Last week I spent a beautiful weekend in the seaside town of Aberystwyth, on the west coast of Wales. I took the train up to Cartmarthen and there transferred to a bus, which took in a beautiful part of the coastline on its way to Aberystwyth. I had been told that it’s probably the most “Welsh” town there is. It reminded me of Brighton, mostly because of the sunny weather and the candy-coloured houses, but yes, it was undeniably Welsh: the red Welsh dragon was ubiquitous. I even saw somebody wearing suspenders with the Welsh flag on them!as it’s closer to the north than Swansea, there is a higher number of people who speak Welsh. Signs and menus were nearly all bilingual.
Two weeks ago my supervisor at my internship gave me one day’s notice to go to Caernarfon in the north of Wales to visit a literary festival, Gwyl Arall, and gave me permission to take a day or two to off to enjoy myself there since I’d technically be working on the weekend. Transport and accommodation paid for? How could I say no!
A weekend at my mother’s is always good for some last-minute adventures. Last Saturday night we took a drive in the dark to go and listen to the belling of the stags, a very distinctive sound that they make when they are in heat. Unfortunately, we were a bit early – they do it from mid-September to mid-October – so we didn’t hear much. We did run into (not literally) some deer grazing in a field and some wild boars by the side of the road, which was really cool! I’d never seen any in the wild before. They didn’t seem scared of the headlights at all; they just trotted along, minding their own business. On Sunday, we cycled to one of the most surreal places I have ever visited in the Netherlands: a former radio station in Kootwijk, nicknamed “the cathedral”, in the middle of the Veluwe.
Continue reading “Histourism: Hidden art deco gem Radio Kootwijk”
Yesterday, I went for a bicycle ride along a part of the Waterlinie close to Utrecht: the area between Fort de Gagel and Fort Ruijgenhoek, to be precise, where there’s a very young forest, planted just 15 years ago. It’s a lovely place for a spring outing, with lots of birdlife and awakening flowers.
Continue reading “Histourism: The old Dutch line of defense (Waterlinie)”