The Island Race Review

‘ogee ogee ogee’ The race announcer shouted down the mic. The day had already turned out to be positive as I stood limbering up basking in the spring sun. The day was turning out to be nice. The right temperature and just the right amount of breeze. I knew this race was going to be good as I was in Wales standing on the other side of the Menai Bridge which I would soon be running over and shortly after will be taking in the views of the Victorian pier of Bangor, the impressive Norman Castle built by Edward and the stunning mountains of Snowdonia. Every run in Wales is always good. Some thing to tell the grandkids about. The weather also does not disappoint.

“Ogee Ogee Ogee” the announcer repeated after the crowd of 800 chanted back “Oi, Oi, Oi” and soon the countdown began. ‘Fifty seconds, forty Nine, forty eight’ As he counted he interspersed with messages of good luck, and look out for one another. I knew from that moment that this will be a good race and then the gun went and we all clapped before realising that this was a race and we darted across to cross the line.

The race had begun. Forget Marathon pace I was on one and as I looked down to see me moving a slow pace as the bottle neck plodded over the iconic road bridge I un-clipped my headphones and politely asked the more pedestrian runners to ‘Move’. Now I should have taken this as a sign. Last year on my Half marathon before the full 26.2 mile event I made the same mistake and shot out from the start line like a bullet and this year I promised myself i would do marathon pace, test when I needed to pop a gel and all that stuff the mags tell you but then the little devil woke and whispered ‘You could do this in a sub 1:35’ That was all it took.

The minute I had left the bridge I was running like never before. The tunes pumping which I was glad off as crowd support was thin on the ground. But who needed the people cheering you on when you had views of Bangor across the water, a 800 year old castle, a course which was car free and while not flat was not excessively hilly for Wales but still gave your lungs and heart a good work out on the uphill sections without really loosing that much pace.

The course was an out and back with the added bonus that while you ran away from the mountains of Snowdonia, the return trip would have them in full panoramic Technicolor laid in front of you. This was a race for seasonal runners as the amount of people I passed on the return loop still plodding to the half way point were few and far the majority crossed the line before the 2 hour mark. Off course not that it is not a beginner friendly course. The start and the end had a very warm ‘were doing this together’ mentally.

I loved this race. At the end there was your slate engraved medal, cups of water, fruit, chocolate, biscuits and then outside the finishers enclosure an array of burger fans and ice cream sellers along with activities for the family and friends who cam to support. The Marshals were friendly and efficient, the course information and pre race details spot on. A map of the area for those who were not familiar with Anglesey would have been a bonus. Car parking was free and there was plenty off it if you got there in time. The only down side was the goody bag that contained a poncho and leaflets from the Welsh Tourist board and some energy/protein powder thing.

All in all, this was a good race. It’s in its second year and I can see it growing bigger and while the course could handle it, the start line may have to be moved away from the iconic bridge but it has plenty more gems to make up for that loss. the other flaw is like all races on this scale is you can’t control who goes to the front and those who have a slow pace or can’t keep the fast pace up seem to be at the start causing a lot of pushing and shoving from the faster more competitive runners behind them. The course for the first mile is also on narrow streets which also adds to this very small issue that did not spoil the event.

Oh and I got my new PB. A sub 1:35 by 8 seconds.

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Breaking 1:40

Under the gaze of a seven hundred year old castle in the winter sun on a cold November morning I ran through the game plan in my head. Along with 200o other runners in the 4th year of this truly wonderful half marathon that would see us run past one of my favourite castles and then along the coastal path to the Victorian town of Llandudno passing the pier before starting the undulating climb of the Great Orme before rapidly descending back to the coastal path to the finish below the castle. This was the Conwy Half and a race I had run before and got a PB and today I was determined to race and race hard to go after another PB and a sub 1:40.

The game plan was simple. I just needed to run 7:37 splits the only trouble was the year before the congestion in the first few miles is horrific you really can’t get into your stride, and then there is the Orme itself. I like hills but I couldn’t run up that in 7:37 pace. The only saving grace was the down hill sections where I could catch up and as long as the down hill parts were in 6 minutes pace then I knew I was on for a winner. I also knew at 10K I would have to be clocking a time of 47 minutes to stand any chance of breaking 1:40.

