Jul 14

A short Welsh weekend

As Gina has recently moved to London (!!), it’s now going to be a lot easier for us to head to Wales when we feel like it. This is pretty much exactly what we did over the weekend. I took the late ferry from Dublin, and Gina caught the train up from London – and we’d be meeting in Holyhead around midnight. Perfect!

The train ride, and boat trip went without any hitches, and we met bang on time in Holyhead, where dad picked us up and took us home to Groeslon.

We got up super early, and after some hearty breakfast and catch-up with Mum and Dad, we decided to head up to the Welsh mountains – the Carneddau. The weather wasn’t particularly favourable – from down in the Ogwen Valley we couldn’t see the tops of the Carneddau, but we decided to head up anyhow, to stretch our legs, and because we’re cŵl like that.

We started from Llyn Ogwen, and belted up the steep slopes of Pen yr Ole Wen. The fog was thick from around the 600m mark, so just before heading in, we took a few snaps, as I had borrowed a friends Wide-angle lens for the weekend.

Gina & Cwm Idwal

Gina & Cwm Idwal


What followed was a really refreshing 5 – 6 hour walk into the thick cloud, from Pen yr Ole Wen (978m), across and up to Carnedd Dafydd (1044m) across the ridge to Carnedd Llewelyn, a wee bit of scrambling before heading up to Pen yr Helgi Ddu, and then descending the road-path that leads from Ffynnon Llugwy down to the car. There was a few people up on the hills, as there was a ‘Vegan 10km’ race on – but me and Gina marched onwards, enjoying being out together in the hills.

Directly afterwards, we headed to one of our favourite eating places (especially after a big hike): Pete’s Eat. We had the usual Veggie Grill, with a massive mug of tea, and hot chocolate for me.

On the drive home on Saturday, I noticed that we might be in for a fantastic sunset, as the clouds were breaking up just above the horizon, so after quickly changing from our wet-hiking clothes, we dashed on down to Dinas Dinlle to catch the epic, fantastic pink sunset, which gave me an opportunity to play with another borrowed lens, a 60mm Macro lens which I’ve fallen in love with, while Gina took epic snaps with my iPhone for Instagram (something we’ve both adopted very well):

60mm Pebble shot

60mm Pebble shot

And that was it for Saturday night! We were both blasted by the day’s hard work, so we had an early night.

Sunday bought with it, much better weather, so after another super early start and hearty breakfast, we decided to go to Gina’s fave place in Wales: Ynys Llanddwyn, and as it was a super nice and sunny day – this was a great idea!

We jetted over in the van, blasting some sweet music from my younger days, to a fairly looking, busy Llanddwyn. Armed with an ice cream (and a chat with the ice cream vendor about my family – Wales is a small place) we made our way towards the island and lighthouse. Thankfully, the tourists were all crowded along the main entrance to the beach, once we past the first 100m walk, the tourists were no where to be seen, which was great.

Wide angled Gina, gallivanting

Wide angled Gina, gallivanting

60mm flowers, sea and mountains

60mm flowers, sea and mountains

We made our way over and across towards the lighthouse, where we sat and chilled, and enjoyed the sun together. I (probably) burned my face because of the sun, but it was nice to be by the fresh sea, relaxing with Gins.

Macro Ynys Llanddwyn

Macro Ynys Llanddwyn



From Llanddwyn, we decided to head on over to Rhosneigr for a spot of lunch. Our main priority was pancakes (clown ones!), but the wee cafe was closed, so we decided to have some proper seafood – Gina went wild and had some lovely Rhosneigr Mussels, while I had traditional Fish ‘n chips – with mushy peas! It was fantastic.

And that was it, our short weekend had come to and end – we had to head back to Groeslon to pick up our bags, and catch our trains and ferry, back to London and Dublin.

Jun 11


The Upper Lake

Llyn Peris

With the aid of the beautiful road linking Pen-Y-Gwryd and Beddgelert, the two highways running south-eastward from Caernarfon encircle the mountain mass collectively know as Snowdon. The more easterly road from Caernarfon is accompanied by the railway as far as Llanberis.

By Llanberis is meant the modern village of that name. It contains the railway station and is a good two miles from the old village. It is a common centre of the motor routes from the Betws y Coed, Bangor, Caernarfon and Beddgelert, and the quarter chosen by the great majority of tourists who make the ascent of Snowdon, the Glyders, the Elidyrs, and Moel Eilio. The village is situated on the western side of Llyn Padarn, a lake two miles in length. The lake is connected with Llyn Peris by the river Seiont. Boating can be enjoyed on both lakes, and the lakes and rivers alike afford sport for the angler. At the northen end of Llyn padarn is a picturesque stone bridge leading to a Roman camp at Dinas Dinorwic, about a mile off.

