Putting another new theme on, like this one much better than last night’s attempt. \o/ Finally a layout that I don’t instantly hate once I’ve put it on!
Llyn Brenig - Conwy & Denbigshire - Wales
[Visited - 17th May 2014]
It’s been a while since we’ve been on any Welsh adventures and my travelling companion and I thought it was high time to start exploring more of Northern Wales again. There are so many beautiful places up there that I’ve yet to see, including Conwy Castle which we visited and was closed due to strong winds!
Anyway we decided to head out to Llyn Brenig because the weather was lovely.
Llyn Brenig is one of many Welsh reservoirs in the North of Wales which were created to supply water to the North West of England, though Llyn Brenig also supplies the North East of Wales. It was completed in 1976 so it is quite a recent development and it lies near to Alwen Reservoir - which we do intent to visit at some point but didn’t quite get to this time.
Llyn Brenig is also a historical site where evidence of both Bronze Age settlement and early hunter gathers have been found. Around the lake there are sites where you can see Bronze Age burials and ring cairns.
At the time of our visit there was a country fair being held which we actually knew nothing about. It was definitely a pleasant surprise as they had some crafts, chainsaw carving (which we never got to see), zorbing, rubber duck races and a falconry display.
We were directed to the overflow car park (£2 for the day) and decided that we wanted to explore the lake first, taking a walk over the dam to one of the benches overlooking the water. Once the drumming display had finished it was very peaceful and we were soon joined by some sheep and lambs who didn’t seem to mind our presence.
As we were both hungry we wandered back to have a look at the stalls, enjoy the owls and finally hunt down some food. There’s a large cafe at Llyn Brenig so we soon tucked into some sandwiches and a rather delicious piece of coffee cake. All the cakes are locally produced and they all looked fabulous but the coffee cake defeated me.
We noticed a little owl on a bench outside and soon went to investigate finding a few sculptures, one of an otter which I thought might be a bear and of course the little owl shown above. We also located a weird ladybird that was black with red spots and a random garden which told you how to tend a garden.
Then we delved into the forest. Enjoying photography light is something I’m always aware of an inspired by and the dappling of light under the trees was just beautiful. There’s always something a little mystical about forests with shafts of light falling through the canopy so we weren’t disappointed by the forest at Llyn Brenig.
As we my travelling companion recently had an addition to the family we climbed back in the car after a scout around the forest and headed back off down the A5 to visit the beautiful little lass, drawing a close to our adventures.
I’m going to buy my Swedish Kronor today as we’re getting into the finally 2 and a bit weeks before we fly! Looking forwards to seeing Malmo again and being able to stroll into Lilla Torg. I’m also looking forwards to taking my Mum on a plane for the first time ever and being able to show her a country I loved so much and that she’s never visited.
I’m also going to make a concerted effort to write about days 5, 6 and 7 of our Germany trip. Fingers crossed I manage it!
Chinese New Year - Manchester - England
[Visited - 2nd February 2014]
It was a bright, sunny February morning when we started our trip out to Manchester to celebrate the Year of the Horse. For the last five years we have been making the trip into Manchester. (One of the trips inspired the name of this blog). This year was no different, though with the sun and pleasant weather far more people were in attendance.
Arriving around 11.30 we had a brief look around the art and crafts shop which was busy but not as crowded as it can be after the parade. They sell a lot of books with kanji but sadly I’m nowhere near proficient enough to read them. They also sell a lot of small, pretty items like phone charms, key rings, fans and stickers.
Meeting the rest of the group we went into Wasabi - a Japanese restaurant which has a rotating sushi bar and set menus which offer 3 plates of sushi from the conveyor and a rice/noodle dish for just £8.95. The udon noodles in there are massive. The food was really tasty but there was no way I could finish it all so I gave up after a while.
Believing the parade to be at 1.30pm we headed to the Manchester Art Gallery to pick up leaflets for what was on, only to realise the parade was in fact at 1pm. Rushing back we had no chance of getting a good view of the parade but we tried to get as close as we could for a glimpse of the dragon.
Then began the crush.
Why people think it’s appropriate to bring pushchairs and small children I don’t know but without fail every year there is some kind of crush as people try to go in four different directions at once and fail miserably. This year someone tried to kick one of my friends as she tried to get through and out of the crowds which were becoming a little overwhelming.
Escaping we made our way to Albert square where we watched some weaponry demonstrations and then participated in some Tai Chi. The man giving the demonstrations was hilarious and told the story of a 84 year old Tai Chi master who had protected his village from a raging bull with his use of Tai Chi.
Unfortunately the queue for Churros was beyond our patience limit so we wandered back to the Manchester Art Gallery to watch some traditional Chinese music played by masters of their field. I especially enjoys the pieces on the Erhu - but then I quite like stringed instruments. We also got to see the last day of the Grayson Perry exhibit.
I’ve never seen modern tapestries before and the content was quite darkly amusing, following the life of a man called Tim as he moved through the social classes. There was so much detail in each piece you could look for a long time and still find new things. They are moving next to Birmingham and then Liverpool and Leeds and are well worth a look if you happen to be in the vicinity. I especially liked his Print for a Politician.
By then the group has split in two so we decided to meet up in the Arndale and as we made our way back through the Chinese Gate we saw some dancers doing what appeared to me to be a pizza dance - they were using material and making motions very much like those made to spin pizza bases. We paused for a few moments to watch before heading off to our destination and then onward to home.
Gong Hey Fat Choy!
A photo set tribute to Hohenschwangau Schloss. Not really sure what is going on with the preview pictures here but hopefully it’ll stop when I upload.
A photo set tribute to Oktoberfest 2013. I was slightly tipsy when taking some of these photos but it was great fun and who doesn’t want to eat a meter long wurst?