Saturday, 27 June 2015

Wales-in' around!

Well, it's been a week so I suppose I should finally hunker down and tell you about my second trip to Wales. I will first say, that I'm pretty certain I was able to make the unthinkable happen during our day-long adventure. Yes, that's right, I somehow managed to get a sunburn... in Wales. For you see, when the 20 or so of us packed into the bus it was cloudy. The forecasts predicted nothing but a mix of clouds, rain, and of course, more rain. So, when I was preparing that morning, I looked at my beautiful bottle of sunscreen and thought to myself pft...who needs this today? Certainly not me! and away I went.

We drove for about two hours, and made our first stop in Snowdonia. It was raining lightly when we arrived, but we decided to have a bite to eat before we began our hike. We had originally intended to take the train up the mountain and hike down, but upon our arrival we learned that the trains had all been sold out for the day. So, we ate (and it poured heavily!), took a final 'pee break' and began our climb.

Now, when I say 'climb' I mean walking up a very steep, but nicely paved road. In fact, this was how most of the trail was, which equal parts confused and pleased me. Regardless, within minutes I regretted not wearing my knee support, but it didn't stop me.

When we made it to the first good photo stop, it was still pretty rainy. There was a mystical cloud cover, which pretty much prevented us from seeing the lake and town below. Of course, this didn't stop us from trying to snap a shot or two!

You can faintly see the lake in the top corner - but check out them sheepies!
We continued to hike a bit more, but with an approaching meeting time, my knee slightly hating me, and a returning hiker informing us that it was really bad towards the top, a few of us decided to turn back. But, it turns out, this worked out just fine. In the time we had climbed up to where we turned and started to head back down, much of the cloud cover had lifted from the area we had originally attempted to take photos. And it. Was. Stunning. Plus, there were more sheep! (I love sheep!)

Could have been a regretful placement of my backpack...
The train that we should have taken to the top...

When we finally reached the bottom, we were greeted with signs promising free food. Naturally, we were game to accept this offer, only to find out that it was put on by a group of Sikh's. We didn't get our food, but instead had an interesting conversation about religion, our own personal beliefs, and the basics of Sikhism. Unfortunately, our interest quickly faded, but our delightful host was filming us for the group's YouTube channel, so it was difficult to part ways.

Next, we boarded the bus, and began backtracking by stoping in Llandudno. Not only was this a stark contrast from the mountainous surroundings we found ourselves in earlier in the day, but the forecasted torrential downpour turned out to be in the form of hot, sunny beams of sunlight. And this my friends, is why I went from pasty to lobster in a matter of minutes! But, it was nice to walk along the 'beach' and pier.

Is this actually Wales?
Part of the pier.
If the O.C. where to be filmed in Wales, this is what I imagine it to be...

We were told about a ski hill that was opened during the summery months, and which was home to one epic toboggan ride. Of course, this meant we had to test this out. And, after much debate over how to get there (cable car, or no cable car...tram or no tram...walk or no walking... or some mixture), we marched up an even steeper road and eventually made it to our intended stop.

Along the way we came across some DONKEYS!
These two made me think of Gramma, and how much she loved donkey's. They're pretty sweet! turned out we got there too late. While some of the activities were opened, the promised toboggan ride of doom had just closed. So, some of us decided to make the most of the sunshine and beautiful views and adventured around taking in the sights and having a quick nap in the grass (again...hence my sweet, sweet 'tan'). Some of the others opted to give the snowless skiing a try. It was a nice relaxing afternoon.

There were bunnies EVERYWHERE!
View from the top of the ski hill. The slightly slanty peak, is the one we attempted to climb earlier.
The pier and beach/promenade

On the way home, we plugged in someone's phone and attempted to have a sing-a-long for the duration the drive. It started off a little strange, but eventually Lady Gaga's 'Bad Romance' came on, and was most definitely the most popular of all the songs that played. Personally, I thought the acoustic version of Ginuwine's 'Pony' was the real highlight. Man, that song was SO inappropriate for our young ears growing up!

All-in-all it was a good break from reading. Northern Wales is certainly beautiful, but if I go back, I will most definitely try to explore the southern parts.

-the Orange Canadian


  1. Wind turbines IN THE OCEAN????????????? I LOVE THIS IDEA!!!!
    I have always wanted to go to Wales, these pics are amazing!

    1. This is a fairly common occurrence in Europe.

      Wales is interesting - a definite must see if ever you have the chance!