mandag 7. september 2015

We took off to Wales one day!

Sure! You know the place where they pronounce things a wee bit different than most of us. Where you pass a road sign and don't have a clue what to look out for? The place with the "ddraig goch yn eu baner" and all of that sort, you know. Not only that, but they also got a village called Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, and the natives are able to speak it out in a remarkably short nick of time, and I kid you not!
And there are castles! In plenty!

At one of our pit stops to "water the horse". An old mill I guess. Nice place it was for sure. Mamiya RZ67.

Anyway, it's an interresting small piece of land in many ways, and it pleases me a very lot to inform you that there's nothing to be reluctant about, going to Wales and such. The people are just fantastic, as I have started to get used to here on these Isles after some travelling around the area, and the weather is exactly as they say it is. More or less the same weather we have back home, which suits me fine. No big chance of getting over heated or severed burned by the sun and all of that plague! Bring some wool and waterproofs, and you are ready to have a great time for sure!

Here's one. That's a castle up there on the hill, you see.

We bought a flight directly from my local airport over to London, Gatwick. Decided to rent a car at the airport, as it's the easiest way to do things when you come flying in from Norway. I've done it before, so I knew where to go to get the best service. Last time I rented a car here I had one booked in advance, but was (very easily) persuaded by the lady behind the desk to take something a bit less boring. You see, that trip was only for myself and my step daughter on a road trip up a bit northwards to have three days at the Download festival, with great music and lots of fun. So we had to have a nice ride as well, as you might understand? Two seats, loads of horse power, red color, chrome and what have you all. Only backdraw was the fact that the car was from france, but what the heck... as we did not have the cash to buy some fancy vintage old english sports car, this one would have to do.

This was back like three years ago or something like that. The next year, as we were going to Wales, me and my wife as you know, it all went a bit different at that car rental shoppy thing. What is there with wifes and the total lack of interrest in cars... and so on? Well, obviously it's a question about a lot of things, and the way it all went on I have to say that the only thing I might should have considered was to rent an old Land Rover instead. No sports car, no Vauxallsomethingtinyweeverysmall... just a plain Land Rover Defender type of thing. That's what I should have done.
But, I didn't, or we didn't. We blindly decided to go for the smallest ride in the shop, and off we went. To see Wales! And note to self: Don't always listen to people telling you that a 1,1 litre engine (or whatever was loosely fastened inside that boring blue wheelbarrow) is plenty enough to take you around most of the british isles in a comfy way. It's all simply a bag of nonsense! A Land Rover would probably not be very comfy either, but at least it would have managed the trip a bit better, I would think.

Wales is a beautiful piece of land, by all standards. Hills and good croftsland all over the shop, and beautiful beaches, cliffs and sea views. And did I mention castles?! 
The people of Wales must have carried a lot of stone over the years it seems. There are walls built all over the country, and if they had a few stones in spare, they seem to simply have built a castle or ten, just because they could. Not wee tiny small things mind you! Huge fortresses more or less evenly spread all around the country. And they worked. At least by the standards of the days back then. 
Fantastic buildings they are, and adds to the landscape they do for sure. 

Conwy Castle. A mastodont made of stone!
Mamiya RZ67

Don't know if you can see anything at all... but there actually is some information on that negative somewhere inside all that fog. Need to try a print of a crop of this me think. One day, when I got that darkroom up and running. Nikon FM2 on Fomapan film.

And then there's fog. Loads of it at times. I'm quite used to it from back home, but I prefere to see a few meters ahead when I go to visit somewhere new to me. But the fog somehow adds to the landscape as well I must admit. I remember one day we were at Angelsay out to see the lighthouse at South Stack. Stopped at the parking lot, went out and could not see a thing. Not that we were surprised, because we could not even see our car having walked five meters away from it... It was great though, both not to see the car for a few and also to hear the foghorn just down below us, and the sea poundering towards the cliffs down there somewhere. We stood there, paralyzed for a while. Just listening. And it was all just good. No snaps though, as you might already have figured out...

South Stack Lighthouse as it appears when you finally has climbed down all those stairs. A nice walk down the cliffside it is, and highly recomended.

And there are small tiny wee lovely hills spread around, and you're in this small car with that small engine using the gear shifter like an idiot trying to keep the thing alive long enough to reach the hilltop, and sometimes you succeed, and sometimes not so. And then there's the downhill on the other side, if you get that far, and the breaks materialize themselves as to be built just as tiny and small as you might would think if you gave it a second thought before you went away from down there just south of London a few days ago. What a thrill, that ride through Wales! 

We drove up north. Came in from the east with the sun in our eyes. Drove up to Angelsay the first day, moved around a bit, managed to get a good view of the lighthouse at South Stack the day after the foggy one, and drove south on the coastline. We came in through Snowdonia in the night time, but we can see the mountains some other time. We are a lot more interrested to see the sea views, as it happens, and we had a lot of that taken on board. And it was all good.
We went for long walks on some fantastic beaches, and had a great week together. Out there in the rural areas, just me and my wife. You see, we prefere to travel a bit outside season, as we like to see how places looks without most of the tourist stuff that usually happens to create some noise during summertime wherever you go. 

Nope! I simply have no clue folks! She came in from howhere there at the left and refused to move at any high speed. I could have looked like some pro standing on the other side of the road trying to get a decent snap of the "Saddlers Arms" pub, but I still can't figure out why she suddenly slowed down to a point where I just had to take the picture and then do something else... Nikon FM2, Fomapan.

Then we went home, and I sloshed a few films around in smelly rodinal I guess... and managed to save a few somewhat OK frames.
The car...? Oh, it kind of like made it all the way somehow. The eyes of the guy who checked it after our trip rolled a bit around in his skull when he checked the meter reading and stuff like that... mumbling something of overdue, oil change... things like that. None of my concerns to be honest. I care about my engines at work and at home, and he will have to take care of his own business. 

We will be back some day, Wales!

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