Day two we set off exploring, working our way along the coast from Porthcawl (below) back to Cardiff.
Llantwit Major has a beach about a mile from the village with very strange rock formations along the cliffs. Not sure what geological name they come under, I must find out sometime.
From that coast you can see across the Bristol Channel to Somerset in England. If you click twice to view this better you'll see a dark shape in front of the cliff which looks like an island. It is in fact part of the cliffs at Minehead known as North Hill and we looked out on it from our house when we lived up there 10 years ago.
I liked these stripey stones in a brook that was pouring out onto the beach.
Later in the day we stopped off at the Cosmeston nature reserve near Penarth. Very pretty spot. Lots of wildfowl and so forth.
Some trees there... I loved the bare, twisted branches against the blue sky.
The next day we planned to visit Castle Coch outside Cardiff but we got our directions mixed up, decided it was not meant to be this trip and took off for The Valleys. The heritage there is coal mining and there are various museums and experiences you can visit, which we have on numerous occasions. This time we just wanted to look at the scenery. It was a very hazy day so the photos are not as clear as I would like.
This is a small church we came across in the middle of nowhere - Llanwonno church. My husband chatted to the retired church warden while I took photos. Apparently they've had trouble with thieves pinching copper piping - and lead off the roofs. It seemed incredible to me that this could happen in such an out-of-the-way place. And incredible that anyone would stoop that low.
The view from the churchyard across the valleys.
My husband had to take this photo. I have no head for heights and we were practically on top of the mountain looking down on the mining village of Ferndale. It was one heck of a drop!
A bit further on, on another road. This is a spot called Craig-y-Llyn. My photo doesn't do the view justice.
What you're looking at - the stones in the field - is the remains of either a stone-age or iron-age village. I can't remember which it is now. But what a view those pre-historic villagers had.
Another spot further along the same road... the village, I believe, is Ogmore Vale.
Looking in the other direction from the previous photo. All over the valleys were the stunning colours of dry grasses and heather.
I daresay we'll be back again later in the year as Cardiff and Glamorgan continue to hold us in thrall. We haven't seen the half of it really - not history-wise or scenically. I love a place where there is always more to discover.