Tag Archives: Lake Bala

What A View – Lake Bala, Wales

Read The Full Story…

On This Day – A Ghost Story

Even though travel restrictions are easing I am not yet minded to risk it so I still have no new stories to post so I continue to go through my picture archives and see where I was on this day at any time in the last few travelling years.

On 24th August 2015 I was still on a family holiday in Mid Wales in a very remote cottage in the countryside…

Bala Wales

I was rather tired tonight so shortly after Kim had gone to bed I said goodnight to Sally and walked along the corridor to the bedrooms.  Part way along someone called out “Grandad, Grandad, Grandad” three times and assuming it was one of the three children I went to their bedrooms and asked who was calling me – all three were fast asleep, very fast asleep.

Read the full story Here…

ghost Wales Cottahe Llanuwchllyn

Travelling – What A View!

Ireland Inch BeachLake Bala WalesWalking in Altinkum TurkeyWest Cork Ireland

Twenty Good Reasons to Visit Wales

Wales LandscapeCastell y Bere WalesWales in the RainBorth and Snowdonia in the DistanceAberystwyth from Constitution HillAberdovey BeachNorth Yorkshire SheepWales LandscapeAberdovey WalesWales Sheep RainBorth SunsetBorth Beach WalesHoliday Beach Shop Borth WalesA Caravan HolidayCaerphilly CastleLake Bala Wales

Weekly Photo Challenge – Spare

Spain Door Catalonia

Where did I leave the spare door key?

Catalonia Wooden Door DetailCatalonia Door Lock

More Doors…

Doors and Windows of 2015

Sardinia – Doors and Windows

Brittany – Doors and Windows

Blue Doors of Essaouira

Doors of Catalonia 1

Doors of Catalonia 2

Doors of Catalonia 3

Doors of Catalonia 4

Doors of Dublin

Doors of Northern France

Doors of Portugal

Doors of Siguenza, Spain

Travel Review of the Year – 2015

Warsaw Old Town and Royal castle

We went to Warsaw in February, it was cold, very cold.  I liked it a lot but not as much I have to say as the other Polish cities that we have visited of Krakow and Wroclaw.  Warsaw was good but it doesn’t have the historical swagger or confidence of Krakow or the quirky charm of the more manageable Wroclaw because Warsaw is a modern European capital with the raw edge and the buzz of a major city.  Whilst I might consider returning to Krakow and Wroclaw, once in Warsaw I think is probably enough.

Valletta Postcard

I have been to Malta before.  I first went there in 1996 and liked it so much that I returned the following year.  Both times I stayed at the Mellieha Bay hotel in the north of the island.  These were family holidays with two teenage children, beaches, swimming pools, banana boat death rides and Popeye Village.

I liked it so much that I have always wanted to go back.  I have repeatedly told Kim that Malta is special and that I am certain she would like it as much as I did.  Late last year the opportunity arose and I was able to find a combination of cheap flights and a hotel deal at Mellieha Bay for just £200 for four nights and five full days! I have heard it said that you either love Malta or you hate it, there are no half measures, there is no sitting on the fence and luckily at the end of the visit Kim was inclined to agree with me.

Ireland Dingle

In 2014 we visited Southern Ireland, Eire, The Republic and had such a wonderful time that we planned an immediate return to the Island for the following year.  Not to the South though on this occasion however but to that part of Ireland that still remains part of the United Kingdom – Northern Ireland or Ulster.

Not so long ago most people would no more of thought about visiting Northern Ireland than North Korea, it wouldn’t have crossed their minds to go to Ulster any more than go to Uganda and Belfast would be in a travellers wish list that included Beirut and Baghdad.  Now things are changing and Northern Ireland is reinventing itself as a tourist destination.

We enjoyed it there, the City of Belfast, the Titanic Exhibition, a drive along the scenic Antrim Coast, the Giant’s Causeway and a final night in Londonderry – a place to return to if ever there was one.

Edinburgh Scotland

After a Summer spent in England we travelled in August to neighbouring Scotland.    I am sure that I have been to the castle before, I visited Edinburgh in 1972 and 1984 but I couldn’t remember it at all.  This is another benefit of getting older, you forget things so even if you do them again they are like a whole new experience. This is another benefit of getting older, you forget things so even if you do them again they are like a whole new experience.

I liked Edinburgh, it was a wee bit expensive but when I have forgotten the details of this visit I am certain to go back again one day.

Lake Bala Wales

Earlier in the year I had made plans to go on holiday with my daughter and grandchildren and my son and we had chosen a holiday cottage near Boulogne in Northern France.  I like it there.  As the Summer approached there were more and more delays crossing the channel as a consequence of striking French ferry workers and large numbers of migrants attempting to cross from France to the UK.  I love my grandchildren very much but the prospect of being stuck in a traffic jam for up to twenty-four hours with them was just to awful to contemplate so when the critical moment came to make the final payment I cancelled and transferred the holiday to a cottage in mid Wales.

I enjoyed Lake Bala and Wales, it was a simple holiday, the sort that I remember from my own childhood and from taking my own children away when they were young.  I am convinced that youngsters don’t need water parks and amusement arcades when there is a wide open beach and the sea, the countryside, a stream to fish in a thrilling steam engine ride.

Kim enjoyed it so much that she has decided that we are going to live there!

Dinan Brittany France

But we were not to be denied a visit to Northern France because in August I spotted some reasonably priced return air fares at only £49 each to the Brittany resort of Dinard.  We snapped them up almost without thinking and then invited our friends Sue and Christine to join us and they immediately agreed.

