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01 March 2013

First Trip....Wales!

Now that we've finally settled in, we are starting our UK travel adventures! Our first trip was a short weekend getaway to Wales, the weekend after Valentines Day (our Valentines here included...tulips- my favorite flower, reeses- difficult to find in Europe, and red velvet cake balls which were excellent!). On Saturday we rented a car and drove through the beautiful English and Welsh countrysides. It took a bit over 5 hours to reach Llandudno, on the northern coast of Wales. It was a very cute little Welsh coastal town, we even heard some people speaking Welsh! We walked all around town, out to the pier, shopped, had dinner at a cute little pub, and enjoyed a relaxing afternoon and being by the water. The tides were pretty dramatic and by that evening we could walk out to the end of one dock, which was completely underwater that afternoon. We also had a hotel overlooking the water.

The next day, we headed to Snowdonia National Park to hike Snowdon, the highest peak in Wales (1085m), second highest in the UK. We could not have asked for a more perfect day! Clear skies, sun, and warm! The peak had snow still and was windy, but the rest of the hike was beautiful. We took the Llanberis Path up, which is the most popular, it had beautiful views. The total hike is about 9 miles, which took us a little over 5 hours, with lots of stopping to enjoy the views. Turns out the last bit of the path was covered in snow and ice, so I ended up turning around just before the peak, while Owen ran up to get some pictures. Overall it was a great weekend, even though it was far too short. It felt so great to get out of the city and into the country for a while. Having a warm, sunny day was also a huge blessing. Living here, you appreciate any bit of sun and warmth you can get. It was a very refreshing trip. We've posted a few pictures from Wales, but we have lots more on our Wales Picasa Album. We highly recommend spending some time in Wales if you're in the UK.

Now that we've started the travels, we are starting to plan many more trips. We're hoping for Switzerland next month, Holland (for the tulip festival) in April, and maybe somewhere else before May when I head back to the states for a bit. Other possible countries on our list for after May include Belgium, Croatia, Norway, Iceland, Greece, Czech Republic, Germany...and maybe India or something in November when we finish here. If you have any suggestions of places to go or things to see we'd love to hear. We're really interested in doing some different things.

End of pier previously underwater that afternoon
Sunrise over the Irish Sea, view from our hotel room
Snowdonia National Park
Our path (peak-1085m)
We actually were dressed too warmly, too many layers
most of the path looked like this

What the last part of the path looked like (got even worse)
Beautiful views, so thankful for a clear day
Owen finished the hike, this is just after I turned around
Owen at Summit