Day 115 (5.8.17): Four Tornadoes and Powis Gardens

Today was our last day in Wales, I’m afraid.  It was time to start heading home.

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But before we left, we took one more quick trip up to the roof of our miniature castle to see if we could finally get the cannon to fire.  Despite Cassie’s best efforts, we didn’t succeed.

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We then piled into the cars and set off.  Our plan was to break up our trip with a mid-day visit to Powis Gardens, near Welshpool.  The drive took us through the mountains of Snowdonia, and as we drove the narrow, twisting mountain roads, we drove near the town of Machynlleth.  Little did we know, we had entered the “Mach Loop,” which is a bit of a play on words for both “Machynlleth” and because the mountain valleys are often used by the Royal Air Force for practice flying jets through the twisting valleys.  As we drove along one stretch, we saw what first looked like drones or model aircraft in the valley ahead of us.  We quickly realized that the planes were actually two jet fighters (later identified as Tornadoes), twisting and turning so low that we could see nearby hikers looking down on the jets.  They were fast and furious, and we were all stunned to see them.  A little while later, we saw another pair doing more of the same.  It turns out that watching jets dodge the mountains in the Mach Loop is a thing people come from miles to do.  There’s a website and everything:  https://machloop.co.uk/.  There are also some great videos that people have posted online.

The jets were great fun, but we had a garden to visit and miles to go.  Next stop:  Powis Garden.  This was another wonderful garden on a beautiful day.  A bit like Bodnant, Powis sprawls down a hillside, but Powis a is a more formal garden (as Lydie and Cassie correctly answered when Giga asked).

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Powis is famous for its hedges, which you can see over Cassie’s right shoulder.  They started more than 350 years ago, when they were small formal affairs, but now they look like like they have mutated to monstrous size.

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Giga, Lydie, and Cassie had a great time, with Giga teaching a bit more about gardens.

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Truth be told, the chicklets were far better at listening to him than I was at their age.   We wound our way down the moutain eventually reaching the formal gardens at the base of the hill.

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Looking back up the hill we could see the terraced gardens and the manor house looming above it all.

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We took a little breather on the lawn, with the adults relaxing and the girls doing what they do.

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From here, we walked through the natural part of the garden.  It must be nice to be a lord and have a formal garden, a natural garden, and gardeners to care for it all!

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After a nice walk through the natural part of the garden, we headed back to the manor house, where the girls were delighted to discovery that there were peacocks!

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After giving all our snacks to the peacocks, it was time to get in the cars and head back to Woodstock.  We needed to get home before we got hungry again.

-Will

 

 

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