Shirley's UK Trip 2012 travel blog

Not a lot to write about today. It rained all day & was quite miserable.

I drove into Swansea along the M4 from Carmarthen & the spray from the traffic on the Motorway made driving very difficult so I came home along the back roads which was much easier.

I spent the morning in the National Waterfront Museum which, according to my (borrowed) Lonely Planet book on Wales, is the jewel in Swansea’s crown. Swansea was bombed heavily by the Luftwaffe in 1941 & apparently insensitive rebuilding of the city centre didn’t do much for its recovery.

This museum & redevelopment of the marina district has sparked an upturn in Swansea’s fortunes. The name is somewhat misleading as the National Waterfront Museum is really an interpretation of Welsh social & industrial history for the past 300 years.

It’s housed partly in an old 1901 dockside warehouse to which has been attached a stunning £35 million modern glass & slate extension. I was opened in 2005 so uses lots of modern technology, some of which works well & some doesn’t.

Being a rainy public holiday in the middle of the school holidays, it was an ideal place to bring the kids & let them run riot so lots of buttons were being pushed & screens poked at without the slightest regard for what it was actually doing to the displays. This was somewhat distracting but the museum told its story very well.

In one display it used real records from the 1851 census to explain how the population in different districts of Swansea lived & had videos of people describing their lives. Lots of aspects of Welsh life from their music to their sports were explored then there was a whole separate section on Welsh industry – the ports, the coal & the copper in particular because at one time Swansea was the copper capital of the world.

I had planned to take a drive around the Gower peninsular but the weather was just too bad. I drove along the Swansea waterfront & the rain was so heavy I couldn’t see a thing so decided that going any further was a waste of time.

I stopped at a shopping centre & had lunch at Marks & Spencer’s then came back home. I’ve just watched a Miss Marple movie & cooked a delicious omelette using my lovely fresh eggs & some local cheese.

The weather is supposed to improve to showers tomorrow so hopefully I’ll be able to get out & see some more of this area.

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