I liked Brittany, I liked it a lot mostly because I have always resisted having a bucket list because I couldn’t get one big enough but I am thankful to fellow bloggers Victor (Victor Travel Blog) and Wilbur(Wilbur’s Travels) for reminding me that if I did have one then Mont St Michel would be somewhere near the top.

Kim enjoyed it so much that she immediately abandoned her Wales plans and has decided that we are going to live there!

Castelsardo

Cheap flight tickets are top of a long list of good reasons to travel and when we spotted some reasonably priced return flights to Sardinia with Easyjet it didn’t take long to make a decision to visit the second biggest island in the Mediterranean Sea (just slightly smaller than Sicily) with our occasional travelling companions Mike and Margaret.

Our flight was to the city of Olbia in the North-East of the island so we planned an itinerary that would take us along the length of the north coast and then to the city of Alghero on the west coast and finally a return journey to Olbia across the northern countryside.

This was our final journey of 2015 and now we begin to make our plans for 2016.

Happy Travels Everyone!

Did you have a good year or have any big plans for 2016?

Doors and Windows of 2015

Power to the People!Mellieha Malta BalconyDurham Cathedral Door Knocker001Dol Afon LlanuwchllynDinan Brittany FranceAlghero Sardinia

Wales, Then and Now

Aberdovey 1985

In my earlier posts I mentioned that I had visited Wales several times and this time I returned to an old favourite.

The picture above is Aberdovey in 1985 and this is Aberdovey today…

Aberdovey Wales

In 1968 I went on holiday to Aberdovey at Plas Pantiedal Holiday village near Aberdovey and one day we visited Lake Bala…

Lake Bala 1968

and almost fifty years later I have taken my grandchildren to the same place (well, almost)…

Lake Bala Wales

In 1985 it was my first holiday with my daughter, Sally …

Wales Holiday 1985

and here we are again…

castell y bere Wales

The beach at Aberdovey in 1976 playing boules with my brother, Richard…

Aberdovey beach 1976

and all of these years later my grandchildren playing on the same beach…

Aberdovey Beach 2015

With my daughter, Sally in 1986…

Wales 1986

And with my grandchildren, Molly, Patsy and William in 2015…

Bala Lake Railway 2015

Finally with the full crew…

Talylynn Railway

Postcards From Wales

Castell y Bere Wales

Welsh Island RailwayLlechwedd Slate Cavern001

Wales, Final Days

Little Trains of Wales

“The lake (Bala) has certainly not its name, which signifies ‘Lake of Beauty’, for nothing” – George Borrow, an English nineteenth century travel writer.

As it happened the weather had seemed to settle down into a sort of pattern; it rained at night and in the day it was dry and the sun came out and that was perfectly fine by us.

As with any holiday, this one started slowly and then gathered pace towards the end and almost before we knew it, it was approaching the end of the week and fortunately the weather had one good day left for us.

The children wanted to go back to Aberdovey and try their hand at crabbing and there was no way of negotiating any sort of different day or amusement so we loaded the car and made our way back to the coast.

I had forgotten just what good fun this was, I hadn’t been crabbing for probably fifty years, I didn’t even take my own children when they were young, but we bought nets and lines and bait and made our way to the harbour to find a pitch.  The memories were flooding back so thick and so fast that it was like trying to mow the jungle.

We used bacon for bait and it was so successful.  Like most people I like a slice of sizzling bacon, usually between two slices of bread, but these crabs like bacon more than anyone or anything I know, either that or they are just plain stupid.  Within seconds we had our first catch and then over the next hour they just kept being pulled out of the sea with such regularity that it became monotonous.  I have never been deep sea fishing but I imagine a marlin or a swordfish is going to put up much more resistance than these dumb decapod crustaceans.

Aberdovey Crabbing

Eventually the children tired of easy fishing and I was glad about that because to be honest I was scared stiff about one of them getting over excited and falling thirty feet or so into the water and then me having to go and try and rescue them so I was pleased when they poured the poor things back into the sea (presumably to be caught again ten seconds later) and we made our way to a nearby pub for lunch.  I had a beer to calm my nerves.

Sally drove us back to Bala where the weekend excitement had started early (this being Friday) with a steam gala so she dropped us off at the station at Llanuwchllyn and swiftly left us to go into the town for some retail therapy.  Kim, by the way was so stressed by day six that she had taken the opportunity to stay at the cottage for some quality ‘me’ time.

The steam gala was a predictably amateurish affair with a few old cars and lorries and some rail enthusiasts selling books and running their model railways but the children enjoyed a second ride on the Lake Bala steam engine and if I am entirely truthful so did I as the engine called Maid Marion pulled the coaches alongside the blue waters of Lake Bala, at four miles long the largest natural body of water in Wales.

At the Bala terminus there were more memories for me because here was an old Routemaster London bus , the type my granddad worked on as a conductor out of the Catford garage in south London.  I am not sure what it was doing here in rural mid Wales but the children liked riding on the top deck and Patsy declared it to be exciting because it was ‘my first ever time on a double decker bus!”

I enjoyed Lake Bala and Wales, it was a simple holiday, the sort that I remember from my own childhood and from taking my own children away when they were young.  I am convinced that youngsters don’t need water parks and amusement arcades when there is a wide open beach and the sea, the countryside, a stream to fish in a thrilling steam engine ride.

Kim enjoyed it so much that she has decided that we are going to live there!

What simple pleasures make a holiday for you?

Lake Bala Wales