Monday, July 13, 2009

Croeso i Gymru

Or...Welcome to Wales.

So...what to make of Wales then...bit damp, bit hilly, bit full of sheep and bit unpronounceable...but also ridiculously full of stunning scenery, history (home of a certain King Arthur after all) and not at all bad once you get used to 'W's being 'oo's, 'F's being 'V's and' ll's being...well....that kind of phlegm one has build up during a particularly nasty bout of flu...oh yes...that's Wales.

We had a fairly uneventful six plus hours car journey...... not so much for the fender benders, sports car in a tree and the lorry on fire, which we passed on the way to the land of Dragons and Leeks...such are the joys of the M4. Then of course there's the crossing the Severn bridge which scheduled the inevitable climate change which comes with venturing into this green and pleasant country...still in the grand tradition of the great British holiday my family unit persevered on debt building priced service station ham sarnies and tea, until reaching our goal of my Aunts pad in St. Dogmaels....just in time for Roast lamb with all the trimmings...nom nom nom.

The original plan for the few days we had in Wales was for the adult folk to mingle, drink copious amounts of tea and chat about cotton top related affairs whilst I explored what the local area had to offer...fighting dragons...searching for Merlin...discovering Avalon..etc etc. Unfortunately my sudden onset acrobatics upon the hillside (really need to work on my rolly-polly technique) which resulted in the slightly bulbous appearance of a usually straight appendage (hmm, that sounded less 'Porky's' in my head...meh) put pay to much of that idea...the H2O descending from the heavens also made me a tad paranoid...steep cliff side footpaths + freshly watered mud + wobbly human would probably equal something resembling 'baaaad idea' Fortunately the adults had occasion to put away the Tetley and venture outside the homestead to visit local villages, observe sea views and take in some of the Welsh hospitality...not to be anti-social I tagged along.

First day was to the harbour town of Aberaeron:

New Quay (not to mistaken with Newquay in Cornwall...which those who have been paying attention to my blog will know is where I went on holiday last year)

...and look, the sun came out too

And the small village of Llangranog (yup, no idea how to pronounce it either)

I discovered some steps to a cliff path so, while the olds had a cuppa, I tootled off to take pix

In the pm, after being fed and watered back at my Aunts, dad and I decided to make the most of the fairly sunny evening and go a wanderin'....the idea was to find the coastal path north of Cardigan Bay and walk along to overlook Cardigan Island, which according to local information, is where all the seals hang out....

Looking across Cardigan Bay

Cove at Gwbert

Looking across to Cardigan Island...which is about as close as we managed to get

Looking back toward Cardigan Bay

Unfortunately some tight fisted Grinch, who owns some of the land, has put up multiple fences and, of a day, charges for the privilege to view the island from the dad and I chose plan B and drove across to a nearby beauty spot:

Mwnt...which looks like unimposing little hill now doesn't it....

The church dates back to the 1400's

I got so very close to the top before I made the mistake of looking down....

And so it was left to dad to cover the final 50 yards to become 'king of the castle'....while I started scooching back down the mountain on my bum....can scatch Mt. Everest off my to do list one thinks ;-)

Looking across the beach

Mwnt at sunset...Plan B turns out to be not such a bad idea after all.

So, there you go Wales part one....stay tuned for more.


Firefly mom said...

OK - saw the title, and my first thought was: "She's been into the cooking sherry" ;)

And I'm wondering how one asks for directions in a place where everything (except Cardigan) is unpronouncable? I mean - Mwnt - really?? Vanna, I'd like to by a vowel, please.

Fabulous photos, as always. I did find it quite impressive that you got so (seemingly) close to the edges to get some of those shots. Or do you just have a zoom lens on the camera? :D

Emma said...

Wales is certainly a great place to navigate....'we need to turn left at, we missed it.'

Then of course there's the tiny tiny roads with hairpin bends on ridculously steep curves at which point you invaribly end up meeting a tractor....good times ;-)

hehe...and you may be able to buy a vowel but you'll find it being pronounced as a 'v' or an 'f''s like some kind of private joke amongst the Welsh aimed at us English.

And finally...I did have a zoom but I'm usually standing very close to the edge also....not so much with the safety fencing along most of the coastal paths...and Mwnt was quite ridiculous...I'm not a sufferer of vertigo but my God it was high....and windy...I actually got onto my hands and knees and began to crawl back down....much to the amusement of dear 'ol dad.

Firefly mom said...

Maybe we should get your dad a camera so that we can have pix of you navigating your way back down. Ah, well. Next time ;D

As for the whole pronunciation thing, we had that same experience in Hawaii. Only there it's all vowels and no consonants ;D

Kimberly said...

I adore your traveling posts and photos! I feel like I'm on hands and knees, crawling along with you! LOL

Are you making fun of my itty, bitty English dog in a dress. LOL He is a real tough guy, who is very secure with his manhood! LOL. He lives most of his life tucked under my daughters arm.