Sunday, 31 May 2015

A Wale(s) of a Time: A "Class" Trip to Conwy

Good news folks! You know that sinking feeling when you graduate from high school and you realize that school trips will no longer be a fact of life as you enter "the real world"? Well, I'm here to tell you that not only will school trips surprise you in your Bachelors - or first degree - but also carry on into your Masters degree! That's right everyone, I've just returned from a (virtually) all expenses paid class trip to a lovely town called Conwy, Wales (pronounced Conway)! Ahh, yes, the dream is still alive!

It had been less than an hour of my brother departing when I found myself boarding a bus with 20-ish of my fellow classmates. I was pretty tired from my previous travels, and was coming down off of the high from the previous night's concert*. This round of travel was, thankfully, only an over-nighter!

When we arrived in Conwy, the group split in two, with the majority staying at a hostel, while the remaining 7 of us made our way to our hotel. I feel it's important to note here, that we were forced to stay in a 4 1/2 star hotel, because the hostel was booked when we attempted to make arrangements. Those classmates of ours are jerks for booking all the rooms on us! Anyway, we walked to our hotel, dropped our bags and started to explore this quaint little town.

Our first mission was to get on the wall surrounding Conwy and make our way to Conwy Castle. It's a pretty neat feeling to walk on a structure of that age and historical value. The views of the surrounding area (and the castle itself) were pretty breath-taking!

Views from atop the walls

Conwy Castle
We easily made it to the Castle entrance in no time. Actually, it would have likely only taken us a few minutes had we not stopped to take in the views and snap so many photos! We spent quite a bit of time here exploring the grounds, walls, towers, and views! It was a wonderful introduction to Conwy.

Views from inside the castle

Meet my new main squeeze, Woody. 
Babies! If you look really hard, you'll see some baby seagulls.
The innards of the castle

No falling or headaches allowed once you enter the castle...
I could have watched this guy all day! He was made for the camera!
"Hey guys! There's an old barrel down here!" - me
By the time we finished up here, most of us were getting hangry. Okay, so I was getting hangry, everyone else was just plain 'ol hungry! We found a little café of sorts and had a nibble. Then, I think at this point we were able to actually check in. I shared a room with my friend, Megan, and we spent a few minutes having a cup of tea/coffee and chatting before heading back out.

Megan and I met up with another one of our friends, Sarah, and the three of us set off to explore the waterfront. The result of this exploration was a really good walk, with several laughs (a few of which were at my expense) and the discovery that Megan is a closet flower expert!

The castle from across the way
How did I manage to be the only one with a serious face?

After our walk we found a pub near the water and had a drink. I have to say, it was so nice to be outdoors relaxing! Another friend of ours, Salma, joined us at this point. Once we finished up, we made our way to the restaurant where everyone was meeting for dinner and drinks. This was followed by a trip to the hostel, where an awkward dance party began to take place. Cue exit point and bed time.

The view from the restaurant patio
The next morning, was a bit of a slow, but welcomed start. We had a massive breakfast at the hotel, and then made our way out to explore once again. First we took a short sightseeing cruise. Then we visited a few of the shops, and eventually found ourselves back on the wall!

Conwy Castle, from the opposite side

Shots from atop the wall

Our final activity for the day was a late lunch at a nearby cooking school. This made for one awesome finale to the trip. It was nice to have one final meal together before we returned back to Manchester and the reality of dissertation workloads.

Photo credit: Terry Theuri
Views from outside the cooking school

This was from the trip back to the hotel
I have to say, we really lucked out on this trip. The weather forecast predicted nothing but rain and cloud, but we had sunshine nearly the entire time, except for overnight and the first part of the morning! It was the perfect amount of time to spend in Conwy, and I was happy to have shared it with a small group of my uni-friends! It's too bad that more of us didn't come, but that being said, maybe it was just the right amount!

Alas, I must take a break from travelling and get down to dissertation business! Until next time...

-the Orange Canadian

*High on life, not drugs or any other substance. Did I mentionI randomly got to see one of my favourite bands play?!

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