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Wales and Ireland September 24, 2009

Posted by mom6 in Provo Ricks.
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Dad got to make a presentation at a BASR (British Association for the Study of Religion) conference in Bangor, Wales, in September, so we used that opportunity to plan a “vacation.”

driving in Wales

Driving in Wales was an adventure! Roads were very narrow and had hedges or rock walls right next to the lane. Most of time the we had little or no shoulder. It took Dad a day or two to get used to driving on the “other” side of the road (and car) and me a day or two to get used to feeling like my side of the car was going to run into the hedges or walls.

Offa's Dyke

We walked some along Offa’s Dyke, an eighth-century earthworks delineating the separation of the Anglian kingdom of Mercia and the Welsh kingdom of Powys. It stretches for 80–150 miles along eastern Wales and was likely built as a political statement. The dirt taken from the ditch on the Welsh side was piled high on the English side. It was up to 8 ft high.

B&B

This was outside one of our B&Bs (bed and breakfasts) in Hay-on-Wye, a small town distinguished for its thirty or so bookshops (and, yes, Dad did buy some books here).

fish & chips

We always try some of the local cuisine, this time fish and chips. One order was plenty for both of us. It was hot and tasty but probably not especially good for us.

welsh countryside

The green Welsh countryside was beautiful, with the sheep grazing on the hills.

Llanfair

We made a special point of coming to this northern Welsh town that has one of the longest place names in the world. The Welsh name translates as “The church of St. Mary in the hollow of white hazel trees near the rapid whirlpool by St. Tysilio’s of the red cave.”

rainy day

Ok, the car was moving so this picture was out of focus, but it looks look an impressionistic painting to me. This represents the one brief spell of rainy weather that prevented us from riding the train to the top of Mount Snowdon, the high point of Wales and Britain. Dad says that just gives him an excuse to go back to Wales sometime.

Bodnant Gardens

So instead of going up the mountain, we drove a little further, the sun came out, and we had a delightful visit to Bodnant Garden, which spans 80 acres and features a wide range of plants.

Bodnant Gardnens2

We wandered until closing time through the flowers, trees, and estate gardens.

hiking in Ireland

We flew with Ryan Air to Dublin, Ireland. Flying with one carry-on 20x40x55 cm each was an adventure; everything (purse, camera, computer, etc.) had to be inside one bag weighing less than 10 kilos. We made it! A missionary couple, Jim and Colleen Magelsen, picked us up at the airport, so we stayed with them for a couple of days.Here we are among the heather on a peninsula east of Dublin.

Stephen CS Lewis

I like this shot of Dad peering at the back of the wardrobe, which C. S. Lewis is opening. Bill Geddis took us on a C. S. Lewis tour to various places in the Belfast area that were significant in Lewis’s life. Dad was able to give two firesides in Dublin and one in Belfast. We had a delightful time in the unusually great weather of Wales and Ireland!

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