Busy times lately, what with midterms and two weekend trips in a row! But I'm having a blast. This weekend we took our trip to Wales with the program, and I was blown away by how beautiful it is. Even though the border between Wales and England is very close to Worcester, they are very different. Wales is distinctly un-English. They still have obnoxiously cute old houses and lots of sheep (apparently there's more sheep in Wales than there are people, 12 million to 3 million!) but Wales has a mysterious and wild beauty that England doesn't have. Everywhere we went seemed like a fairy tale. We stayed in Conwy (pronounced Con-way) and out the window of the hostel I could see the castle that is right in the middle of the town. Yes, a castle. I was in heaven. It's also a walled city, and you can go up on the old walls anytime and get from one end of the city to the other and see everything. I was also fascinated by the Welsh language; attempting to read the Welsh words on all the street signs became a sort of game for us. We also visited the seaside city of Llandudno (google pictures, I couldn't even believe it was real). Here some of us hunted for seashells and relaxed by the water while others walked the promenade. Sunday we visited Snowdonia, the mountainous area of northern Wales. It was absolutely breathtaking. Granted, they're not the Rockies, but these giant hills are striking nonetheless. Some of them had huge piles of broken slate (slate mining was huge in this area in the early to mid 1900's). We also stopped at a slate mine that has now been converted into a historical center. Then our real adventure began.
Shortly after leaving Snowdonia, the alternator belt on our coach completely snapped, meaning we were not going to make it back to Worcester without it being repaired or getting another coach. We ended up back in Llandudno at about 5 pm and prepared for about an hour wait. Unfortunately, most of the city shuts down at about five on a Sunday, including all the restaurants. So finding supper was an adventure in itself. I walked in to about four places only to be told they were closing. After finally finding a random kebab shop I returned to the bus to see what was happening. We found out that it was going to be at least another two hours before we could leave! We all found was to pass the time, some played tag on the promenade, some attempted to do homework. I ended up on a park bench under a street lamp, wearing a furry bomber hat and purple rain boots and reading for my Shakespeare class. I probably looked like one of the most eccentric homeless people that tourist trap had ever seen. At about nine we finally got back on the road. Needless to say, for most of us this delay meant we had to burn the midnight oil to finish assignments for our lectures on Monday. But, overall it was a fantastic trip.
Magical Adventures in Wales