My senior year in University we had a men’s rugby coach from Wales. During his time at the University, we became friends, and ever since I came to Moldova, I have been promising to visit him.
This past October myself and my friend Patty, another Peace Corps Volunteer in Moldova, booked tickets to visit the United Kingdom. I began my trip, flying from Moldova to Bucarest last week, and then from there to Standstead in London, where my friend Gwesyn picked me up from the airport. When I arrived in Wales, it was after a two-hour time change, which put the time to 4p London time, and 6p Moldova time, and since I had been traveling since 4a, I was exhausted.
We started our first night in Cardiff, Wales with a pub quiz. That is after we traveled the almost three hours from the airport outside of London, to Cardif in Wales and met Gwesyn’s family who were lovely (see how British I am now?) and then went to a pub quiz (trivia night at a bar) with some of Gwesyns friends. The evening was something out of a British soap opera, who they were – a barrister, a project manager for an EU commission, a rugby coach and a subtitler for the Welsh language tv station. They were hilarious, and the night was fun, minus the two Americans getting the hand the Statue of Liberty holds the torch in and the color of the stripe at the top of the flag incorrect.
The next day in Wales we went to St Fagan’s which is a village where they have recreated or moved lots of historical house from all different time periods and even some churches and shops – it was great.
That evening, after walking along the water of the harbor in Cardiff, we went to a really nice place for dinner, I haven’t been somewhere that nice in years and it was a bit overwhelming, just how clean and big and nice it was. That evening Gwes surprised us with tickets to a professional rugby match, Wales vs. england. He warned us that it would probably be “quite rowdy” however the British being as polite as they are, it really wasn’t on par in rowdiness with any professional level american sporting match, except maybe the Washington Wizards basketball game. Spectators would root for their team and scream their teams song, but then when the other team scored a try (goal if you will) they would turn around and shake hands with the other team. After the game we were quite tired, so after one more drink we went to bed.
The next morning we went with Gwesyn’s parents to see some amazing roman ruins in a field and then spent the afternoon watching rugby on a giant tv.
The final morning in Wales, we awoke bright and early at 5a and barley made our megabus to Leeds. (Post on Leeds coming soon!)