more attractive cematary "chapel" than most.

We will get lots of pictures of Wales, I hope.
 
Have a lovely holiday!
 
~anxiously~
You'll take care your camera is always in good order, won't you, Gabriele?
I feed on your photos. You take such marvellous ones.
 
Thanks, everyone.

Bernita, it got fresh lithium batteries and a new memory card (three, in fact, with 6 GB in all), so it should be one happy camera now. :)

But I'll bring my old analog one as well, to be on the safe side (and for black and white pictures). Since I have a scanner now, I could share some of those if everything went downriver.
 
Gabriele, Wales is a wonderful place, and the Welsh are very cool people--once they understand that you know something about their history and legends. Looking forward to your photos!
 
Gabrielle are you going to Chester? There was a big Roman army encampment there. On year when I was walking on the walls an old gent came along and asked if I'd like him to explain things. He did and I recorded some of it. Turned out he was a Roman historian and he told me about the old settlement in detail and later gave me a book he'd written about it. "The Deva Patrol" Fascinating!
 
Wynn, that sounds great. It would be nice if I could meet that gentleman.
 
Don't forget Tintern! It may be most famous for the abbey, but the Romans apparently had a post there too.

(and yes, the only reason I mention it is that my current WIP is set there)

Have a wonderful time!!
 
Thank you, Seeley.
I'll see what I can do about Tintern, being dependant on public traffic. ;)
 
So near yet so far! I'm just over the border in Gloucester would you believe! Only about 1/2 hour from Chepstow in fact - so if you want to meet up there for a coffee let me know!

Wales is fantastic! You'll love it -- and I don't blame you for not wanting to tackle those single track roads - some are a bit - shall we say - nerve-wracking - especially the way the post van drivers race around them!
 
Lady D, it would be fun to meet you. I have Chepstow on my itinerary for Friday May 16th. I'll plan to see Caerleon in the morning, continue from there and return by a train to Cardiff about 6 pm. I'd love to sneak Tintern Abbey in as well, but while it's only a 15 minute bus drive from Chepstow, those busses don't go very often, and it looks a bit far for an afternoon stroll. *sigh*

But if you know a place in Chepstow, we could have some tea (or coffee).

Lol, if the Welsh post van drivers are anything like the bus driver who got me from Jedburgh to Edinburgh, it would only be fun if you're in the bus, and not in the car. But I loved that ride, it's one of my most fun memories from that trip.

Some of the other passengers liked it less, but I had the extra seat beside the driver (don't know why that one is so unpopular, you get the best view) and grinned every time he took a turn or steep incline faster than he should have. :)
 
That sounds great! Send me an e-mail (there's a link on my blog) and we'll sort it out. Maybe we should do Chepstow castle together as I haven't been there for a long long time and maybe if time allows we could also take in Tintern (I have a car so we don't need to rely on the buses!) And I'm sure there'll be a coffee shop at the castle :-)
 
Give my love the the Marshal's shade.
 
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Miscellaneous musings of an aspiring Historical Fiction author. Illustrated essays on Roman, Dark Age and Mediaeval history, Mediaeval literature, and Geology. Some poetry translations and writing stuff. And lots of photos of old castles, cathedrals, Roman remains, and beautiful landscapes from Germany, the UK, Scandinavia, and the Baltic States.

All texts (except comments by guests) and photos (if no other copyright is noted) on this blog are copyright of Gabriele Campbell.

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I'm a writer of Historical Fiction living in Germany. I got a MA in Literature, Scandinavian Studies, Linguistics and History, I'm interested in Archaeology and everything Roman and Mediaeval, an avid reader, opera enthusiast, traveller with a liking for foreign languages and odd rocks, and photographer.


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