The gun went off and as predicted it was a battle to pass those runners who thought they could run at the front, while many of them were giving it a good go and I knew that many would regret it down the line. I really do wish people would know their pace and position themselves accordingly at the start.  My pace was as expected all over the place but after the first mile it averaged 7:44, not bad just a few seconds behind my target pace. For the next 3 miles I hit 7:37 on the nose and then came the hill with 7:50, 8:10 and 7:45. I wasn’t worried as I knew I had two miles of down hill one of which was very steep and then 3 miles of flat road to take me back to where it all began. I was still on course when I crossed 10K in the 47 minutes which reassured me that a PB could well be in sight. My legs still felt strong and I had more energy gels if needed. Any fear of falling behind schedule was soon forgotten as the down hill sure me clock 6:44 and then the flat straight saw me slowly increase pace from the 1:40 as I picked off each runner one by one seeing me clock in at 7:17, 7:25, 7:11.

I looked at my watch and sure I was making good time, and when I saw the finish line and looked to see 1:35:34 beam back at me and dug deep and sprinted to the line to cross in 1:38:32.

All I need to do now is to get it under a sub 1:35 but that will have to wait for next year.

My End of Year Review

Yes it’s not only Charlie Brooker who can do one, except I would imagine, in fact I know that his is funnier but then he’s looking back at events where this blog is looking back at me.

If truth be known I got up to March waiting a little synopsis of my life month by month when I realised that I have not done anything and certainly nothing to entertain readers. I was writing about my year and even I got bored writing it. However being that Word-press keep all posts you are more than welcome to trawl through the archives and read about my exciting life, but if like me you get bored doing that then you could just read this re-cap in bullet form.

  • Attended a theatre wedding, there a hoot, really nice in the hills of Buxton, small wedding.
  • Went on my first holiday for ten years and turned off all communication to the outside world. Loved every minute of it
  • Found out two of best mates are getting married
  • Attended a weekend wedding of two of my best mates, good weekend
  • Found out my bestest best mate is going to have a baby.
  • had my 30th
  • Got injured and acted like a berk cause I thought I would miss the Manchester 10K
  • Ran the Manchester 10K, and got addicted to running. Ran the Conwy Half, The Great North and the Great Yorkshire, also entered the Manchester Marathon for 2010
  • Lost a shite load of weight
  • Did the 3 peaks
  • Had another holiday just time in Brecon Beacons
  • Had to call out the Breakdown/Recovery people, a day after the policy became active due to friend who locked keys in-car
  • Walked a lot
  • Ran even more
  • Cycled a lot to work with working on MIF
  • bought a suit
  • Visited Barrow
  • Worked in Newcastle
  • Lived/Stayed in London
  • Celebrated my Ma and Pa’s wedding anniversary. It was a big one, can’t remember how long
  • Tired and stressed my self out doing 7 shows over five weeks
  • Had my 30th (Have I said that)
  • Stared building Concord
  • Visited a castles
  • To this date I have burnt 110828 Calories and have walked, cycled, ran 1449km when I have remembered to turn my app on
  • I have gained 7 more followers on here. Welcome
  • I have tweeted over 3ooo tweets
  • I have met 2 special people in my left and said goodbye to them.
  • I got a tax rebate
  • I spent a day in cinema on my own
  • I have moaned about lots of stuff

So there you have it, my year in a nut shell. Don’t forget if you do wish to read the past entries of blogs then please do so. Some are interesting. But I got bored looking back at 2011 and seeing that apart from running nothing really happened. Oh well on to 2012.

Have a good New Year.

Day Dreaming

Day dreaming of better things, or just some how wishing this would be my life. It’s a hard one. Recovering from the hangover that is your 30’s this week has truly been depressing, nursing the hangover from hell that could only be compared to that of the one I endured after my 6th form leavers ball I decided that I would set up camp in my bed for the day and try to stay as still as I could. I think I finally crawled from the pit around seven O’Clock to venture to the shops to feed my empty and angry stomach.

