Monthly Archives: January 2014


…But no Doctor Who, because I’m in North Wales, not Cardiff. Alas.

Counting Galleons in Wales

Pound notes seem easy enough, but the coins are something else. There’s 5 pence (5p), like a nickel, and 10p, and 50p; easy enough. But then there’s 1p, 2p, 20p, and most fascinating of all, 1 pound and 2 pound coins. There are no pound notes like we have dollar bills; there are only 1 and […]

Criccieth Castle & Llanberis Slate Mine

Rain coming down in a steady, cold drizzle. Mud. And a little Welsh castle. (Yes, another castle. I saw it for all of 10 minutes, just long enough to get drenched.) This set of ruins, Criccieth Castle, is mostly visited for its spectacular view. It is seated on a peninsula in Gwynedd, North Wales, on […]

Caernarfon Castle

My latest field trip included a visit to Caernarfon Castle, a huge Norman castle and walled city built by Edward I at the end of the 13th century. Tecwyn, the director of my program and leader of all the organized trips, says the castle is “pretty old”. I couldn’t tell if this was British understatement, […]

Irises in January!

Swallow Falls

In Snowdonia, but reminding me a lot of Oregon!

Victorian Pier

At the Victorian seaside resort town of Llandudno, North Wales. (Pronounced than-DID-no) Lewis Carroll wrote Alice in Wonderland here.

Snowdonia trip

Our Snowdonia field trip was drizzly and cold, but so full of a unique kind of beauty that all 45+ of us were all in a state of awe. First, we walked/hiked up a long row of slippery stones set in an uphill path to Llyn Idwal (“llyn” means “lake” in Welsh, and sounds a […]

Dolwyddelan: My first castle

Built in 1185 for the last of the Welsh princes, Dolwyddelan Castle in Snowdonia, North Wales is a ruin today, with only its tower still intact. It is a small castle, notable for being a Welsh stronghold rather than an oppressing Norman or English fortress. And it was the first castle I have every really […]

Walking around

After church and a short orientation meeting, a bunch of us found ourselves with hours of free time and a startlingly sunny day, so we decided to go for a long walk. Our goal: to get out of Bangor.                                    […]