“Be grateful for the things and people you have in your life. Things you take for granted someone else is praying for”
Marlan Rico Lee
When you live on an island you crave the openness of the plain. When you live in-land you crave the sea. Does it therefore mean if you live in paradise you crave hell?
Too great the leap between the age old failing, not appreciating what is on ones doorstep, allied with a greater question of good and evil. Not the ideal subject for a travelogue.
The town of Tenby on the Pembrokeshire coast, calls out like a siren to many travellers. Whether weary land-locked tourists or visitors from across the seas, Tenby is the arch-typical Welsh seaside resort. Boasting several shops offering the usual tourist fayre of inflatables and ‘kiss-me-quick” hats, ice cream parlours, cafes, pubs and slot arcades.
A walk along the narrow streets of the old town will soon inform you are at the seaside; smell of the sea mingled with fish & chips, the call of the seagulls, and the taste of salt in the air; all aide-memorie to days of childhood and visits to the seaside.
Trying to get around Tenby in the summer months is not for the faint hearted. The place is crammed with people enjoying this idyllic destination. My favourite time to visit is ‘out of season‘ – January. During the darkest days of winter one needs an antidote to the grey. Walking the streets though quieter than July, you will meet more visitors than you would imagine. Hearing too, llawr o Gymraeg yn cael sariad. This isn’t my home, yet on my doorstep.
So what of the modern Tenby? The streets and buildings remain the same, but the occupying businesses have changed. Small restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, ice cream parlours, all offer something unique – artisan. The local chippies having to up their game if they wish to attract repeat offenders. Looking for a ‘tidy pint‘ and you have a micro-brewery smack in the middle of the harbour quarter. And it is, ‘ a very tidy pint‘.
From craft shop to local produce, from Welsh literature to blue ice cream, Tenby offers visitors a unique experience, and that is without the scenery, the culture and the music scene. This place is not a tourist trap but a haven, welcoming all who wish to escape their doorstep.
The seagulls are quite discerning too. They highly recommend the Greggs Steak slice – as one bemused mother discovered as the tasty treat was torn out of her hands. Being a visitor one should always do ones homework whether it be the do’s & don’ts, the language or the dangers!
All in all a visit to Tenby on a cold grey January day filled me with warmth and uplifted my spirits. Not taking for granted the places and people that are nearby equals the appreciation of far flung destinations.