Four years ago my mum and I went to visit my sister in Zürich, Switzerland. She was doing an internship there and we had decided to take the night train from the Netherlands to Zürich, which would drop us off right in the middle of the city after about ten hours. I spent the visit mostly trotting after the other two and trying to figure out how my new camera worked.
Yesterday I visited the famous Tintern Abbey in the southeast of Wales, close to the border with England. The first time I ever heard of it was during my Bachelor’s when we studied William Wordsworth’s poem “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey, on Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour, July 13, 1798“. Quite a mouthful!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Continue reading “Shutterspeed: Purple haze”
This weekend I went on a bivouac with my family, our second family bivouac in two years. My mum’s boyfriend Paul used to be in the National Reserve Corps and he’s into bush craft, and we’re all keen hikers. Last year we went to the Sallandse Heuvelrug, in the east of the country, and slept in the woods at a pole camping. This is a small area, which sometimes has a water pump, where you’re allowed to spend the night as long as you don’t leave any rubbish. They’re scattered throughout the country. This year we went to Twente and hiked around the river Dinkel, and spent the night near a farmhouse where nobody lived except for some chickens. There was a bathroom inside, which made this outing less primitive than the last.
Continue reading “Shutterspeed: Bivouac in Twente”