Pull up a chair and watch out for the lady with the muffin behind you! She’s teetering on one leg and that oversized mug of tea looks as though it’s going to provide a watery end to her chocolate delight, and probably her pretty blue blouse.
How are you? I’m sorry I missed you last week. We were either away for the evening or recuperating from an adventure. It has been a fun couple of weeks and I’ve fulfilled a fifteen year old dream – to visit the Cheddar Caves and Gorge in Somerset. I’ll tell you more about it after we place our order. What will it be tonight: coffee, tea, latte or something a bit more exotic? I think I will go for a Darjeeling tea. I find I don’t drink it often enough and I miss my peppermint tea too. We have been spoilt with a new Tassimo machine at home which provides a Chocochino fix that is hard to refuse.
Now, onto our trip to Cheddar. We arrived mid-afternoon and we pleasantly surprised to find a quaint little town steeped in history. The three mile gorge offered spectacular views and a stunning backdrop to the shops and tea houses meandering down the steep hillside.
After collecting our tickets, we made our way into the caves where history oozed out of the pores of the earth.
The smell of damp and the incredible colours of the rocks, stalactites and stalacmites added an air of mystery and excitement to the atmosphere.
Austere shapes carved out by water hundreds of years before left dimples and caverns in the rock – one referred to as the Sistene chapel by their discoverer, Lord Gough. I was mesmerised, trying to take in as much of the caves as possible as we walked around. We listened to the special phone with options to follow the numbers posted in various parts of the caves that gave invaluable information on each section of the cave’s history.
Once we completed our investigation of the caves, we moved onto the museum located further down the hill. A kindly gentleman dressed in skins showed us around and showed the children various activities based around the history of prehistoric man. My favourite was sticking my hands in a box to try to guess the odd shapes contained within. There was a skull, different sized bones, flint stones and shells. Oddly enough, I was the only one willing to shove my hands into the box. The others watched in glee as I squealed each time my hand touched something new.
We laughed our way through the displays, pointing out the different sections of history and where each
family member belonged. I still believe my eldest belongs in the neolithic age!
Time was not on our sides and we had to move on before everything shut down for the day. We sprinted down the hill, following other families that were as determined as we were to catch the last tour bus going back up and through the gorge. Luck was on our side and we made it just in time!
Once seated at the top, we took photos of the scenery as it went by, enthralled by the sheer size of the gorge. Yes, it is small in comparison to other places in the world, but it is still our special place in England. Anyway, I haven’t heard of any other caves that have their own Cheddar cellar! We were lucky enough to buy some of the chees that had been cured in the Cheddar caves and I can tell you first-hand, it is absolutely delicious!
Our tour bus dropped us off outside the caves, and sadly, it was time to say good-by to the gorge. Most of the attractions were closing for the day. The good thing about buying tickets to the Cheddar Gorge is that, if you don’t get a chance to do everything on that one day, your ticket is still valid for ten years. That means, you can come back and complete your tours of the other attractions at a later date. Now that’s value for money!
Needless to say, it was a wonderful day out and surprisingly, even the angsty teenager and stroppy eight-year-old cracked a smile and admitted to enjoying their day.
Have you done anything exciting this past week? How was your weekend? I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to for your summer vacation.