Well it’s finally here – the Wales post. Now I do have some material for posts on my break so far, but I figured I should post this before we get ahead of ourselves (and before I forget anything)!
The weekend in Wales ended up being a lot of fun. I admit that I was a little unsure at first, what with not knowing anyone else going and all the work hanging over my head. But I met up with the group, got on the coach bus I was placed in, and we were on our way to Wales. It was about a 6 to 7 hour drive, most of which I spent writing honors outcomes for Miami. I did meet a guy from Trinity on the bus who actually knew my brother, amazingly enough!
When we arrived, I picked up my room key – once again with Butler I had a room to myself – and went down to dinner. Because we were a large group, I really wasn’t expecting much in terms of food. Yet I was to be proven wrong as the breakfasts and dinners at the hotel were great, and it was certainly nice to get some good quality food! I sat with two students who are at the same college in Oxford for the semester, June and Chris.
After dinner was the pub quiz in one of the bars downstairs and June, Chris, and I were probably the smallest team. We placed somewhere in the middle with the other teams (pretty good, if I do say so myself, since it was just three if us) and it was all in good fun. Then it was off to bed for a busy day tomorrow.
Saturday I had two half day activities signed up for, so after having breakfast with Chris and another guy going to Oxford I got on the bus with the group heading off for canoeing and kayaking. My canoeing group was great, and a girl going to York, Emma, was my canoe partner. She was super nice, and it turns out that we had the exact same schedule for the weekend!
We didn’t go too far in the canoes, though it was hard work at some points, and our guide was a fun guy. We played some canoe games, and even stood up to use our bodies and paddles as sails while all connected when coming back with the current and the wind! It may come as no surprise to you that I got a kick out of that. Oh, and a girl in my canoeing group went to the same school as another of my good friends from home and ended up knowing her as well – small world sometimes!
After canoeing we went back to the hotel and ate a quick bagged lunch. Emma and I then made our way to the half day hike group and we starting walking. We hiked a good ways, going up through an old slate mountain that was mined until about fifty years ago, and then down through a small patch of woods. It was really nice to do some outdoor activities like this for a change. And luckily, it didn’t rain on us either!
Saturday night I had dinner with Emma, her roommate who’s name was Brianne(!) (hmm, why does that name ring a bell?), and a guy we ended up sitting with at the table. One of Bri’s friends joined us later and we went to one of the bars to get a drink before heading downstairs once again, but this time for a dance. They had hired a DJ for the night and set up the downstairs bar with some of those crazy, on the verge of inducing a stroke, lights. We were one of the first ones there, so, not having decided on a drink before, I went back upstairs and got a bottle of “VK”. They were these very colorful, flavored, carbonated vodka drinks and the one I tried was tropical flavor – it was really good!
A little bit later Chris joined Emma and I at our table, as did a girl named Zoe we had met on the hike. We tried chatting for a little while, though it was proving very difficult to have conversation more than a few words long with the music in the room. At some point, it was just Emma, Chris, and I at our table and the two of them seemed hesitant to get up and dance expressing discomfort with so many unknown people.
Now I’m definitely not the best dancer, and have shared that feeling plenty of times, but a few consecutive good songs had my feet tapping and in the mood to dance (in my uniquely…quirky way). So I asked them if they wanted to give it a shot and got the three of us over with Zoe’s group on the dance floor – aww yeah! The others left around 11 (the dance ending around a quarter to midnight) but Chris and I ended up staying until the last dance (“Don’t Stop Believing”, of course). He was a good sport about dancing for so long, and had a style complementary to my own! It was just good old fun and I had a really great time with him!
Sunday morning we all had one more activity, and so after breakfast with Chris and a group photo outside the hotel, I went with the larger group into the town of Llandudno – don’t be fooled, the double “L” makes a “C” sound – situated by the ocean. It was a very cute little town, with an old fashioned pier. We only had about 2 hours here until it was time to head back to London, so Emma and I just wandered round getting some pictures. The ride back was once again spent getting work done for the honors program and a scholarship contest opportunity for history students at Miami written. Once back in London I made my way to the underground and to Victoria station.
Well readers, I thought I was going to break the pattern and have my first solo journey without any transportation problems as we pulled into the station at Brighton, but I thought too soon. The platform used to get to Falmer was under construction, so they ushered us onto a bus that would stop at each town the other train would. So it really wasn’t a big deal, just a crowded bus. Yet it’s always something when I’m not traveling with anyone!
So there you finally have it, my wonderful weekend in Wales. The country is quite beautiful – and full of sheep! I’d definitely like to get back there to see Cardiff before I leave, as well. Originally, that is the city where I was looking at studying. You can plan on hearing about my travels in Europe soon, and seeing plenty of pictures! Unfortunately I don’t have my pictures from this particular escapade on hand, so you will have to check back later for these photos. Thanks for reading, cheers! Until then…