Winter In Wales

Wales, Uk, Nature, Mountain, Outdoor, Hills, Britain

I have received some beautiful photos of Snowdonia taken recently. There are few places I love more than North Wales. Even in winter, it is wonderful place to be. It is always a pleasure to see the Welsh half of the family – well this time only a handful of them. Passing through villages and towns where I have many friends and wishing I could pop in for a cup of tea and a slice of Bara Brith.

It’s hard to explain the huge difference between Snowdonia and London. I am only in London because of the charities I work for having so much work to do here. But London, like most cities, is a crazy way to live.

Whenever I have spent time in Wales, it strikes me as complete madness that we have these awful concrete jungles we call cities. I think we will need to disband them at some point. They obscure the beauty of life.

I am so sad I missed the chance to visit my family in Wales during 2020. However – I must look ahead to the future!

Milly and Me Try Market Day In Machynlleth

IMG_20180711_130356My brother-in-law has many many family members in North Wales, mainly concentrated in the southern part of Snowdonia.  My time here has been spent traversing Welshpool, Bala, Abergernolwyn, Dolgellau, Tywyn, Aberystwyth and earlier this week we popped into Machynlleth on Market Day.

It has been a long time since I potted around a market.  There are traditional market towns up and down the country.  I love to wander around and have a nosey.  I rarely need anything and usually end up buying something like a jar of honey or marmalade.

I bought Vegan Blue Cheese and Seitan this week.  Jury is still out on both of them I am afraid.  But I love how super-friendly everyone was.  My niece receives so much attention everywhere we go.  She is super gorgeous so I can understand.

IMG_20180711_124747plaqueWe also had a little look at some of the landmarks and points of interest in Machynlleth.

Have you ever heard of Owain Glyndŵr?

He was a Welsh ruler and the last native Welshman to hold the title Prince of Wales. Apparently many regarded him as an unofficial king. He instigated a determined but unsuccessful revolt against the English rule of Wales.  He fought fiercely and was a warrior through and through.  We are talking about 1400-1415, so Machynlleth has some pretty ancient landmarks.

IMG_20180711_122332Owain Glyndŵr called his first Parliament of all Wales at Machynlleth.  The photograph above is is the location where he was crowned Prince of Wales. He launched his national programme for an independent Wales. He envisioned an independent Welsh state with it’s own parliament and a separate Welsh church. He wanted two national universities (one in the south and one in the north).

Despite all of his efforts, it would be hundreds of years later when Owain Glyndŵr’s vision would be achieved.  Yet, he is held as quite the  hero.

IMG_20180711_130749We also visited a building which used to be a tabernacle and has turned into a concert hall and exhibition center.  MoMA (The Museum of Modern Art) I was asked by the lady at the welcome desk  if I paint – unfortunately she did not mean with emulsion or gloss paint (which I can), she was referring to water-colour or oil-paints (which I can’t).  She invited me to submit an entry to the annual art competition (which I won’t be doing) but hey, I will throw out her invitation to any budding artists who are casting their eyes over this post.

I have even discovered that they have a blog, one that is clearly superior to mine:  https://stories.moma.org/

Next stop was the vegetarian cafe The Quarry.  I had seen the reviews and most of them gave high praise to the Big Mach (the veggie burger) and the trifle – I cannot remember the last time I had trifle.  But I had no idea how much we would enjoy our lunch there.  Huge thumbs up for The Quarry – vegan/vegetarian cafe.

 

I love the small-town feel to this area.  Everyone seems to know everyone.  No less than forteen people called over to Milly as we wandered along.  Some were related to Milly’s husband, some were customers and some friends or neighbours.  We even bumped into one of my Dad’s friends from our home town near Liverpool.  He and his wife love this area for holidays.   All had headed to Machynlleth for Market Day.

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As we walked back to the car greeting more friendly folk who wanted to make a fuss of my gorgeous niece, I felt very content with our stress-free and rather delightful day out in Machynlleth.

Back at my sister’s sweet abode, I am settling down for my last sleep here before departing from Wales.  As  for when I will be back in London…well, it all depends on whether Djokovic beats Nadal tomorrow.  I will explain in another post.

Tomorrow, we are headed to Staffordshire.

 

Canolfen y Dechnoleg Amgen (That’s About As Much Welsh As You’re Going To Get Out Of Me I’m Afraid)

Just a stone’s throw from the cottage belonging to some family members is a site we have not been to for ages…and we decided as it is was close to the town we were visiting today we would take a visit with Little One.

Our destination today was the:

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Centre for Alternative Technology

Yes, that’s right, just behind the welcome desk which is on the same level as the car park, there is a cable car up to the rest of the site.  Here in Wales, they are very considerate of English folk who might not be use to walking up mountains every day.

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As if this not enough excitement for little one!  And for me!

It makes me laugh that when you read the information leaflet, it makes the center sound as interesting as reading the information on the side of a cereal box, or the back of a utility bill.

The reality is that not only is the center very interesting and of relevance to just about anyone at all who lives in a house, or uses electricity or takes showers or eats food…

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The VIEWS…the Center is worth a visit just for the views alone if you are really not interested in any of the information presented.

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I wish I had a better camera to take better pictures for you…there is nothing like your own eyes though to see Wales for yourself.

I took about fifty photos today of exhibits and my family as we toured the buildings displaying information, the gardens and all sorts of displays, and fun exhibits.  In addition we stopped off at the mostly vegan cafe and shared a vegan chocolate cake and a vegan lemon drizzle cake.

Then there was the playground…and the slide – my niece was in her element!  Oh she had fun.  A one year old child makes everything a hundred times more fun.

We learnt all about the origins of CAT (Center for Alternative Technologies), energy efficient construction techniques, how to conserve and make wise use of resources, including electricity and water, how to grow your own veggies and herbs, and there was a huge amount of information on all the alternatives to burning fossils fuels.

I don’t want you to tire of my holiday photos, so I will try to put together a little collage so you get the idea of what we were up to today.

Wish you were here with us in Wales!