Casa’s Blog

A Life Abroad

It’s not unusual to go out at any time, but when I see you out and about it’s such a crime if you should ever want to be loved by anyone, It’s not unusual it happens every day, no matter what you say!

This weekend has many similarities with other weekend’s I have had while in the UK.  Firstly, there was a fire alarm late Friday night…YAY 😦 !  Secondly, I was up and about on Saturday Morning earlier than every other day in the week (Wednesday morning doesn’t count as I hadn’t slept haha).  This was something I had left behind in Melbourne as I no longer had to wake up early on Saturday’s to coach my Under 11’s cricket.  Thirdly, I didn’t spend the weekend in Leeds.  Instead I made the most of the two days off university and headed off to North Wales.

Unlike all of my trips so far, this time I (and the guys as well) had signed up for a tour.  We decided to do the tour for a little variety, to help guide us around an area we knew nothing about and also as it was a special tour for international university students odds are it would be a fun group.  For those interested the company we went with is called “Don’t be a tourist” and Nevil is the brains behind what appears to be quite a good business opportunity.

We set of on our coach, with trusty driver Andy,  at 9am from just outside the Leeds Train Station.  It did cause me a little confusion at 8:30 in the morning to remember to go to the train station to catch a bus and not the bus station though haha. As I said Nevil was the guy behind “Don’t be a tourist” and he was also our guide for the weekend.  Despite being apparently under the weather with a cold he was  a pretty cool guy.  He was knowledgeable (obviously had done his research on the area), a nice guy just to chat with, helpful and most importantly his attempts at humour weren’t even THAT bad – which generally can be the main flaw in a tour guide.

Our first stop in Wales was the walled, coastal city of Conwy.  Conwy is famous for two things it appears.  Firstly, there is the Conwy castle that was built in the 13th Century by the English.  Then there is the rediculous “smallest house in Great Britain”.   Now as most people set off to go through the Castle, we went to the “smallest house in Great Britain”, queried the intelligence of anyone who would live there, took our obligatory photos and then ate our sandwhiches we had bought for lunch on the side of the Marina.

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As it was/is a walled city, we then took advantage of this and explored the walls as we walked around the city.  It was a great way to see the town from all angles as well as getting great views out to sea and of the castle.  Once again more photos were taken as we realised…the name “Don’t be a tourist” is definitely strongly tounge in cheek.  So strongly that the tounge is poking out the other side.

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Even though we had already eaten our ‘lunch’ our sweet tooth was significantly unsatisfied so we dove in to a lovely little tea shop for Tea and Scones.  It was a tiny little shop that meant that every time someone else breathed you had to rearrange yourself on the chair but the scones, jam and cream went down brilliantly especially with the ever-flowing tea.  If anything the only thought I could have was that….Allie and Christ would kill me if they knew I was doing this and they weren’t.  I will say, it is not Cuppa Cottage though girls 😉 Although there was no women glaring at us to worry about haha

After being gorging ourselves completely when then continued to walk around the city, through all the alley ways and roads – including circling the castle and crossing the bridge that leads to Conwy.  In the end we decided not to go to the castle as we have seen, and will see, many more in our time and it was just a relaxing town to sit down in.  What is unrelaxing though, is the Welsh Language.  Here we have a language that sounds angry then German, More Phlem-based than hebrew, serverely lacking in vowels and in the end just looks as if a poor attempt at English in a lot of cases.  It was fun to hear people speak it, read it on signs…but oh my god, I would never attempt to learn it haha

