Mary’s breakfast at Pentower is splendid. Perfect poached eggs with lightly brazed cherry tomatoes for me, preceded by an assortment of perfect fruit: sliced peaches, kiwi, papaya, topped with smashed raspberries and a dab of yogurt. Tell me how does she have each piece of fruit at the perfect ripeness? Norah and Ed did a more traditional English breakfast with bacon, eggs, toast, sausage, potato cakes, then the fruit, cereal, etc. We were good to go for at least another two hours before we eat again.
We retrace our steps about ten miles to the little town of Nevern and the ancient church of St. Brynach, a Christian missionary who arrived from Ireland in 540 CE. He started a monastery on this site, lived a holy life, and converted lots of local folk. The church we visit today is from the 13th century, beautifully tended inside and out, a working Episcopal parish.
Then we are off to honor the pagans. Stone circles and burial mounds are found throughout England, Stonehenge being the most famous and the largest stone circle. Though today’s Druids like to celebrate at these sites, they are not Druidic, but date from unknown people far, far earlier. We visit Pentre Ifam, a large burial site set on a high hill with a distant view of the sea. Today, we see only the gigantic stones, but when created, smaller rocks covered the entire skeleton we see today so they were a burial “mound”. The bodies were interred in the large constructed cave. They are thought to be “group burial sites”, not royal. Impressive.
Back to the Christians and a visit to St. David’s Cathedral, in the town of St. David's, further down the coast beyond Fishgard – one of the finest in England, and a pilgrimage site since the 12th century. David was born in 500 CE, founded a monastery on this site, lived such a holy life that when he died, the church was “filled with angels”. The cathedral is huge, with glorious additions that all seem to harmonize with the early construction. And, we were lucky enough to walk into the organist practicing on the pipe organ. What wonderful noise in the praise of God.
In the afternoon, Norah opted for the local coffee shop while Ed and I did a mini-hike along the coast. Breathtaking scenery, ancient ruin of a church, mud, and it felt good to really stretch our legs.
Rain off and on throughout the day, gentle, and did not interfere with our sightseeing. Most folks here just wear a mac and don’t bother with umbrellas. In the country, wellies are the foot fashion.
Dinner at Peppers, the local fine-dining place. Excellent food. Norah and Ed enjoyed cheddar soufflé, sea bass and I had a vegetarian concoction with lentils and carrots. Best was the sauvignon blanc – pleasant change from beer and worthy of a second glass for dessert. Norah enjoyed chocolate fondant and Ed a blueberry cheesecake. We don’t lack for good food. I don’t even remember where and what we ate for lunch today, but trust me, we did enjoy it.