Here's a few pics from WAO and some of the best from our sight-seeing adventures after the WAO.
The WAO Arena, bedecked with the flags of all the countries attending.
First day of sightseeing, we drove a loop around the Southwest area. One of the things we saw was Wells Cathedral, which is enormous and beautiful. There were lots of local students just hanging around on the massive lawn, and I just couldn't imagine sitting and looking at a place like that so often that it becomes background to you.
This is a view from a scary open floor type metal tower atop Cheddar Gorge. We also had lunch in Cheddar and went in and toured the caves. Cheddar is a VERY dog-friendly town, and Drifter got to walk through the caves with us, which was a very different sort of experience (he was not impressed, and kept trying to drink cave-water-puddles!)
On Tuesday we drove over to Wales, and started the day by seeing Castell Koch. This isn't a large castle, and it really isn't that old either, but it was based on an original castle/fort that WAS very old, and was built to be a very rich family's living quarters, in a similar structure to the original castle floor plan, around 1900 or so. The interior is intact, and it is very lavishly stencilled, carved, and furnished. The detail in the carvings and ceiling murals was particularly exquisite!
The next thing we saw, we spent quite a bit of time at, and it was probably my favorite. It is called Caerphilly, another castle outside Cardiff in south Wales. This place is enormous, and very old. It is surrounded by water - a lake, rather than a skimpy moat. It has been partially restored over the years, but has a very time-travelling feel to it when you walk around it. What I love about places like this is that you can get a map or audioguide, but you basically just wander at will and take in the sights as you like. This particular castle is also used in a lot of films and tv shows (like a recent Doctor Who episode, yay!)