We then set off in the coach to Llandudno (a place I still don’t know how to pronounce) which was our base for the tonight.  Now when we signed up for the trip, we signed up knowing we would be staying in a hostel.  A good hostel but  a hostel nonetheless.  However, a call from Nevil on the day before we left had changed all that.  As we later found out.  The hostel they use has 6 less beds than there are seats on the bus.  As a result they book out 3 two person rooms in the Ambassador Hotel on the Promenade…which is also where Nevil stays, and offers them to the first few people to book (Luckily for Josh, Andrew, Brent and myself – we booked early).  WOW!  Llandudno turned out to a town that looks much like a british coastal retreat town should look like with its Victorian buildings and cobbled beaches.  It was a lovely little town, but staying in a 3 star hotel with a room overlooking the beach, with a shower that turned on in much the same way you turned on a steam ship and with nice/warm fluffy towels was just brilliant.  It did feel a little awkward when everyone else alighted the bus in front of the hostel and some realised we were staying elsewhere.  It was even more awkward when we were driven the 3 minute walk to the hotel (we could’ve walked it ourselves very easily) and the final kicker was when we forget we were in a privileged position…and waved to the others from out hotel room.  Thus finally confirming to them that we were lucky and slightly better off.

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The group then walked up the Great Orme…a hill/mountain on the coast that gives great views.  It was part road walking, part path walking and part billy goat-esque powering up a steep slope.  But it was worth it.  The views were brilliant especially as it was that “Magic hour” level of  light that film-makers love.  It even probably classified as exercise for lazy ol’ Simon 😛 .  After plenty of photos were taken we continued on to the top where there are many stones left so people can leave ‘stone messages’ to the aliens that seem to be oddly attracted to this place (Supposedly it is the UFO capital of Great Britain).  After us boys left a rather childish picture message for the aliens, giggling all the time, we then hiked back down the mountain.  Eventually seeing the Wild Goats we had been promised, but unfortunately no Aliens.

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We then took a walk up and down the Promenade as we waited for dinner.  For dinner we were having dinner at the best Fish and Chips shop in Wales.  Now, the food was okay (although charging for tap water was not a smart move on their part) but it really speaks for the level of great seafood we are used to in Australia that us aussies, some canadians and the one girl from the Caribbean weren’t that impressed – while everybody else raved. It also didn’t help that it was over priced.

We then had to try and find some way to fill in the night and after sitting in the King’s Head for a pint infront of the fire we then went to one of the local arcades.  Much like “Galactic Circus” in Melbourne we then threw away quite a few coins.  Fortunately they were only 2p coins so I think I spent about 2 quid in total, but it was quite funny seeing about 10 ‘over 18s’ playing, and getting really  invested in, these kids toy games while the pokies (which we legally could play and possibly win real money) stood a metre away.

After realising we may never leave the arcade if we didn’t leave soon we then marched back up the main street to a pub we had seen earlier where a live band was just about to start.  The band was called ‘Evolve’ and as the blackboard out front told us…they had one some BBC new talent search in 2006.  Although that was 2/3 years ago now – why were they still playing a small pub in Llandudno?  We soon found out as they were ‘okay’ but even there cover versions of U2, Oasis and the Beatles showed that some (particularly the bassist, lead singer and drummer) weren’t that skilled.  A VERY talented, and marketable, guitarist and back-up singer being their saviour.  We did feel bad though when we all felt like leaving and thus 2/3rds of their audience left after one particular song :S

It was then back to the hotel, a few games of UNO (or UNO Bullshit) in the hotel bar/lounge and then it was off to sleep.  Off to sleep in the most comfortable bed I’ve had in the UK so far and wondering what tomorrow would bring.

Also, it would be remiss of me not to thank all of my awesome friends who have sent me messages of support over the last few days.  Thanks, and at least for the moment things appear to be on the improve.

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March 2, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

2 Comments »

  1. Went on many a geography fieldtrip walking over such country – but what I really want to know is how you would even know a classic Tom Jones song, let alone the words!

    Remember him singing it on Ready Steady Go! in 1966?, was it…?!

    Dad

    Comment by Niranjan | March 2, 2009 | Reply

    • Who doesn’t know about Tom Jones?! Also, I did take the lyrics of his most famous song, and on the bus they only played Welsh singers’ songs….so there was at least 30 different Tom Jones songs played OVER AND OVER haha

      Comment by casaboy69 | March 2, 2009 | Reply


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