Arrival in Wales

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Here I am writing from Wales, and I hardly know where to start. Everything is so different, so new, I can barely wrap my head around it all. A long day and night of travel across 8 time zones, the view from my window flashing from Seattle’s mountains to Canada’s mountains and the long, gray Atlantic ocean, to the glowing orange lights of a gigantic London and the rolling, sheep-strewn green hills of North Wales; now I am in the little university town of Bangor, Wales.

One of the uni (University) buidings

One of the uni (University) buildings

Another uni building- it's a lot bigger than the picture shows, and it's at the top of a hill.

Another uni building- it’s a lot bigger than the picture shows, and it’s at the top of a hill.

Here I am writing from Wales, and I hardly know where to start. Everything is so different, so new, I can barely wrap my head around it all. A long day and night of travel across 8 time zones, the view from my window flashing from Seattle’s mountains to Canada’s mountains and the long, gray Atlantic ocean, to the glowing orange lights of a gigantic London and the rolling, sheep-strewn green hills of North Wales; now I am in the little university town of Bangor, Wales.

The weather is a lot like home, actually; rainy and damp, which doesn’t bother me near as much as it does my Midwestern peers in the program. When the clouds lift, the Snowdonia mountains are visible above the town:

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Everything here is quaint; I think that’s the best word for it. There are sets of row houses, little stone houses, manor houses, crumbling towers on the roadside, and double-chimineyed brick houses that look like scenes from Pride & Prejudice. On the bus ride from England to Wales, I saw more sheep than I’ve seen in my life, as well as quick glimpses of gothic churches and tiny castles on either side of the road that set my head spinning as I tried to take it all in.

Every sign around here is written first in Welsh, then in English. A bit startling, and really cool. I should get some better pictures up in the next week. It’s hard, when everything seems picture worthy, even shops and street signs!

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The hardest challenge I’ve faced thus far is remembering to walk on the left side of the sidewalk. It sounds obvious, but my American feet are trained to walk the right, and I keep almost running into people. Are they stupid? I wonder briefly, before realizing, Oh right, it’s me. Some of the supermarkets have automatic doors that are the opposite of what we have at home: you go in the left door and out the right (I almost went in the wrong way before sheepishly following an elderly Welshwoman).

Walking around town is great, though– and a bit of a workout. My flat and most of the University is on a hill, called Upper Bangor, and most of town and some of the University is in Lower Bangor, down what is called (pardon my British) “bitch hill”. The hill’s worth braving to explore town, I think!

On Bangor's Victorian pier on the Menai Straight

On Bangor’s Victorian pier on the Menai Straight

I should have some decent pictures later on in the week, after I’ve been on a few field trips. Until then, cheers to everybody back home!

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Bangor viewed from the pier.

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A view of Lower Bangor

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On the Menai Straight.

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Bangor’s pier extends more than halfway toward the Isle of Anglesey

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The Isle of Anglesey, seen from the pier

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2 comments

  1. Wow! That looks beautiful! I’m heading out for my study abroad trip on Saturday! I’m really interested in following your blog, and hope you’ll follow mine too! I’m planning to put out a message in a few months to do a post on a cross-cultural study abroad experience!

    Like

    1. Thanks! Good luck on your study abroad; I’m sure you’ll have a blast! I’ll be sure to check out your blog :)

      Like

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