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Monday, 8 June 2015

WALES IN A WEEK

I have been to Wales on three brief occasions. Long ago I went to St Davids with a geology field trip from university. Many years later I went to Aberaeron with the family on a trip back from Oz, and then a few years ago, I went to Bodelwyddan, in north Wales with DJ for a "short break".
This time I saw all three in a week. Not only was I surprised and thrilled by all the lovely scenery and pretty places we went through but shocked to realise how big Wales really is when you are driving round it in a motorhome at a fairly leisurely pace.


We started in St Davids, camping at Caerfai Bay. Mick and Diz had joined us and it was a very splendid view from the top of the cliff. It was also a bit windy.
It got windier. And then a lot windier still...terribly windy and raining...and then raining sideways and whipping up a storm. It did that for 24 hours non stop. Many tents got destroyed including Mick and Diz's lovely campervan tent on the right. It was a tragic way to start a holiday.
The next morning with the wind still blowing strong gusts, we walked the cliff path to the city, passing the old ruins of St Non's chapel as well as the new Retreat.
The Cathedral is at the bottom of a valley and hard to find without signposts. It does not stand high and beckoning from the top of a hill but still has been found by many pilgrims over the centuries. A funeral was taking place the day we were there and we viewed from a distance.
The place (seems strange to call it a city when it is so small!) is very pretty and we returned along the cliff path the next day in slightly better weather. Gusty breezes rather than winds...
A brave artist painting "en plein air". Such different conditions from those experienced by Helen and her fellow artists in Florida.
He has to have his easel secured by ropes and how he manages to cart all his gear across the cliff tops to get to this wonderful view is amazing. He was cheerful and busy so we reluctantly left him to it.
In town there was a studio belonging to an artist called Tony Kitchell who used a similar palette and technique so it may have been him. There was a sign on the door saying "back in two minutes" !!!
The Pembrokeshire Coast Path takes you along some magnificent cliffs and the geological processes have left amazing features. The cliffs are often baked, metamorphic slates and have been twisted and folded into remarkable shapes...
...And colours.
We moved north along the coast.
And into the hillier north to stay at Betws y Coed and from there visited  Mount Snowdon...
...up and into the clouds we went on the little train. BUT we will have to go back if we want a view from the top.
We passed the slate mines at Llanberis...
And watched the water at the Swallow Falls...
Smiled at the smallest house in Wales...
And admired the castle at Conwy.
We are home now. The washing has been done, the campervan cleaned , the kitchen painted and the art room tidied up. Tomorrow is a visit to the dentist!
and another blanket is on the knitting needles.
Billy is glad to be home. I miss him when we are away but he has a great cattery to go to and is safe and well looked after.
I hope real summer comes soon.
Cheers for now
Gillian

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