Monday, April 27, 2015

Wales: Denbigh Castle

Oh hey, lookit me, I'm back with another blog post already!  We're still working our way through castles in Wales.  I've already made scrapbook layouts for Tintern Abbey and Chepstow Castle, and I won't lie, I kinda sorta want to scrap all the rest of our Wales trip Right Now.  But for today I'm sharing more pictures, so welcome to Denbigh Castle!

Lee is beyond ecstatic to be visiting another castle.  No, really.

We got to Denbigh kind of late in the day, I think less than a half hour before the castle closed for the day, but the man at the front desk kindly let us go in to take pictures and stuff (he'd just refused entry to a family with some rowdy kids).  So this picture is taken from the inner courtyard; to the left is the modern gift shop/entry area, and just to the right of that (center of the picture) is the ancient entrance to the castle.

Ok, so that's almost the same picture again.  Clearly I went through these really well...

Denbigh has some history with the Welsh rebellions against the English crown and was once owned by Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, a.k.a. Queen Elizabeth I's main squeeze.  You can read all about it on the Wikipedia page linked above.

After the English Civil War, Denbigh was abandoned and allowed to decay; I had fun taking pictures of interesting shapes in the crumbling walls and fun shadows.


There's a view of the town of Denbigh from atop the castle walls.

Countryside in the opposite direction.

And the flat top of the wall but you're not allowed to walk out there because there's no safety railings.

No idea what that place was, or how to get to it, but I bet it would have been pretty for pictures if we'd been able to find it.

You know I love to take pictures of things through holes in walls.  That's kind of a weird sentence.

As you can see, we had *gorgeous* weather in Wales for most of our trip.  I kinda want to move to Wales now.

I think this was a view of the front of the castle on our way was summertime, so light until probably 9 p.m., but the castle still closed at about 5:00.

Better sky in this one.  It's hard taking pictures facing west in the late afternoon.

Castle selfie!

Castle walls selfie!

And one last shot, almost a silhouette.  Just because it's pretty.

Spoiler alert for the next post:  there's a castle.  : D

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Wales: Pistyll Waterfall & Llanfair

Hey peeps!  I meant to work on this post on Tuesday, but I keep getting distracted.  So in my last post, we'd met up with a group of people and were staying at a horse farm in northern Wales.  Part of that tour was getting carted around by bus to visit the Pistyll waterfall and a cute little Welsh town, which I think was Llanfair but I might be making that up.

Admit it, you wish you lived here too.

There's me and it just so happens I am wearing that same Baylor hoodie as I type this.  This pic was taken on the little hike up to the top of the waterfall.

And there's the waterfall :)  Not, like, super-huge or anything, it's no Angel Falls, but it's pretty.

And there's little baby waterfalls.

View from the top...just totally gorgeous.  I love Wales, I wanna be Welsh now.

There's some flowers and I'm going to pretend I know what I'm talking about and say they're foxgloves.  Ooh, I just Googled foxgloves, and I might actually be right!

There's my wonderful other half : )

And me again, Margaret.

There's Lee with the obligatory pretend-you're-falling-down-the-waterfall pic.

The water isn't deep at the top of the falls, and there's lots of rocks to go across, so Lee took the camera to the other side and took this pic.

Last shot of the waterfall area, and now onto the village that might be Llanfair.

We saw this cool car when we were walking around the town; I found a little hobby shop that had some kits to cross stitch bookmarks, so I got one of a Scottish thistle in Wales and stitched it in England to give to my dad in America.

Sadly, we did not have the time to investigate the castle ruins on the hill, but I think it's a neat picture.  We did go to the Telford Bridge.

And discovered what fun it is to play with shadows.

Bridge selfie photo bomb!

And there you can see what we were trying to spell, about 6 or 8 of us.  I'll give you a hint, the first letter is L.

It's a happy little bridge ; )

One more goofy pic of Lee just chillin' on some playground equipment.  It's all fun and games until your butt gets stuck because you're not a skinny 7-year-old anymore.

Oh hey these are out of order again, so there's some Wales.

And one last pic of the bridge.  I'm not diggin' my Greek yogurt here so I'm off to go find something to snack on.  Cheers, peeps!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Horseback Riding in Northern Wales

Oyyyy I really want to to back to bed and I only got up at 10:30.  I'm coming down with something.  But before I go back to sleep, I'm posting more Wales pictures.  So Lee and I spent about a week in Wales, but in the middle of that time we met up with a tour group and spent a couple nights at a horse farm and went horseback riding.

Man, these are all out of order, but I'm too tired to mess with it.  Lee's on a horse!

And this is what the countryside looks like near the horse farm.

We arrived there about an hour before the rest of the group did, so we walked around a little bit and took some pictures and said hi to the horses.

Proof that I was there too : D

There's also lots of sheep around.  And it was nearing sunset; they're not quite this yellow really but we were hitting golden light.

Is that not just gorgeous?  I think I want to move to the Welsh countryside and raise horses now.

I mean REALLY.

Just gorgeous.

Here's Lee making a new friend...

Who was less interested once she realized we didn't have food.  She's like the horse equivalent of Vader.

More beautiful countryside.  So we spent two or three nights here, sharing a room with two other couples which was slightly weird but not too bad.  Everyone was in single beds and no one snored too much.  On the first full day, we got a two-hour horseback riding lesson, which was great as I'd never ridden English-style (hello, I grew up in Texas, they only do Western tack there) and then we got to go out to see some other sites which will be in my next post.  And then the next day we did a two-hour ride out to a pub, had lunch, and rode back to the farmhouse.

Aren't we cute in our hard hats?

The only problem was that Lee's horse, Harry, liked to be at the very front of the group, and my horse, Rosie, hated to have anyone behind her and so would insist on being at the very back of the group.  Then when we rode back from the pub, they split us into two smaller groups and somehow Lee and I got completely separated, so we never really got to ride *together*.

There's Lee and Harry.  He was a great horse, Lee liked him a lot, but he passed gas CONSTANTLY.  He should've been named Thor for the constant thunder he produced.

Somehow we never got a picture of me on my horse : (

Arriving back at the farm house at the end of the ride.  So up next is more fun and beautiful countryside in rural northern Wales!