Wales

A Enamoring Unexpected

   When my family heard I was going to London, they felt it was finally prudent to tell me I actually had a cousin who lived in Whales! Apparently I met her as a very small child and I was expected to remember, but sadly I'm a normal human being who often forgets things. So I got my cousins contact information and called her up saying I would love a visit! So when it (sadly) came to leave London, I hopped on a train to Kings Cross (I really did try so very hard to find platform 9 3/4), and took a trip to somewhere I had not really thought about visiting prior. All I new about Whales is that was were Faeries lived (they sadly hid from me my entire trip). So when I arrived, I was greeted by my cousing from Kentucky and her English husband! I'm a but peeved that my family didn't tell me sooner that she existed, because 1) I'm sure I could have conned my parents into letting me visit much sooner, and 2) my cousin and I are so alike it is a bit frightening! Needless to say, we got along grand right from the start, and I quickly formed lifelong bonds with the pair. What I was also never expecting was her husband to be the gung-ho outdoorsy type, who thought it would be a great idea to take me on a hike the next morning at 6am. But that wasn't it. The kicker is the hike was up the second tallest mountain in the UK! Mt. Snowdon! 

   We loaded up two packs, and started our 8 hour trek! I will admit I was a tad bit of a baby and bitched and moaned the whole way up. Though I do believe in a few places, especially near the peak, I almost died from the sheer incline of the slope! My cousin was of like mind, unlike her happy go lucky hubby who just looked at us as if to say, "something wrong?"  But in the end I am truly grateful to him, because I was able to see something truly spectacular. Near the top we suddenly were surrounded by tons of mist. We kept going, and it started disappearing. It w then I realized it wasn't mist at all, they were clouds! We were at the top of the world! 

   What he didn't tell us from the beginning was that there was actually a tram from base to summit! Those outdoorsy types! But after making it all that way, we would feel kind of pitiful whussing out (American pride on the line here). So we started the decent, which I think I liked more, not because it was going down (actually harder to gain footing) but because we took a different path along the ridge of the mountain. Do that let us see over both sides as we descending, viewing a rush of green valleys with crystal clear lakes below, occasionally coming across a meandering sheep.mwhen we finally reach the bottom, I'm a little sad that the incredible view was gone, but was starting to feel the amount of abuse my feet had endured during the trek. Fortunes had it that our car was parked next to a small river, and a little dip of our feet in the icy mountain water left us feeling right as rain (without the rain thankfully). And so ended my first day in Whales.


   For the rest of the week, DeAnne's husband unfortunately had to work, but we still got to have dinner with him and their friends. So she rooked me to explore the quiet little town surrounded by nature, which was a welcome reprieve After having been living in nothing but large cities for the past several months. We spent the rest of my week in Whales catching up on each other's lives, talking about her graduate reaseach (Folklore! how cool is that!?), jumping from topics of books to culture to religion, Ect. I love talking with someone who can give me brain food! We even took another, much shorter hike.

   The last day of my stay, we went to a local Botanical Graden, which just happened to be in full bloom! I am going to go ahead and point out that I had impeccable weather for the full ten days that I was in the UK, with only some infrequent drizzles (the Faeries were definitely looking out for me!). The garden was absolutly gorgeous! I had never seen so many different flowers blooming in the same place! And the smell, indescribable. The estate itself made me feel like I had walked right into a Jane Austen novel! Now, where's Mr. Darcy… Sadly, the next day it was time for me to board a ferry to Dublin so I could catch a flight a few days later back to the states. Me and my cousin shared a very awkward goodbye, I know because neither of us wanted to say it. Until my next visit to this unexpectedly wondrous place that I hold fondly in my heart. 

  

Travelers List
What to pack? Hiking boots and a rain Jacket that blocks wind! 
Money? They use the Pound Sterling, so get a good amount exchanged at the airport/train station! Beware! Conversion rates for Americans/Canadians sucks! Watch your spending
What to take on a day out? Boots, jacket, camera! No worries about theft here, but realize whatever you take your stick with for the day. 
Danger? Um... Carnivorous Sheep?
When to Go? Year around! Always prepare for rain though!
Must See? Mt. Snowdon


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