Smiling faces

Smiling cloud faces, view of Snowdonia, Wales, UK , June I think, 2019. Wishing I was there now. We haven’t been able to visit for over a year because of Covid…I saw this again today and remembered how enjoyable it was just travelling, exploring, driving down roads I’d never been down before. I don’t mind not driving much, but I’d like to go to a few nice places again….

Welsh views

A year ago, driving down towards Snowdonia. I like the way the Layout app has joined some of the mountains up. Reminds me of the phrase ‘and the road goes ever on’ from The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkein.

The thought of not being able to go there for the moment is very disappointing. We were going for a short break but there has been another lockdown. I really want to see family and friends, but everything is messed up. We are expecting new rules for this part of England on Monday. As the nights draw in I think people will feel more and more isolated. Oh well…….

January sky

And January sea, up in North Wales. Wide views looking far away to the Snowdonia range of mountains. How I miss driving along the A55 west, climbing past Chester and Queensferry. Then coming out high above Prestatyn and Rhyl, looking over to the mountains. Swooping down the road to St Asaph, then right over the flat ground towards the coast. I first saw that view when I was about ten or eleven when we took a coach trip to a caravan park near Rhyl. I remember catching a crab on the beach and putting it in my plastic bucket. The crab crawled out and nipped my toe when I put my shoe on in the morning.

We were at the back of the caravan site where the trains from Chester raced past on their way to the station. Holidays were walking along the back and paddling in the sea. Collecting razor shells and other classic shell type shells (still don’t know what they are called), strange how a single view of the sea can drag up so many memories.

I want to go to Wales!

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The foreign country on our doorstep. With wonderful singing, beautiful landscapes, sandy beaches, castles, neolithic artifacts, mountains, pleasant green hills, and narrow guage railways.

Home of authors like Dylan Thomas, R.S Thomas, O.M Edwards, Vernon Watkins from Swansea or Eric Madden who has written stories based on Snowdonia folk tales.

I would love to go back and have Bara Brith, a type of friuty bread, or Welsh cakes full of butter, and a nice cup of tea. Other delicacies include lava bread made with seaweed.

Driving through the country is sometimes slow. A lot of the roads are ‘scenic’, narrow and twisting. But they are beautiful. Driving over a pass and into a new valley with different field patterns, or plantations of trees is a pleasure.

There are waterfalls like swallow falls near Betwys Coed, the wooded hillsides which gradually become moorland,  covered in slate as you drive into Snowdonia.

Snowdon is the tallest mountain in Wales. There is a footpath to the top, or you can take the mountain railway. Great for views, except on the day we went up when everything was enveloped in fog.

North Wales is closest to where I live, but there is a lot to see in Mid and South Wales too. In Mid Wales there are places like the national centre for alternative technology at Machynlleth and towns like Aberystwyth where there is a funicular railway and a narrow gauge line up to the Devils bridge waterfall. In the south you can visit Tenby which is a tourist attraction, Laugharne where Dylan Thomas wrote, and the capital of the principality which is Cardiff.

I’ve only included places we have visited. There is so much more to see.

The strangest thing, as you drive into Wales the signs on the roads are in Welsh and English. I find myself trying to pronounce them!

Hill and fence

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Driving through Wales last Year. My sister took us out into Snowdonia, past lakes and mountains. Along streams. Through wooded valleys, over mountain passes. Seeing the scree tumbling down. Sheep climbing jumbled piles of broken slate. Then down steep hills back to the coast, along  tunnels bored through the mountains, back to the flatter lands of North Wales (flatter not flat, its not Cheshire!)

The beauty of the country of Wales is amazing. I’ve only really explored the North of the principality, I would love to visit Cardiff for instance, which is in the very South of the country.

Rushing by…

_20191002_184359_optimizedOver the hills,

Rushing by,

Stony landscape, see it fly.

Fences blurred, ground so grand.

Limestone cliffs across the land.

Sheep and birds, flocks and herds,

Many miles across we sped,

Down to sea the river led.

Craggy hills round Snowdon lie,

Reaching up into the sky.

Grey clouds scudded on breeze up high.

Rushing wind makes me cry,

As the weather bites, cold again,

Then it comes on to rain.

End of journey, time to rest.

A drink of tea or coffee, best?

A sweet hot cake, a refreshing drink.

Then into bed, in sleep, to sink.

 

Welsh mountains (1)

Driving towards Betws y Coed from Llanrwst on the A470 in North Wales. The mountains of Snowdonia in the background. We were travelling South West after coming off the A55 at Abergele and driving along a senic route because of traffic jams and roadworks on the A55.

I woukd have taken more photos but it was too beautiful to remember to take my phone out. I wasn’t driving for once so I had a proper opportunity to look at the world. These are cropped to cut out the windscreen and stickers because they just add clutter. Some of the details at the sides may be missing but at least they look picturesque.

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