Thursday, January 21, 2016

St. David's, Wales

As you approach most of Great Britain’s cathedral towns, the first thing you see is the cathedral spire. But that’s not the case in St. David’s, Wales.

St. David’s Cathedral is tucked away in a valley below the city’s High Street. Follow one of the narrow lanes that leads to the wall dividing city and cathedral, and you’ll find yourself looking down over a lush green lawn to the cathedral and the ruins of the Bishop’s Palace. Head over the green hills in the background and you’d reach the coast.

The Cathedral has a lovely latticed oak ceiling that was installed to hide 16th-century emergency repairs.

The Bishop’s Palace was once the largest and finest in all of Britain. It’s now in ruins – a reminder to us all that worldly goods have a very short life span.

Because it has a cathedral, St. David’s has the right to call itself a city, but it’s really a village of under 1700 inhabitants. It’s a quiet, sleepy place in mid-winter, but in summer it bustles with tourists visiting the cathedral and art galleries or surfing at the coast.

Many of the galleries were closed, but The Glass Studio was open and had some really lovely pieces of glass.

There are two excellent places to shop for food. The Veg Patch has organic whole foods, while St. David’s Food & Wine has a wide range of international food, a large wine and beer collection, and a deli.

I had a tasty Welsh lunch sourced almost completely from local suppliers at the cathedral’s Refectory: potato-leek soup, Welsh cheddar and chutney sandwich.

The sky was blue; the sun was shining; and the daffodils were in bloom. It was a perfectly lovely day.

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