A holiday in Pembrokeshire, as I recently found out, is like no other. With its own language, heaps of local produce and speciality dishes (Cawl anybody?) and culture, Pembrokeshire feels a million miles away from any other UK holiday destination.
Here are fifteen things that make you realise that you are a truly a tourist in Pembrokeshire:
- Whilst driving down yet another narrow country lane, you suddenly find yourself nose-to-nose with a local driving the other way, who, despite the fact they have a lay-by mere feet behind them, seems to think that by driving confidently towards you you will somehow magically leap up that high bank to your side to let them pass;
- Everyone comments on how epic your reversing skills are after returning from your Pembrokeshire holiday; or
- Everyone comments on how scratched the side of your car is after returning from our Pembrokeshire holiday;
- The dazzling hot pink of the Foxgloves of a Pembrokeshire summer will forever be etched in your memory;
- You spend half the morning searching for Pentre Ifan Burial Chamber, cursing all the time the very well-signed nearby Siambr Gladdu Burial Chamber. You later feel a bit silly when you discover that Siambre Gladdu means Burial Chamber in Welsh and you have been meters away from your intended destination all the time;
- A trip to pick up a couple of groceries takes half an hour because you get chatting to the super-friendly lady at the checkout;
- the local take-away asks you for your local landmarks instead of a postcode for delivery and laughs when you ask if they have SatNav;
- You find yourself in possession of a prized ticket to land on Skomer Island (paid for by card), only to find out the boat to get you there takes cash only and the nearest cash point is 11 miles away;
- You realise that beaches like this actually do exist in the UK;
- You come home half a stone heavier from indulging in too many ice-creams, Welsh cakes, locally produced cheese and beer;
- It takes fifteen minutes and three drive-bys to find Newport Sands as the final approach is signposted only with its Welsh name – Traeth Mawr;
- You’ve seen so many awe-inspiring different historical sites during your holiday that you can’t decide whether to build a reconstruction of one of Pembrokeshire ‘s many castles or neolithic landmarks on the beach.
- You find that you’ve started talking slower and your words have taken on a lilting and musical tone;
- No-one has a clue where you mean when you ask for directions until you write it down;
- Your ten minute journey takes forty minutes after getting stuck behind a lorry loading cows into it and the farmer responds to your enquiries of how long it will take with the wise words “you never can tell with cows”;
- You wonder if you will ever again find a coastline that is quite as breathtakingly beautiful as that of Pembrokeshire.