Friday, July 22, 2016

From the Welsh Seaside and South London

Any possible view of the Irish coastline was obliterated by a thick bank of fog. Aberaeron is a seaside town with pastel-coloured houses and a harbour full of boats.

The fog tumbled quickly landward and we, along with the town, were enveloped in a chilly mist.

My cousin's husband showed us quickly around the town, and then we went off to visit a manor house that I'll tell you about later. 

We did return to town for lunch and the sun made another appearance. We ate at the restaurant in the bright red-orange building at the end of the street - The Hive. The Fish and Chips were crispy and filling.

For navigation on this trip we're relying on a GPS, known here as a SatNav. We downloaded the maps and routes onto my phone and it's served us well. Or so we thought. 

When we left the Cotswolds on Tuesday, we soon turned onto a small road and came upon a large fire truck blocking it entirely. Hmmm. What could be happening? I volunteered to check it out. 

Walking around the fire truck, I came upon a group of firemen and a few farmers looking at something in the ditch. Nothing seemed too urgent. A little closer look revealed a large, dead cow that they were trying to hoist out of the ditch. Poor cow.

me: How long do you expect the road to be closed?

fireman: Do you live around here, love?

me: No, we're just following our GPS.

fireman: Where're you going? 

me: Wales.

fireman: Wales? (blank look) (then, to his mates) She's going to Wales.

(heads all swivel my way) (laughter)

second fireman: Wales? You need to get to the A.... (whatever it was)

Lots of directions ensued, to which I nodded and went back to the car, where Tim had already figured out that, although our sweet-voiced GPS lady was taking us to Wales, she appeared to favour the scenic route. We laughed all the way to the main road. I'm sure the men went home and told their wives about this lady with the strange accent who thought she was going to Wales on their country road.

The scenic route to Wales got us there just fine, although we wished Mrs. GPS would have taken the direct, main road route. Paper maps are not a bad thing. We couldn't figure out a way to make her choose a different route. 

A classic Morris Minor car parked in Aberaeron. It coordinates well with the house in the background, doesn't it?

I'm writing this post from a hotel near Gatwick Airport. We fly out tomorrow at noon. Our lovely vacation is at its end. There are more photos and more stories to tell, but for now, our hearts are beginning to yearn homeward. I'm thinking of what's blooming in my garden, and how much weeding there will be. I'm longing to hug my children and grandchildren, and sleep in my own bed. 

Thank you for your warm comments on my travel posts. I've enjoyed composing them, thinking of how much I enjoy others' such posts, and wanting to bring a little bit of France, England and Wales into your lives as well. 


  1. Lorrie,
    You have captured the landscape of Wales with all it's beauty. The incident with the GPS gave me a chuckle.Safe journeys home!

  2. Gorgeous photos to break up my morning and a good laugh regarding the Road To Wales! Safe journey home.

  3. Safe journey home. I too smiled about the country roads using the sat nav, they are never very reliable.

  4. I do love the way you tell a story...I was watching you and the poor men with the poor dead cow just as clearly as if you had been on the BBC. How shocking that you are at the end of your journey, just because I thought it would go on days longer. Time does seem to get away from me. It will be good to read that you are safely home. Oh, I do think the GPS just loves to add a little extra excitement. I say never follow one. Never! And I have been most intrigued by the homes...lovely colors, interesting architecture, and the paint doesn't always stop where I think it should. =D

  5. I have enjoyed your travels too. I had to smile because our trip to France a few years ago Mrs. GPS led us also down the scenic roads and one time ended up in someone's farm yard. We didn't realize there were main roads nearby. Once we figured it out we had to look at a map and then give Mrs. GPS short goals. This little village is just sweet.

  6. Anonymous5:43 PM

    On your way home. We have forecasts of 80 degrees + here in the Seattle area next week. You should be warmed up on the island, too, I guess. Hope your trip home is uneventful. Looking forward to anything more you will share.

  7. I can't believe you drove all the way from Wales to Gatwick - or did you drive?
    You managed the roads and directions well for first-timers, the UK is not an easy drive.
    Sorry the Welsh weather was not warmer - never know what to expect being it's another island with prevailing winds!

    Our GPS once took us right thru a giant drainage pipe in Provence - we were trying to find the main road and sure enough 'Gladys' took us through a field, into the pipe, with a quick right turn as we emerged somewhat gasping, and we ended up exactly where we wanted to be! It was hilarious.

    Safe journey home - always a good place to be heading back to.
    Hugs - Mary

  8. I have enjoyed all of your posts. You have certainly had a wonderful vacation and it was interesting to read about your travels. Hope your flight home goes well!

  9. I love Aberaeron, we went there about nine years ago, the colourful houses are fascinating and I think we enjoyed ice creams at a place down at the front.
    What a e trip you've had, I've so enjoyed seeing places we know through your eyes.
    BTW our SatNav lady, Emily, took us on some very scenic routes through the Dordogne. I think she wanted us to see as much of the region as possible!

  10. My husband uses gps everyday and sometimes shakes his head at the way it wants him to go and how long it will keep trying to get him to re-route, and this is in our local area on his way to a new place!

    You've had a lovely trip, minus the food poisoning. Glad it wasnt worse. Thank you for taking us along with you!

    Which was your favorite, France or the UK?

  11. This was such a wonderfully informative trip...for BOTH of us, Lorrie!
    My father's ancestors hail from Wales, so I really, REALLY loved seeing your photos.
    Have a safe trip home!!

  12. Your pictures are all so lovely. I am especially taken with the boats in the harbor.

    I am chuckling at your story...imagining it from both points of view! I am glad that you found your way to Wales. Perhaps the scenic drive held more delight than the main road anyway? (Our GPS seems to prefer the scenic route sometimes too.)

    I have so enjoyed my vicarious travels! Thanks for taking me along!

  13. Loved the story about Wales :) The pictures are beautiful. Thanks for sharing your vacation :)

  14. It seems with my own recent travels I missed reading your travel posts. It sounds like a fantastic trip and I will now go back and see what I have missed.
    Your GPS story cracked me up. I imagine the dead cow and the ensuing conversation will now make the visit more memorable in the years to come.

  15. Certainly have enjoyed your posts and know that feeling of a yearning to be back home. Look forward to hearing/seeing more of your trip.

  16. Such beautiful places to see! Why do those houses get away with bright colors like that? If we were to thy this on our street I'm sure it would not go over the same. Smiling at the GPS story.

  17. What a lovely area, I just love the rows of colorful houses. - Getting lost isn't fun, especially when they laugh at you. Glad you found the way eventually.

  18. Laughing with you...about the scenic route you were taking to Wales. It is all part of the adventure! Beautiful pic's.

  19. Ha - lovely story about the firemen and your satnav directions. I love Aberaeron and all the lovely coloured houses. Glad you eventually found the way there:)

  20. We live about an hours drive from Aberaeron and spend lots of time there, it really is a beautiful place any time of year. Your pictures capture it perfectly. I am glad that I am not the only person that this happens to with the sat nav xx


Thank you for your comment. I read and value each one, cherishing the connections we can make although far apart. Usually, I visit your blog in return, although if you ask a question I try to contact you directly.

Days Not at Home

  Last Wednesday morning we boarded a plane for The Netherlands, landing midday on Thursday, Amsterdam time. After figuring out our e-sims a...