While I was in bed I reflected on the night, and while I don’t want to dwell on the evening events and my comments on a certain social network, I felt the festivities turned sour. This was due to my drunken state and letting emotions get to me, but I don’t think I enjoyed the night as much as I should have and while I want to express my thoughts I don’t think this is the right platform to air my view on the matter.

Monday morning was off to work, a job I didn’t really want to partake in as I knew what the week had in store. It was in the time spent walking to the theatre that I started thinking about my life once again. Thinking did I make the “30th Birthday” in my mind something to be big, did I make the whole turning 30 into an issue. The answers to these questions I have still not reached but I do know I am not happy in my job, or career which is a strange paradox as I enjoy the work, or working. I think what it is, is that I have not yet reached the stable position where I can say I have made it and I look around to see those younger and straight out of uni lighting shows and working on productions that are over whelming larger than the work I am picking up along with the way I have very little pension and no prospect of owing a house on the wage I manage to earn.

All of this being said, I have known for some time that if it didn’t start to improve I wanted out and for some time I have been looking at what I could put my skills to. I love steam trains, running, walking, history, castles and Wales. I have applied for jobs with the National Trust and have looked at re-training. I have even thought about moving to New Zealand.

Maybe this was where the day-dream came from. Moving to Wales, and working on a steam railway and in a castle living right in the heart of the Snowdonia National Park. It made me smile on the walk to work and has once again imbedded the idea of maybe moving. I have no ties to Manchester, friends can come and visit I can visit them. I have no house, no partner and no children to think off. Some people have said that doing a ‘Cold Move’ where you just up sticks and relocate with no plan in mind is one of the best things you can do. The question is where. I have money to see me through for several months with no work and the idea of picking a place on a map blindly and making that my new home scares the bejesus out of me, however the idea of picking a place I know and moving and trying to find a job and a life does some what appeal to me.

The true state of affairs is I will remain in Manchester running the same routes, working the same jobs. But at least I have work of sorts, except the horizon looks bleak but that comes with being self-employed in this industry of theatre. I have my running that is keeping me happy but I feel that I’m loosing motivation which is not good when I have planed on running the Manchester Marathon. I went for a run the other day I was pushing it when I got to 6 miles, I strived on to throw in the towel at the 10 mile mark. While I didn’t feel tired after the run, the whole journey was just hard work as my mind didn’t want to partake and my legs certainly didn’t want to travel anywhere. I’m hoping it was just a bad day as I managed to get my 5K PB down to just under 21 minutes the other day and my body does crave to run. As I sit and write now my brain wants a quick 5K, but after working all night and the torture I gave my legs yesterday I am resisting the urge and hoping I will have a more enjoyable and profitable jog tomorrow.

Oh well time to head off to work and grab some food.

Speak to you all soon.

Camping, Walking, Castles, Two thirds my perfect holiday

Well my last post was all about the walking holiday I have just been on and many of you may say that, that was no holiday. Where is the beach or the pool, the cocktail bar, the sun etc. Well I’m not into any of the usual holiday spots and I do quite like the idea of hiking and walking and looking at the wonderful country we live in soaking up our rich countryside and heritage.

Now on the holiday I took last week, it was one of my first proper camping experiences, and while I feel I will not go it alone just quite yet, I did rather enjoy it. Not as much as staying in a hotel, and having a wonderful cooked breakfast and being able to fall into the shower but none the less I did not grumble and if I am to carry out the next holiday plan in a cheap manner then camping is the only way.

That holiday is again walking, but with the added obsession of mine Castles. Wales is littered with them, and before 2012 I wish to have explored most of them. The northern shore has been done, and thanks to last week I have now completed one of the mid/south part of Wales. Therefore I am now planning a camping holiday that replaces walking with looking at castles, and trains, bridges, and canals just to make it ultra geeky.

The following posts will be filled with the castles I wish to visit, and the start of this grand plan. What is worrying is the amount of people who also wish to take part in this little adventure. Not that I am complaining, as I need the people with tents and sleeping bags but most important of all I need the good company of my friends.

So who knows within the next week or so, I may be setting up camp waiting to visit many a castle.

I’m now off to read all about the castles I may visit at some point in the future.

http://www.castlewales.com/

The Holiday I Didn’t Want to End!

