Sunday, 28 August 2016

Land Ahoy! (summer holiday time)

To be born in Wales, not with silver spoon in your mouth but with music in your heart and poetry in your soul. – Brian Harris

Snowdonia, North Wales
We have had a lovely couple of weeks staying in Snowdonia, North Wales with the family. It is an area which is truly bilingual. All signs are in both languages and it is amazing the way shop staff switch seamlessly backwards and forwards between Welsh and English as they deal with customers.
Rivers fed from the mountains
We have seen castles, climbed mountains and marvelled at tumultuous rivers. We also got to swim in the Irish sea and see the notorious Menai Straits from the safety of the land.

Lots of historic castles

I was asked before we left if we were used to packing from our time cruising. In fact the opposite is true, when you travel with your whole house you don’t have to decide what to take and what to leave behind. Now though, once the cases/bags are packed they need to be taken up to the car. This can involve several trips back and forward as most families fortunate enough to have holidays would know. For us each trip involves a trolley and a 5 minute walk.
Beaumaris Castle, Anglesey
Before leaving the boat we check the ropes to ensure she will still be there when we get back. I always clean through the house like many others do but then we fill the living room with paddles, dinghy masts, boat hooks and the other things which normally live outside. Sometimes we even lug the life raft in (depending on where we are) which is no easy task thanks to its weight and general awkwardness. The gas taps are turned off and the electricity is removed from the mains with its chord pulled back on board.

View from the mountains
Once away, adjusting to living in a house is interesting. Flights of stairs up and down, hot running water, a shower that you can tumble out of bed straight to without a 5 minute walk. We all at one point or another tried pumping a tap instead of just turning it. We find ourselves thinking twice before emptying things down the sink and automatically putting the kettle on when the hot water runs out.  Our whole approach to recycling, saving or not saving bits of food, the way we wash up and the way we cook has changed and sometimes we don’t notice these things until we are back on land.

Long sandy beaches of the West coast
Being a tourist is a very different thing to cruising. We notice how much we plan a ‘thing’ to do the next day then set off in the car to visit/see/do. It’s great and we love it but it is very different to exploring a new area without a car. We see more but we also see less. We can do some amazing things and reach stuff that would be impossible or at least very difficult without transport but we can also miss things which are right on our door step.
Incredible history in this land of legends
I have also noticed several times this holiday the assumption of many people that all children attend formal schooling. Maybe I’m just more attuned to picking the comments up these days.

Ancient woodlands and lots of coniferous plantations
Once more it has been great to spend time with our family, explore a much loved place and to take the time to appreciate the things we have. More than that we are fortunate to be able to take time out to be together and play. There are many in this world who are too busy just trying to survive day to day. Snowdonia is a truly beautiful and peaceful place.

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