Bon Echo Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Reuniting with Max in Germany on October 1st.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

100 Meters Underground

We had a busy day yesterday. After taking the dogs for a walk, we headed into the city of Abergavenny, Wales. It's a small city, with a population of around 15,000 and Tuesday's are market days.

We were trying to get there fairly early, but when we read that the market opens at 6:00am, we figured there was no rush! So we arrived about 11:00am, and did some wandering around first before getting to the market. Seems everyone else comes into town on market days was a busy little place.

The market building in Abergavenny.

Busy market stalls.

But, it seemed to us to be more of a flea market. Not one of the better markets we've been to, and it doesn't even compare to the one they have up in Leeds. Helen bought some strawberries and cherries as a treat, but the prices were not what you would call a great deal. We were hoping to find a great deal for lunch in there, but as I said, it was more of a flea market and it didn't really have a lot of food stands. So we ended up going to a pub for lunch, and at least they had a decent "2 can eat for £10" ($16.50) deal.

I had the steak and ale pie with chips. It was good!

After lunch we walked over to the ruins of Abergavenny Castle. Again, dating back to the 13th century but there's not really much left of it...

Abergavenny Castle.

The main church in Abergavenny also dates back to the 12th century. The exterior is nothing special, and we almost passed it by, but decided to head in for a quick look. They have some old stuff in there!

This tomb dates to 1346.

And this one to 1325!

After that, we headed to the Big Pit coal mine. Of course Welsh coal mining goes back a long time, and this huge mine is now a museum of coal mining. In fact, Big Pit mine was a working coal mine from 1860 until 1980. At it's peak in 1923, there were 1,400 men employed there!

Ruth, ready to head underground.

There was a 50 minute underground tour. Unfortunately, no cameras were allowed. Neither were any cell phones, watches, or key fobs. In fact, nothing that has a battery is allowed underground due to risk of methane gas explosion. But it was a really good tour, and considering the whole thing is totally free, it's well worth the drive up here to see what life was like working in a coal mine.

The coal mine overlook the town of Blaenavon, Wales.

The change rooms.

And the showers!

After we left there, we drove by the old ironworks, but it was closed. Ruth got out and took a few pictures.

There is a steep hill leading back to Abergavenny, and there was an accident on the hill. The two guys in this car were out and seemed to be okay, but they were lucky. The police weren't even there yet...

Thinking maybe they were going a little too fast!

Did some grocery shopping on the way back through Abergavenny, and then watched a movie in the evening. "The Five Year Engagement" had some laughs, but it dragged on for too long.

Harvey tried to crawl up onto Ruth's lap, but he's not really a lap dog!


  1. Great recap. Looks like a fun day! I liked the market and the underground cave tour.

  2. Another nice day! Who's the guy in the shower room? Or was it just a poster? Gotta love that Harvey!!!

    1. It was just a photo stuck on the door but very well done. You see a front view when you look into the shower area and when you walk around to the back of the exhibit you get a back view. They did an amazing job restoring the bath house.

  3. great tour. where the tombs of famous locals or just ordinary
    citizens? Of course Harvey is a lap dog, just like Riggins,he
    takes up the whole lap

    1. I am not sure Sam, they were probably well to do people or people that had something to do with the church or state.

  4. Lunch looked pretty tasty and the mine tour would have been fun too.

  5. and another great day in the life of the globe I'm enjoying travelling along with you via the blogs...

  6. Just a wee bit of speed, me thinks! You guys really do see a lot in a day. Glad you had time to relax and watch a movie and let Harvey be a lap dog.

  7. Are you charged a sales tax at these markets?

    1. There is a VAT (value added tax) on everything you buy in Britain. The current rate for most goods is 20%, but it's a hidden tax so it's always included in the advertised price of everything you see. Whether or not it's actually submitted on some of these market items where it should be is up in the air. I expect the underground economy is as alive and well here as it is in any other highly taxed economy. Having said that, most everything here (except fuel and housing) is cheaper than it is in Canada, especially by the time you add on Canada's approximately 13% tax. Probably about on par with the U.S.

  8. Just love those old castles. The lunch looks pretty good too:)

  9. Hmm...the racing number on the door could be a clue...

    1. I think their car was the "General Lee" from "The Dukes of Hazard"!


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