Right Stand by people here comes a big post. I will also make it a page, so it doesn’t get lost in all the other rubbish that I let rip on here. As you may be aware I have been on holiday. Yes that’s right. A holiday after eleven years of working I decided enough was enough and that a holiday was needed. Some where I could get away and not have contact with the outside world and I certainly chose the right location, although my facebook was on.

Snowdonia National Park was where I was going to base myself for the next five days in a lovely hotel called the Grapes. I had no network on my phone while in the hotel, or if truth be told when I was out and about. Apart from, the top of Snowdon did give a very good 3G reception 1000m above sea level.

So I set off at about 10.00 after my morning run, and plugged my Brothers TOMTOM in, to see which direction it would guide me. The IQ route said Wrexham and then the A498 and after two hours, where most of it was winding country roads I had arrived my hotel before check in. So time for the first activity of the holiday. Thats right, one my favorite past times… Castle spotting.

Harlech

Off I drove past my hotel and onward to a small village which I have fallen in love with. If and when I retire I am going to live in this sleepy suburb. On the way to my destination I suddenly discovered what people meant about the roads in Wales and I might as well say my piece about it here. I love them. 60 m.p.h along rolling bendy narrow roads I spent a lot of my time getting lost on purpose, just so I could ride the rollercoaster that was the A Roads of this peaceful pleasant area. They were also smooth, not pot hole or rough, they were a real joy to navigate and lets face it, navigation is easy in Wales. You only have two roads to choose from, the one towards Porthmadog and the other to Ffestiniog.

Anyway I was speeding toward Harlech for one reason and one reason only and that was the Castle. And it did not disappoint. It appeared as I came round the bend, looking down, like it was surveying the village. It was wonderful and is now one of my top five. The History is simple. Edward the I built it, then lost it four years later which even he has to admit it was a little bit careless. “Edward, you are a fool, how can you lose a big castle. You better not misplace Carnofen especially now I have the Kitchen the way I like it” Just like women not to understand Edward thought. In fact he had not lost it, more had it taken away from him by the Welsh uprising. The day was cold and dark, and one of his generals came rushing in “Sire the peasants are revolting” The general said. “I know I can smell them from here” Edward said sniggering. Before he knew it the Castle that had taken 7 years and had cost £8,000 (£3,000,000 in today’s money) had been snatched by the Welsh just after 4 years of completion. “Well you don’t have to worry about the leaky roof now Sire” his servant uttered as they packed up.

The Castle was only in the Welsh hands for a number years, but it was where Owain Glyndŵr held court decided to move in. The English soon regained control. The rest of the Castles troubled history saw it involved in the War of the Roses and as a hide out for Charles I during the Civil war.

The rest of this peaceful village was a joy to walk around, and is well worth a look. If you are going to relax, then you could do no better than walk down to the stunning beach, which is masked by impressive sand dunes where you navigate through the golf course to land on the golden sands and tranquil sounds of the Irish Sea.

The day was completed by me settling in to my hotel, which as I have said above was great. Wonderful pub food, and friendly staff. A real warm welcome, where the  manager would ask you about your day. I got into a little routine, of returning back to my room and feasting on the complimentary biscuits and drinking the tea that never quite taste like it should. Then I would slowly make my way down to select my tea from the vast menu, and retire to the privacy of my room. I would then take a bath to soak my legs and find myself falling asleep at 9pm, ready for the next day.

Snowdon

Oh boy, and what a day. The weather was sunny, the sky was clear. The BBC had informed me that it would remain like that, as did the Snowdon weather site. So of I set towards Snowdon. This is a great drive, for two reason. The scenery and the roads. I drove through Betwsy Coed, which I would later return to have a look, and unless you are starting a walk there, then I really would not bother. On my way to Snowdon, I had to stop off and start taking pictures of lakes and mountains being reflected in the water, and as I approached the start of my walk I had to make a quick decision to do Miners or Pyg track. I chose Pyg.

I thought overall without sounding boastful that the walk/climb was mild. I had been told it was challenging, and I was expecting to be pushed to my limited walking experience. But I wasn’t. Don’t get me wrong my heart was pumping and my legs had more of a workout than they do when I go running, but overall I found it to be a nice climb. I’m not for minute suggesting it was a stroll in the park but it’s not worth a 5 on the difficulty rating where 1 is easy and 5 is hard.

