Friday, July 03, 2009

Home Again to Tenby

It's hard for me to believe that it's a year since I saw this view:

Tenby, Pembrokeshire, South Wales.

I had my tenth birthday there. And my eleventh. And my twelfth. And my thirteeenth. My fourteenth was in Llandudno, where we spent a week - - then travelled to Tenby for the following week.

Lots of people have said to me "Tenby - - ahh yes, we used to go there when I was a child, I loved it."

In our case, the difference was - - we didn't stop going there, just because I wasn't a child any more. We kept right on going, one week every year. We went to other places too, of course, but we always went back to Tenby. I met Stephen and he came too. Olli was born, grew up, met Gareth - - they both came and still do. Special friends have joined us there over the years. Olli and Gareth got married there in February 2008.

This year I have travelled more than I have ever done in my life - - Paris, Barcelona, Florida, Normanton (which wasn't the highlight, I can tell you). I loved them all (except Normanton) and my top thrill was finally to go to the Kennedy Space Centre.

So why go back to Tenby, pretty little old-fashioned seaside town a long way South and a long way West?

Well, firstly, because there are lots of things there, or nearby, that we like. Beautiful beaches, safe swimming, lovely scenery, castles, historic buildings, castles, museums, boat trips, seals, lovely scenery and castles.

Here's Priory Bay on Caldey Island, three miles from Tenby, which you can see in the distance in the photo above:

But it's Park Hotel that has been crucial to our return.

It's impossible to describe, really - it's been owned by the same family since the late nineteen-fifties and probably the best way to describe it is "old-fashioned charm" - - which is what the people on Tripadvisor seem to have picked up on. What's best about it? I just asked Olli. "It smells nice".

Well, yes, it does actually. It's always beautifully clean. The food's lovely - fresh ingredients, beautifully cooked. Glorious desserts. Splendid breakfasts. Friendly staff, many of whom have been there since Olli was a baby or before. It has a lovely outdoor pool - very simple, no gimmicks, but lovely and clean and a pleasure to swim in. And it has this view.

The Communist loved it too. He couldn't come with us last year, as he was too ill, and of course he died in December - - but I'll be thinking of him as I look at all the places he loved there. My mother, of course, will be with us, still swimming in the pool before breakfast, no doubt, because she's done it every year, and it's Tenby so who cares if she's eighty-five! "Tenby magic" my mother calls it, and she's right.

The first year we went to Tenby was in 1966. In Tenby I feel - - well, ten again! After nearly forty-three years, I'm still excited to be going back. Tomorrow! For a week! Wooohooo!

Park Hotel's motto is "Where our guests leave as friends".

Some of us never really left.


Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

I am getting confused. Long ago I remember reading about Emily and Gareth's wedding in Tenby. Is Olli your pet name for Emily?

I think that Tenby is a hard place to dislike. In some ways I envy you your Tenby because for me holidaying is mainly about seeking something new - not something familiar but that doesn't mean I'm right.

9:31 pm  
Blogger Daphne said...

Yes, Olli and Emily are the same person!
I love seeing new places too and have been really lucky this year in the amount I've travelled. But Tenby is like a second home to me and also like revisiting the past, in the best way possible.

9:34 pm  
Blogger WendyCarole said...

have a great time

12:21 pm  
Blogger J.J said...

I only went to Tenby for the first time this May - and I will be going back asap. I absolutely loved it.

9:03 am  

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