I visited Wales about 2 weeks ago, but since then I have been extremely busy and hadn't had the opportunity to write about the trip. All of the trips I have taken in the past are so different that I can't pick a favorite, but this trip was my favorite. I was out of the big city and in the countryside the entire weekend. I felt like I was at home so many times. It didn't look like home one bit, but just being in the open land with the farmers, livestock and little towns I had that home sweet home feeling.
The weekend started off at 5 in the morning. We met the international friends bus in Canterbury and drove to the London to pick up some more of the people. We drove a different way to London than we had drove before. I saw the Tower Bridge for the first time and we also drove throught these really long tunnels. We also had the chance to drive through Piccidilly Circus Even though it was 8 in the morning all of the Christmas decorations looked amazing. I can't wait til it gets closer to time. There were decorations down the street like you were driving through Narnia. I wish I could go to the Narnia movie premier in London, but unforuntally I have class that day. Well, we picked up the rest of the group on Portland Blvd, and then we headed to Wales. Everything about Wales was amazing. The land is gorgeous with the hills and thousands of sheep and horses scattered about. We drove all around the mountains and hills. The leaves had all changed color so it was all so breathtaking. I saw 2 or 3 rainbows over the mountains. The best part about seeing the rainbows is that the lie right above the colored trees. Everytime I would look out I would just thank the Lord for what I was looking at.
The first day we stopped in 3 small villages. The first town was on the border of Wales and England. It was Chepstaw. The oldest castle in the United Kingdom was here. We went inside the ruins. It was so cool. The walls were hughe and we did some climbing along the walls and walked through many hidden passage ways. At the castle I felt like I was playing on one of those wooden kids kingdoms we have in the U.S., but this one was real. It would have been the coolest place to play hide in go seek. Also in Chepstw there was an area where you could put one foot in Wales and one foot in England. We of course checked that out like regular tourist. The day we were there was the day after Guy Fawkes Day, which is a national holiday in England. They celebrate it huge like we celebrate the 4th of July. There were many poinstetas layed along the statues around the town. The next town we went to was Turnik. There were ruins of an old historic Abbey.. The mountains were all around this town. It was a beauiful little mountain village. The main place we visited herw was the ruins of a tiny little church. It was the church for the masons back in the day. They were not allowed to attend the church at the Abbey so they build the small church up the mountain. In the 60's the entire church burnt down and killed everyone who was there. Witches were also known as making potions and spells. The hill we had to climb to get to the church was so steep and slippery When we got to the church I felt a haunted feeling immediately. It was surrounded by graves that dated back to the 1800's. In the grass you can see the caskets coming out of the ground with grass grown over top. The old church was in completely ruins when we walked through it and the grass and vines were all grown up through the place. There was a sign before we entered that said "Dangerous Building" That's just our first warning not to go near, but we walked right past that and went right in. The town though was such a unique little mountain town. There was one main road that ran through the town, and 2 or 3 little resturants, and the Wye River was located on one side.
The next town we visited was Hay on Wye. It is called the town of books. This is because there are book stores located all over the town. Every other store was a bookstore. My favorite bookstore we came across was an outside shop. It was pretty deserted at the time we saw it. It was behind the gates of the Wye Castle. The name of the shop was was Honesty Shop. Therew was a little red box to put money in. Soft back books were 50 pence and hardbacks were 1 pound. We went into so many bookstores and little craft houses. Bookend, Book Corner, Children's Books, Outcast Books, Cinema Books, and etc. It was one of those towns you could in for hours just reading.
After the Hay on Wye we went to hotel/hostel. It was called Baskerville Hall Hotel. This was the place the Hound of Baskervilles was written and inspired. Staying at the place I really felt like I was living the story. This entire Wales trip has felt like I was living through so many British novels. I am surrounded by all of the literature I onced studied in high school. Baskerville Hotel was so classy, but also so spooky! There was stairways and chandlers all over the building. The dinner we ate was in this really eleguent dinning hall. They served us each an entire half of a chicken! Soft piano was playing as we ate and we were some of the only ones eating at the time. I felt so important of rich like I was livng history. Outside the hotel was really when I felt like I was in a time capsele. It was dark and late at night I could hear the owls hooting and wolves from the night. We walked around the big dark courtyard. I felt as though Sherlock Holmes was about to apporach me.
The next day in Wales we went horseback riding through the beautiful moutainside. Being at the stables I felt like myself. I didn't want to leave at all I was all ready to start a days work at the stables. The first horse that I got was named Ben Jones. He was too hungry and not coorporating right so they switched my horse to a solid brown horse named Evan. Kaitlyn was on one of the biggest horses and her's was named Big Ben. We road down little roads and paths for about 3 hours. There were so many sheep pastures. They said in Wales if you get sheep to eat at a resturant you would be eating the freshiest sheep because it was slaughted and cooked by the local farmers. I never had the chance to try any. The National Park we rode horses through was called Breacon Beacons Park. Again it was soooooo beautiful. When we got to the top of the mountain side it was so chilly and we could see the snow on top of the mountains. We were all relaxed and in awe about the beauty when all of a sudden one sheep was starring at all of the horses. It started to hiss at all of us and it scarred the horses. All of sudden there was a massive attack. My horse with me on it ran straight up the mountainside away from everyone else. 5 or 6 other horses turned back the oppiste way and started running down the mountainside. Two girls fell off, but luckily they were ok. The moment my horse took off I felt my heart come to a stop. I was so scarred and it happened so fast I had no time to think or what was going to happen, if the horse was going to keep going across the mountain away from everyone else or not. I will say this one of the scarriest events that had ever happened to me.
The Wales trip was such a success. It felt good be out of the city and slow down my life again. I knew I really needed it. I would love to go back every week if I could afford it.