The way up and way down was glorious, and as with all summit climbs, the Mountain plays tricks on you. Just when you think you can see the path ahead, or the summit, the trail twist and snakes in a different direction. But with Snowdon, you could always see her icy snow-covered top. You would say hello to your fellow walkers, ask them if they had done it before, and if like me, would great them again on the way down. The sign in the car park suggested 6 hours, I did it up and down minus the sit down on the summit in about three and half.

I’m very glad I did it and enjoyed the walk and climb. Also liked seeing people running up it, and walking there dogs. The school Children who were climbing in font of me didn’t all make it. The teacher claimed that they went back to the bus. I don’t want to point fingers, but it was a long way down.

After Snowdon, I drove and went down towards the Keep I saw on my way to Snowdon. This was the 2nd castle I had on my list. Dolwyddelan Castle is just a dwarf compared to the others, but plays a large significance on Welsh history. I parked my car and walked up to the start of the path and saw a sign “Please pay at Farm House” I walked toward the house and saw nobody about, then from inside a stout woman pointed towards a door around the side of the house. Within a few minutes she unbolted several locks (Not that there was any one around) and instructed me that the castle was up that path and pointed to a field. ‘What about the pay’ I enquired. ‘No pay today, as it’s St Davids Day’ I rushed up the slope to the castle to be thankful that David had planted all those Leeks and Daffodils and got made into a Saint as even for a Castle lover like me, £3.80 is a bit much for a stone tower.

I drove onwards to Ffestiniog power station, which is part of the first hydro-electric stations. Here I walked for a bit and stood to look at the Narrow gage tracks, and decided that at 6pm I was a little tired and food and sleep was in order.

Portmerrion

This was a busy day. My plan was to drive far and work my way back towards the hotel. Instead I got so excited by seeing the Ffestiniog railway, with the train being stoked up I had to get out and watch it set on its way. By which point I thought the sun won’t be out for ever let’s go to the film set. So off I set from Porthmadog to Portmerrion. Now for those not in the know, I only know of this place, not because of the crazy man Ellis who designed and built it in the 1920’s and led the project till it had finished in the 1950’s or for its super importance as a site that no one can touch or do anything to without permission from the UK government, that includes Ellis himself.

The whole village was built to prove that towns could be built to look beautiful and to function, but the reason why I know it, is due to a big white balloon that prevented Number 2 from escaping. I am referring to the hit 60’s show ‘The Prisoner” Now as I walked around this populated village which Ellis describes as miniature… Everything is scaled down I found it rather creepy. Not sure if that was because of the ‘Prisoner’ of if the village gave of that vibe and that is why the producers picked it.

The woodlands that surround and mask the village are spectacular, quiet and peaceful they carry the same erriness as the fabrication they circle. Within the woods is a ghost garden that if excuse the English was hunting, and as the path down was more or less a tunnel that had been carved through the trees and hedges, to an overgrown area. Along the wood was also a sheltered space called ‘Dog cemetery’ where graves stones stood proud above the graves of loved dogs. This did nothing to calm the nerves but instead heightened the strangeness and peculiarity that this small area of Wales held.

I really do recommend anyone going to see this village. The whole thing is locked away and for those who live her, security gates are the norm, luckily they are not subjected to the £8.00 entry fee, but I feel it was worth it as I was absorbed into the surroundings and strange tranquility of the place.

Next on the list was another castle, and again luckily the cost did not burden my pockets, as the ticket booth was not open, but the gates to the castle were. This was still a nice castle to look at, but after the English invasion was over the castle was left to fall apart. The idyllic setting was yet agin on a mound over looking the sea at the edge of the town. The Town is called Criccieth, and there is not much else to do apart the castle, so I hastily drove to the final stop, a copper mine.

This was a self guided tour, and you would not believe how creeped out I was as I walked the steps of history. The plastic moulding of men in  fixed positions did not help, nor did the voices from hidden speakers and lets not get started when all the lights went out to show you how dark it would have been. But the sites of the underground lakes and caverns were spectacular, and the mountain walk afterwards was a good strong climb to amazing views. This got me energised and I wandered off to walk up Snowdon again. This time I only made it half way due to fading light and I’m no fool when it comes to climbing mountains in the dark. The path I chose was the Watkins path which Lloyd George opened on a rock in front of 2000 people.

