I remember that Sunday in March 2018 when I asked the taxi driver to drop me off at the top. Mystras was closed, it was Sunday. He was worried. I told him I'll be alright, I will walk the 5Km back to town and take pictures as I go. The only frightening thing was a big dog guarding an olive grove. It was so beautiful, the whole area was covered with wildflowers. I wouldn't mind it at all even if the walk was twice that long because before I knew it I was back in town, in Sparti.
It was this little red flowers that got me up and going. I went back to Greece in search of them. Today I know where and when they can be found in Greece. The Greek lady at the B&B I stayed in, in Kardamyli called it, 'Ahni Mohni' we call it anemone. They come in various colors, the red and mauve being the most abundant.
I am home now but the end of March was the start of my 3 month adventure and it was in the Peloponnese that I started. It was a glorious morning, that was spent roaming the ruins of the ancient city of Corinth.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.