The Swan in Hay-on-Wye for following night. While the weather the next morning wasn't as good as the forecast, it steadily improved as we made our way west. Only fog awaited us as we checked in early and set about exploring Hay.
The reviews Tea had read said the Swan's food was a bit poncey, and the fab Blue Boar was just across the road to boot, so guess where we ended up for lunch. Their food was excellent -- a beef burger for Tea and cottage pie (think shepherd's pie) for me -- and while their namesake IPA was a bit bland, the Landlord more than made up for it.
Hay Festival: tens of thousands of visitors flood the town with one thought on their mind: reading.
We decided to rest up a bit before supper. Back in the hotel room, I took in some of the FA Cup fifth round play, very impressed with how non-league Crawley Town fared against Man U. -- that's right: a team effectively four leagues below the team at the top of the Premier League, and, in the end, they were beaten by but one goal. Incredible.
Butty Bach on hand-pump! Love that stuff.
Hay Cinema Bookshop. It's pretty much a TARDIS. An old converted theatre, it just keeps going on and on, gobbling up afternoons like kids' sweets. Again, I won't bore you with all that made up our two shopping bags' full. For me, the highlights were N. C. Wyeth's Pilgrims, and a beautiful edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, illustrated by Peter Weevers (although Tea also got some great photography manuals).
Arthur's Stone, dented by the elbow of a giant slain by Arthur, according to legend. The kids who were biking away as we arrived didn't seem so impressed, jumping up 'n' down on the neolithic burial chamber moments before. (I leave the mutters and grumblings of "no respect..." and "tanned hides..." as an exercise for the reader.)
The Mail Rooms for a few pints -- New Moon is an excellent dark, incidentally -- and tea for Tea. When we learned they'd run out of Sunday roast -- of any sort! -- it was down to the Seven Seas for kebabs; super messy, but delish!
Check out our Picasa album for more pictures from the weekend.