Winding paths through Wales II: Cliffs, dunes and marshes
Are you ready? Here’s the next chapter in our foto travel journal:
After we left the mountainous north of Wales – although living near the Alps makes the term “mountain” feel a bit exaggerated – we followed for a few days mainly the coast in its different varieties:
Aberdovey with it’s long white sand beach and high dunes was one of the classic british seaside resorts we visited. Compared to buzzling Aberysthwyth it’s pleasantly relaxed. No merry-go-round, no donkey rides at the promenade! (At least we didn’t see them). But to be not to unfair to Aberysthwyth which we kind of fled, cause everything was a bit too overwhelming: I guess it was also due to the fact, that we spent most of our journey in the nature with little other people around that we found a town of 12 000 (plus tourists) more than we could bear.
Aberdovey was only a step on our way from the north to the south of Wales. Our next night we stayed in the middle of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, at one of the westernmost places and possibly one of the remotest places of Wales: Pwll Deri. A – very basic – youth hostel on the cliffs … and not much more. A night in a cramped dorm – expensable, watching the sunset from this great location – absolutely amazing!
We were quite early on the road again the next morning and headed towards St. David’s. There we had the great chance to experience the coast in this incomparable clear morning light with its long shadows. Only a few surfers were already awake from their tents, we watched them riding on the waves and just enjoyed being in this place at this time…
… and then we had breakfast at the beach café! Yes, although british food still is not high cuisine, I really fell in love with their cooked breakfast.
In St. David’s we also visited the impressive – although a bit wonky – cathedrale.
On our route along the coast we stopped again at Carmarthen Bay, more exactly at the vast Pendine Sands (11 km long) that fade into the Laugharne sands. Until the 1950s Pedine was the scene of various world land speed record attempts. The small Museum of Speed right behind the beach gives some interesting insights in those times when society met at the “Sands of Speed”.
Although we really had a great time at all places we stayed during our trip, I have to admit that I had one favourite place: The Gower peninsula has so many great places that I you don’t know where to start. We stayed there for two night in the most beautiful Bed&Breakfast in the world – an old farm, lovingly transformed by its welcoming owners into a homey, flowery, peaceful place which keeps the charm of its history. Oh yes, the name: Llehtryd Barns, in the middle of the peninsula that has it als: cliffs and beaches, moores, salt marshes, and lot of free grazing sheep, cows and horses.
The peninsula has only a few villages and although it’s a popular british holiday destination [We've been there on bank holiday weekend, and although we were warned, it didn't feel crowded at all.] there is not much infrastructure: a few surfer shops, a gas station a.k.a. supermarket a.k.a. bank, beach bars, chipies and a few restaurants. Recommendable: The Captain’s Table (fish&chips that can be seen on the picture) at Port Eynon – an institution; the Greyhound Inn, which serves great classics of british food (delicious: Gower salt marsh lamb pie) and hombrew beer.
The last part of our trip through Wales is still to come. It led us to the industrial heritage of Wales and to a lot of books…