Shutterspeed: Hiking on the Gower & visiting Caerphilly Castle

I have been in Wales for a little over a month now, but it feels three times as long! Not only am I kept very busy at work, I try to make the most of my weekends by going exploring. Last weekend I returned to the Gower peninsula, and this weekend I visited Caerphilly Castle, the largest castle in Wales, which was high on my to-see list.

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Histourism: A weekend in Snowdonia

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!

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Shutterspeed: Two walks on the Gower

Last weekend I went to visit Swansea’s main attraction: the Gower peninsula. A treasure trove of natural beauty! On Saturday I made my way down to the Worm’s Head, a cluster of small islands on the west coast, and then walked along the coastal path to the end of Rhossili beach. On Sunday I went to Three Cliffs Bay, which was even more gorgeous. There I hiked from the beach to the cliffs and to Pennard Castle, the crumbling ruins of a Norman stronghold overlooking the bay. Here are some photos that I took.

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Histourism: A weekend in Budapest

Last weekend I visited Budapest with a friend. I had been dying to see Budapest for ages and I was not disappointed. It’s brimming with gorgeous architecture, historical landmarks, amazing food, friendly people and a great atmosphere. It’s fairly cheap to stay and eat there as well. The beautiful sunny weather and the colourful autumn trees were the backdrop for a fantastic weekend.

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Shutterspeed: Autumn walk

We took a beautiful walk in the Wilbrink forest today. It’s that wonderful time when you can feel the transition from summer to autumn in nature: the air is still warm and carries the earthy smell of the sunlight on the ground, but there is also the occasional whiff of a stink-horn and the strong scent of humus, moist with evaporating morning dew. Toadstools and fungi are sprouting everywhere, spiders spin silver between the trees, and the snaps and pops of falling acorns and chestnuts mingle with bird songs. Leaves are turning red, brown, orange, yellow; they stand out almost shyly among their brilliant green family members. We pick ripe blackberries and fresh porcini. Soon it will get colder, soon the trees will shed their colourful canopies and the drab, grey weather will set in. But not just yet. Autumn is only just peeping out of its cocoon.

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Histourism: Hidden art deco gem Radio Kootwijk

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.
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Shutterspeed: Purple haze

Whoever thinks the Netherlands has nothing to offer in the way of beauty compared to other countries – think again. It’s early September, my favourite time of the year, when the heather blooms bright purple in my part of the country. To take full advantage of this gorgeous sight, I went for a hike with my mother and her boyfriend in the Loenermark, which is part of the Hoge Veluwe. We had some rain, but some sunshine as well, which made for beautiful dramatic skies and misty views.
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