A feature of Llanberis often overlooked is the Ceunant Mawr (the ‘big ravine’) with its waterfall, well worth a visit after heavy rain, though less effective in the dry weather. The fall is about 5 minutes’ walk south of the village, up the lane on the right just after crossing the stream as one walks from the station.

At Llanberis begins the ascent of the magnificent Pass of Llanberis.

Llanberis nowadays doesn’t have a train station, but it does indeed have the World best cafe – Pete’s Eat, and by itself is worth a visit! I love how we managed to pin point exactly the first shot here, it was an epic journey, with beautiful views, sunshine, and sunglasses.

Mar 11

A Wedding in Wales

We headed back to Wales over the weekend, as my brother was getting married.

It was a lovely wedding, it was Gina’s first encounter to a Welsh wedding, and she thought that it was lovely.

The Marriage itself was in a wee small church in Llanllyfni – where the Bride is originally from. I was the Usher, along with my little brother Llyr and Donna’s brother Kevin, who usher’ed people to their seats as they arrived for the ceremony. The service at the Church was quite nice, which didn’t end up in a mass lecture from the Priest, mostly in Welsh, but Gina was totally ontop of it. The words ‘cariad’ come up often, so it was all good. Surprisingly, not once did ‘igam ogam’ come up.

The Wedding Couple


The wedding meal, and drinks etc was held at a lovely wee place called Nant Gwrtheyrn, a beautiful place, nested just behind the Rival Mountains, just on the Pen Lleyn. Everything went lovely, lots of beer was drunk, and we also got to stay in one of the lovely wee cottages down there (Diolch mam a dad!). It’s always been something that I’ve wanted to do, to stay in one of these houses, and it didn’t disappoint one bit.

The wee cottages

Welsh Love Spoon

Pear Drops

Our room

Yes, it was a lovely wee day. Good to see my brother getting married, and to see the whole day go very smoothly (although, I didn’t fulfil my Usher duties wholly, I forgot to collect the flowers after the ceremony in the church – bad times). Geraint Thomas, of Panorama Cymru, in Caernarfon (wonderful photographs) was the photographer on the day, and he has some of the images on his blog: Priodas Donna a Celfyn

The rest of the weekend was spent chilling mostly. We had a wee walk around Llanberis, went to pay our respects to the awesome place that is Pete’s Eat, and did one image for our ‘Retro’ project, that’s quite interesting. (Will follow soon). The weather was super awesome, Gina could not believe it, Sun in Wales! Never has such thing happened before!

Pete's Eat

Snowdon from Llanberis Quarry

And that was pretty much it! Unfortunately, there was no surf (again) in Wales this weekend, so I couldn’t take Gina for a nice session in the sea. I really hope someday, I’ll be able to do this. We headed back down to London on the Monday evening, met up with some friends, and caught the bus to the airport at 4:30am on Tuesday to leave for Freiburg. ‘Twas a good wee trip!


Jan 11

New Year’s

So, it’s the 20th – January today, and I still haven’t written anything about our awesome New Year’s in Wales. Today seems like a good day to do it because Iestyn is having fun at pub quiz, so I’m home alone.

First, it needs to be said that I got awesome awesome presents, birthday ones carefully separated from the solstice ones (just how I like it), and all of them so good. I got me the ubersexy and ubertech mountain jacket that I had loved for ever, and also a beautiful print for the wall, signed and numbered – DON’T SHAVE! Can’t wait to have it with me and hanging. And, on top of that, I got The Ward Lock & Co ‘North Wales ‘ Southern Section’ book! This is the second part to my Northern section book that I already had since our last trip to Scotland, where I found it in a tiny old second-hand bookshop. I cannot believe Iestyn was able to find this, it is really old (probably even a couple of decades than the first one, and that was old already), and truly beautiful. I also got lots of other pretty, nicely smelling, snugly and buzzy things.

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Aug 10

London – Coniston Water (via Wales)

Llandudno beach

We got up real early and bravely, and made it to Euston in time, despite a little scare at the Northern line being opened late. It was a first train ride for both of us together, and Iestyn turned out to be an awesome train co-traveller – he doesn’t annoy me at all and lets me read the Guardian from yesterday and everything :) Good times.

Anyway, I survived the train (I even managed to sleep some), and at noon we got off at Llandudno Junction, where Iest’s parents picked us up and brought his car for us too. Iestyn had to go to get measured for some gay clothes he’s gonna be wearing for his brother’s wedding next year. I couldn’t go with him for reasons unknown, so I went to the beach, which was pretty even if a bit rainy.

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