Tuesday, July 27

Welsh Wilderness

Jim and I had neighbors in Vancouver who did walking tours all over the world. The one they told us about, that most intrigued us was in Wales. Their descriptions and the fact Jim's paternal grandfather was Welsh made us want to walk Wales. This trip wasn't the walking we had (pre-children) dreamed of, but the countryside was more diverse and more beautiful than I could have possibly imagined. And the hikes we managed were fabulous.

On our way back to Manchester we spent an afternoon in Betws-y-coed. The town reminded me of an alpine village with hiking shops and trails in every direction. If we return to Wales we will spend a few days in this little village. We went to a celtic fair, antique sale, bakery, and a hiking store; but, the best bit of our stop was the short hike we managed before lunch.

My mom mentioned that the landscape made so much sense of Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain. And it was true, these children's novels are based on Welsh Mythology and they are some all-time family favorites. I think I may try the first of these books out on Jonah soon (though they are probably a bit old - they are so good!) Oh, I could just see Taran Pig-Keeper and Princess Eilonwy (Eh-lawn-wa) scrambling through these magical forests. Perhaps because I was watching my own little man crawling, running and poking into caves...

If you are interested in Welsh Wildlife/Landscape. BBC Wales has a great program available in the UK on iplayer right now called Wild Wales. We've been enjoying them as a family. You can find them here.

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