Friday, June 15, 2018

Wisley garden

I have a few days in London and then it is home to Los Angeles. Today I went to Wisley garden. It is a huge property, a garden center, a horticultural center and is absolutely lovely and magnificent. The instructions given Online on how to get to by public transportation is confusing. I tried yesterday but had to abort the trip. I tried again today and was successful. From London Waterloo take the train to Guilford, there are lots of trains going there. At Guilford, locate the bus station, it is up the hill behind the Friary's mall. Take bus 715, one every hour on Weekdays, ask to be dropped off at Wisley. Walk the 10 minutes to the property. On the way back, head back to the main highway, it is very busy, use the overhead bridge and walk to the bus stop on the other side. Be sure to wave to the bus to indicate to the driver you want him to stop or else he won't stop!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

The end of a 3 month adventure

A few days ago I began to realize that I'm about to complete my 3 month adventure. There was a time a month ago when I thought I wasn't going to make it and that I wanted to quit and go home alone. That was when my trip to the Outer Hebrides did not pan out. I needed a new place to go to, somewhere South and warmer. I chose  South Wales  reluctantly. I walked into a bookstore in Glasgow, bought a guidebook for Wales, went to Glasgow central train station and bought a ticket  for Cardiff. Last Sunday as I realized that it was my last day in Wales, I became quite emotional. Thank you Wales for saving my trip. It has been a lot of fun discovering South Wales. There were so many highlights. The photographs were magnificent. I've been in London for 2 days and will be here till next week when I fly home to the USA. I went to Oxford yesterday, to the Bodleian library for the JRR Tolkien exhibition, an excellent exhibition. This photo was taken in the grounds of Trinity college in Oxford.

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Sundays

In many smaller places especially in Wales and Scotland, buses don't run on Sundays. I need to plan carefully to take that into consideration. So the last 2 days I took the bus to Tintern Abbey and Monmouth. Today I'm staying in town and exploring Chepstow. Also I have to look at the supermarket opening hours whether they are opened Sundays. If not I have to buy more food on Saturdays that is if I have kitchen privileges. I was pleasantly surprised in Pembrokeshire that the tourists buses run everyday during Summer. It made a lot of sense. I was able to do a lot of things the Sunday I happened to be there. Another thing I don't do is travel on a Sunday. I stay put on Sundays wherever I find myself at. Happy Sunday.

Chepstow and Tintern Abbey

I left Hay-on-Wye yesterday and is now in Chepstow, my last stop in this 'traipse through South Wales'. It wasn't my choice to come to Wales but other plans fell out and I had to pick a place to spend a few weeks. I picked South Wales and it has been wonderful, not what I expected. It doesn't have the highs like Greece. It is sedate and comforting and comfortable. I met the loveliest people, kind and friendly. I took the bus yesterday to the evocative and iconic Tintern Abbey. It is beautiful, more beautiful from the outside as it stands magnificently in the valley next to the river Wye. Tintern Abbey like so many others was a victim of King Henry VIII's action, 'the dissolution of monasteries and Abbeys act.' He closed and dissolved all monasteries and Abbeys, robbed and pillaged them of anything of value, left them destitute and to a fate of ruin and disrepair. William Wordsworth visited here and wrote a poem about it. JM Turner painted it and so many others, writers, poets and painters have paid tribute to Tintern Abbey.

Monday, June 04, 2018

Hay-on-Wye, Hereford

I was in Brecon for 3 days, it is a quiet little place. I left this morning, took the bus and am in Hay-on-Wye now. This little village is famous for its used bookstores. Years ago, some fella from here went to the USA, bought a bunch of used books and came back to open a used bookstore. Many others follow and soon this village became renown for its used bookstores. Then they held an annual literary festival and has burgeoned over the years. The last one ended yesterday and I'm here a day later. I saw the lineup, nothing there that piqued my interest. It is a sweet little town, one does not need to shop for used books to enjoy this place.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Brecon, Wales

This was taken in Newport in the Pembrokeshire coast 2 days ago. I left yesterday by train to Cardiff and took a bus from Cardiff to Brecon. I am in Brecon now, a small village in the Powys valley. We passed Brecon Beacons yesterday, a premier hiking area. I hope to explore this area over the next few days as my time to end this trip draws closer and I get closer and closer to London. It has been quite hard, each place is new and I have to force myself to ask for help all the time to locate the places I want to be. The Welsh people has been nothing but kindness and hospitable. Thank god!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Pembrokeshire coast of Wales

I have been in this area for a week now. It is wild and beautiful. Monuments of any repute are hard to come by but it the wild and rocky and rugged coast that make it such a draw to visitors. For me it is the wildflowers that is the draw and there are plenty. Until I arrived in this area my visit to South Wales has been quite humdrum! After seeing the wildness and the copious amount of wildflowers, things has changed for me. In fact, this is my next favorite place after the Outer Hebrides.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Saundersfoot, Wales

The scenic route or the road less traveled. I took the scenic road this morning. I took the train to Saundersfoot this morning. The train station at Saundersfoot is a mile away from the village, a seaside resort, a smaller version of Tenby. I passed some lovely wildflower meadows and this tunnel of trees. It is a poor imitation of the Dark Hedges but still as beautiful. Saundersfoot is a sweet little seaside resort and is on the Pembrokeshire trail.

Tenby, Caldey island, Wales

I arrived in Tenby yesterday, took the train from Swansea. Tenby is a sweet little resort town. In the daytime, the day trippers fill the streets. At night it is quiet and deserted. I also took the boat over to Caldey island which still has an active Cistercian monastery community. It is a small island where in Spring, seabirds breed here. From the highest point on the island, one can see the sea all around, it is that small. It was a very pleasant outing, long hikes and walks through bluebells in the woods.