Wednesday, March 18, 2009

South Wales

Last week our excursion with the students took us to South Wales. I included this in the curriculum for two reasons, a) I wanted them to be aware that the UK encompassses, even today, more than one nationality and b) I wanted them to experience the effects of both internal colonisation and the industrial revolution. Hence the first part of the trip to The Big Pit, a coal mining museum created out of a mine. Unfortunately, for safety reasons, they do not allow photography inside the mine, but I did get some images on the surface.

From there we originally had planned to go on to Cardiff where they could experience the culture of Wales but the logistics just would not work out. Instead we saw the ruins of Chepstow Castle, which gave them another sort of experience and was just plain fun to climb around.

Speaking personally, I have a certain fondness for unrestored ruins lightly interpreted as being the ‘real” thing, and a number of students expressed the same sentiment.

A fun and interesting day.

Later today we do womething very different, and go to Portsmouth to see Britain’s naval history.

It probably will not be until this weekend that I get our London weekend with good friends Ray and Sylvia Atkinson up here


Preparing for our descent into what was, until thirty years ago, a working mine.


Jennifer Do and some coal.
We approach Chepstow. Not only was the castle a great piece of history, but everyone had a frolicking good time.
Rosa just loved it there and threatened, along with Rob Huffman, to move in there. We managed to talk her out of it (Rob, too), but it took a compromise for Rosa. Rob came peaceably.Here I thought I had found a hidden chapel, but it turned out to be just another vaulted roof in the basement
Inside the castle proper, Lauren Minkel poses with some friends

We agreed that armour is a great look for her.Less so for me. But you gotta defend what you gotta defend

Justin and Julian, of course, were the first to discover the joys of climbing the ruins. As faculty guide I was concerned, but still had to snap them before doing what climbing I can these days
Even Sharon got into it.From one of my higher points we set up an impromptu group photo. Left to right Chris Laine, Rickie Bolin, Katie Holmes, Justin Yip, Max Moorman, Sarah Michelet, Katie Rouse, Michelle Nguyen, Jennifer Do, Paul Howard, Sarah Christensen, Kristin Carder, Julian Quihuis.
We also, at least those of us into that sort of thing, went nutz with the cameras.



This image emphasises the strategic position of the castle, commanding the river as it does.Rosa agreed to come back home only if we brought along a new friend Goch.
Bob has been our bus driver for a number of the tours, adroitly managing the coach, often on roads not fit for it and putting up with us lot.

9 comments:

TMW said...

I remember a sign in the car park at Chepstow Castle that said, "Have you paid and displayed?" Maybe you saw it?

- Mike Weddle, Columbus, Ohio

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