|(Have fun storming the) Castles
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
Poultry Cottage is located near the Welsh/English border, so the area saw its fair share of skirmishes over the years. Montgomery Castle didn't survive into the modern era, though it was surely much more functional than showy Powis Castle, which has.
The former is bordered on three sides by cliffs and a valley, and the "accessible" side involves a brief but vertigo-inducing hike up a precariously narrow footpath. We were visiting in February and it's Wales, so obviously it was damp and cold. The screaming, icy wind that greeted us on reaching the plateau on which the castle sits provided an additional deterrent to unfriendly visitors, I'm sure.
[Walking through Montgomery Castle.]
[I don't know why Humuhumu insisted on bringing her stuffed sheep up the hillside to the castle, but it occasioned some small amusement, it being Wales.]
[Exploring the ruins.]
[The neighbouring hillside through a broken wall.]
[Keiki is not impressed by the wind in his face.]
[Crossing the footbridge back to the path. So much wind!]
We ended up visiting Powis Castle (National Trust property) twice: Once to tour the interior, where photography is forbidden because many of the items on display are still the private possessions of the earl, and once to tour the gardens. The centuries-old yew hedges are the highlight of the upper garden, not because they've been exquisitely sculpted into topiary or regimented into orderly barriers, but because they have been allowed to evolve into weird, organic shapes.
[Humuhumu running down a path in the lower formal garden. The clean sharp lines of the well-trimmed hedges contrast sharply with the undulations of the ones above.]
[Humuhumu running the other way down the same path in the lower garden.]
[Humuhumu examines a daffodil. The bloke set her a challenge of looking for pretty things. These were third, after snowdrops. Fourth were cyclamens, fifth were hyacinths.]
[And this was the first pretty thing Humuhumu found: a peacock in full regalia.]
[Peacock's tail feathers were rather glorious.]
[Trudging uphill through the yew hedges, back to the castle for a well-earned cup of tea and a flapjack.]
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