Welcome to Wales!

Getting to Wales from Ireland is an easy ferry ride across St. George’s Channel. My ferry route connected Rosslare, Ireland to Fishguard, Wales. Once I landed in Fishguard, I decided to base myself there for a few days and downshift to the local Pembrokeshire pace. I found a lovely bed and breakfast with a comfy reading couch and cute view …

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And easy access to the coastal path for daily walks and plenty of contemplative, seaside sitting …

 

That I accessed via this street with my new favorite name:

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Once I’d had a little breather, I was ready for a day trip, so I boarded the #413 bus to the nearby town of St. Davids. En route, we went down many country roads that were no wider than a car, but still meant for two-way traffic. On more than one occasion, the bus driver slammed on the brakes so he could pull over into the grass or slow waaaaaaayyyy down to inch past other cars and trucks. More validation for my decision not to drive. It takes nerves of steel!

As for St. Davids … there are a lot of things to see, starting with St. Davids Cathedral and the ruins of the Bishop’s Palace:

But the real showstopper is Caerfai Bay, the surrounding cliffs and the path along the breathtaking Pembrokeshire Coast:

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I loved visiting Ireland’s Cliffs of Moher, especially since they were topped with sheep! But they were also crowded with tourists and rimmed with a wall that separated visitors from the edge. In St. Davids, the path is close to the cliffside and unobstructed, and it continues for miles and miles. Even better … since it’s not yet “high season” … I had the place almost all to myself. Once in a while, I’d encounter another person or two, and we’d share a cool moment oohing and aahing over the view.

Observation: Most everyone I’ve passed on Wales walking paths has had a dog. Wales is for (dog) lovers!

At one point in St. Davids, I walked down to the small beach tucked between the cliffs of Caerfai Bay. Nobody else was there, and I ping-ponged from side to side trying to see, hear, and absorb it all. What a feast for the senses! It was the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen a lot of beautiful places.

Here’s the view from above, looking down upon another solo female traveler. She and I ran into each other multiple times while in St. Davids. We even crossed paths on another day, in another city!

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After a fantastic time in St. Davids, I boarded the bus back to Fishguard. It looked like I was going to be the only passenger … until a few minutes later when we stopped at a school. Suddenly, the entire bus filled with middle school-aged kids. My city route had turned into a school bus! It was just me, the driver, and enough kids to fill every seat. Except the one next to me — an interloper :-).

On the ride back to Fishguard, the kids got off at farms, and cottages, and at the ends of long, dirt drives leading to homes I couldn’t see from the road. Most of them thanked the driver before leaving the bus.

I didn’t grow up in the country and, for most of my adult life, I’ve lived in large cities by choice. I’m not sure how well I’d adjust to a small village or rural living, but I kept thinking how lucky St. Davids’ residents were to live in such a beautiful place.

Here are my photos from St. Davids: