Today is our last day in Swansea and we wake this morning with wall to wall cloud.. Are they trying to tell us something? The cloud wasn't a surprise as it was foretold in the weather forecast and we always belive those don't we? We planned for this so it was going to be museum day. We packed our things after breakfast, paid the bill and left our one case with reception until we were ready to leave Swansea.

Each day we had come out of the hotel and turned left to start our adventures so we turned right instead. We could see on the map that in this direction the road went down to the river so we went to explore. We found a nicely designed footbridge and something we didn't expect. Whenever we were in the Marina area we often saw the pointed top of something white poking up above the buildings in the distance and now we know what it was.

We didn't stay here for long because we had plenty to do so we moved off towards the Swansea Museum; our next stop. You might notice that I didn't take this next photgraph today. Because of its situation the front of the museum faces almost north and the only time the front is in sunlight is around 7:00 AM so I was up early yesterday to get this photograph. This is the oldest museum in Wales and the building was built for the Royal Institution of South Wales in 1841 in the neo-classical style. Entrance is free.

This horizontal duplex steam engine from a lead rolling mill in the Lower Swansea Valley, built 1901, was outside in the grounds.

Back inside one of the galleries was dedicated to the first world war. It had this simulation of a trench together with many other related exhibits.

Another gallery was dedicated to pottery from South Wales. The display cases run along each side of the gallery and across the end showcasing many varied exhibts.

There was a small room on the first floor containing this mummy plus related items. This is Hor who was a clothier priest and scribe of the God Atum.  In the daily ritual of the temple it was his duty to change the clothing on the holy statue of the God.  He lived in Akhmim in Upper Egypt between 250-200 B.C. during the Ptolemaic Dynasty and was named after the God Horus. The mummy was gifted to Swansea Museum in 1888 by Field-Marshal Lord Francis Grenfell who was born in the St. Thomas area of Swansea in 1841.

This typical Victorian display must contain a great number of invertebrates, most of which appear to be butterflies, with an obvious large spider in the centre.

We moved on a short distance to the National Waterfront Museum. This is a large modern building on the edge of the Marina next to the Tram Shed. This is part of the National Museum Wales whereas the previous museum and the Tram Shed are part of the Swansea Museum as are the two old vessels floating in the Marina outside the Waterfront Museum.

You wouldn't get me up in this thing. It reminds me of a flying bycycle.

Built in Maindy, Cardiff, between 1907 and 1909, Charles Horace Watkins claimed to have flown the Robin Goch on several occasions during 1910, but sadly no official record of the flights exist. What is irrefutable is that the Robin Goch was the first wholly Welsh-built aeroplane, and probably the earliest working monoplane in Britain.

Watkins himself designed the 40 HP motor, and it was forged from bits of steam engine, in the Great Western works in Roath, Cardiff.
The fuselage is hard wood, the wings are canvas and piano wire, and inside the cockpit there is a dining chair to sit on, a spirit level to check you're straight, a ball in a tube to make sure you're the right way up. Pretty primitive stuff.

This is a Benz 'Duc' Motor Car. This particular model was first registered in Monmouthshire in 1904.

This is a replica of Trevithick's Penydarren tramway locomotive. The original was built in 1803-1804 and on the 21st February 1804 it made its first 9 mile journey hauling a load of ten tons of iron together with around 70 people who hitched an unofficial ride. This was the first journey made by a steam locomitive on rails and started a world-wide revolution in railway transport.

Apparently this replica is fully working and is steamed up once a year. Typically this year it was the Saturday just before we arrived. I would certainly liked to have seen that. We did watch a video but it's not quite the same as the real thing. Next visit maybe.

Well that was the end of our visit to Swansea. We went back to our hotel to collect our case and trundled it up to the station to catch a train at about 2:30 PM. We arrive home just over 3 hours later.


I have to be honest here and say that in the past I wouldn't have given Swansea a second thought with regard to a tourist destination and it was only because our railway line ended up there that we did too. The fact that the line did go to Swansea encouraged me to do a little research on the place and I began to realise that if offered the visitor quite a lot of options. Many other potential visitors probably take my initial view and don't even consider it which is their considerable loss.

We had a lovely time and really liked the place. We would recommend it without hesitation and do intend, sometime, to go back because there is still plenty of interest that we didn't have time to see. There is a good bus service around the city and its environs so one doesn't really need a car (We didn't bring one).

There are a number of well known tourist destinations that don't have as much to offer as Swansea does and visitors flock to those but not to Swansea. I'm baffled.

I hope that there will be people out there who read this report and realise what they're missing. Swansea deserves better recognition.