Before you dive into this post, let me set something straight. Wales is the WORST.
I joke. Wales, is as Barney Stinson would say… legendary. Everywhere you look is beautifulness. Yes, I know that’s not a real word, I apologize to all of my English loving friends. We took our first trip to Northern Wales to visit the Snowdonia National Park over the Valentine’s Day weekend.
Being the novices we are, we decided it would be a good idea to climb Snowdon. At least we learned our lesson in Durdle Door and had purchased hiking boots for this trek. We took the Llanberis Path which leads to the Peak of Snowdon Mountain. We were blessed with amazing, unseasonably British sunny weather which let us see for miles and miles as we hiked. If you thought England was wet & foggy, Wales has a worse reputation, so this was a small miracle. It was also the first weekend where we could see signs of Spring coming, despite still having to adorn our winter coats. You’ll recognize me as the big purple marshmallow in the photos. The walk was labeled “moderate” on the Snowdonia site. If you’re a skilled hiker, I would call this walk moderate, but if you’re a newbie like me to mountain climbing, moderate is not very moderate. It was a steep incline, which brought me back to my days running halls at YCS for basketball conditioning. But who can complain when your cardio offers stunning views & entertaining sheep grazing about.
Pit-stop at the mid-point for a snack with a view.
We made it to the bottom of the white cap of Snowden peak where we chatted up a few people coming down from the top. They mentioned that it got quite cold and slippery at the top, showing off their dead phone batteries & once liquid filled bottles that were now frozen. So we made the judgement call to not become the next “what not to do” story for hiking and come back when we had the proper walking sticks to make it up the hill. But we did do some more exploring and found a gorgeous valley below the peak with a lake. It was one of those peaceful moments I wish I could bottle up and carry around with me.
Jared decided this was his only chance to make make a real snow angel this year.
After our hike, we enjoyed a cup of tea and a Welsh scone at the cafe at the bottom of the path to celebrate our success.
Then we took a scenic drive around the base of Snowdon which offered even more stunning views. I told you guys Wales was the worst.
There was a motorcycle meet-up happening in the National Park, so there were 100’s of bikes with stuffed green dragons attached to the back. It was a funny sight and made me think of my dad on a bike with my childhood plush Little Foot.
After grabbing dinner at a local pub, we headed off to our bed & breakfast. We arrived after dark so the narrowing roads and odd signs made me a little concerned we would become a Lifetime movie. But to our delight the B&B was run by the sweetest lady who made us an amazing homemade breakfast and chatted our ears off. And when we packed up the car the next morning, the beauty of the location revealed itself. Wales just kept getting worse.
Since hiking one mountain was not enough, we decided to hike Cadair Idris to celebrate Valentine’s Day. We were a tad sore after Snowden so Jared found another “moderate” climb. I have come to the conclusion, they make these level suggestions for super humans. This climb was way harder than Snowden and involved way more actual rock climbing. That being said, it was epic. By far one of my favorite things we have done in England. The views were incredible.
After making it to the valley above, we couldn’t stop there, so we kept going up & up. I am so glad we did, and this is why:
Jared decided to document the purple marshmallow making its way up the mountain.
I made it – YAY!
Yup, Wales is hideous.
After we made it back down the mountain, we grabbed some coffee and treats in a beautiful town that donned spectacular mountain views. Imagine waking up to this view every morning!
After a spectacular weekend we started the trek back to Reading, enjoying the sunset along the way. And to cap it off, we found the most authentic USA BBQ joint since moving abroad. Brits just don’t do Mexican or BBQ the way we do.
So, there you have it, Wales is the worst.
For more pictures from our glorious weekend in Northern Wales, check out our Flickr album.
P.S. I know I am still SUPER behind on blogs… I need a hobby that is not so closely connected to my day job. #socialmediamanagerprobs