After this I decided enough was enough and it was back to the hotel for me.

Cader Idris and Barmouth


Now without upsetting people, which I know will happen, but this mountain which is said to be the 2nd most visited, is truly amazing. I loved it. The climb up was not harder or easier than Snowdon, but seemed to use more energy. The end result was also more rewarding. The height of Cader Idris stands at just under 900 meters so is in no means a dwarf, but Snowdon some what has the lime light for one reason and that is its height. You get to the top of Snowdon and you have wonderful views of the other mountain ranges. You get to the top of Cader Idris and you see hills, valleys, Barmouth  and its bridge. Plus the last half a mile to the summit is so rewarding it’s untrue. I wanted to shout while I was at the top, but there was an older gentleman eating his lunch.

This summit also played on the mind, as you could never fully see your goal till the last moment, so just when youthought you were about to reach the top of the summit you had your eye on disappeared to reveal another mound.

Anyway who ever likes walking should do this, it is a mix of flat hill, steep crumbling rock climbing, large stone step walking and strong hiking.

This rather took the breath from me, both in the climb and the views the walk down was just as strenuous and if anything was slightly harder. It was broken up by chatting to a nice couple of Warkshire who were up for two days, and I had met in the car park where they had guided me through the walk step by step. Now we spoke about views and other walks, but I was to tired for any more walking today, so it was off to look at a train museum that ended up being a shed and was in fact closed. This was where I had to push my little car to the full, as the red petrol light illuminated telling me Marko was thirsty. This was the only time I got my brothers TOMTOM out, to direct me to the nearest station. 15 miles later Marko was watered so to speak and he had done over 400 miles on a tank. The best MPG yet.

With this I headed toward Barmouth to enjoy more sandy beaches but really to take a peak at the wonderful bridge that crosses the mouth. With that I retired to my hotel room to bath and change before my last evening in Wales.

The Last Day

This was a sad day. I didn’t want it to happen, but knew I had to leave if only because Simon had hired my room out to some one else for their holiday, and there was a small fact I could not afford it.

I knew I did not want to go back to Manchester til night fall, so what was there to do. I thought I could drive the coast road back on the A55 and take it in all my castles on the way back, but I certainly was not going to pay to go in side each one. My legs were tired from all the walking I had done and while not all of it is documented here I covered a fair few miles I can tell you. The only town I had not yet been to was that of Llanberis where the Snowdon railway starts for those lazy people who can’t be bothered to walk up, but it is also the home of Electric Mountain, the Hydro Electric power station buried deep into the hill-side. There were no tours this day, but there was a slate museum, which I took great interest in, and delight and looking at the largest UK mainland water wheel.

From here I decided to take a walk through the national park and the quarry. This was where I got lost. Walking my new hobby mixed with a quarry and Victorian engineering I was in some kind of fantasy or on a Dr Who planet. It was a deathly quiet place. The odd the bird of prey circled overhead as you paced through history that was left to decay. Old miners houses built into the hillside, the old workshops where they spilt the slate before loading into the wagon that were trucked down the incline on huge steel wires. All the buildings and inclines built from the raw material they had blasted from the hillside. In this desolate rubble, Snowdon towered above, keeping a watchful eye. For some one who was tired off walking, I managed another day of trotting around for several hours, in the quarry and the woods, trying to catch snaps of the Kingfisher but in the end finding myself taking pictures of a different bird entirely as well as Kid (goat)

The day was complete by paying a visit to another Keep, this was Dolbadarn Castle, a small but yet impressive feature on the landscape. I don’t know much of this history, but the English did not build this masterpiece.

With that, the time was getting close to six, and I was gearing up for bed. It was to the car, and the coast road for a lasting sight of the Castles of North Wales and a glimpse of my favourite bridge.

By the time I got home, I was ready for bed, I did almost drift off a few times and was glad to be home and secure. But am not happy about leaving the place I called home for a week. But some important decisions were thought about, and time will see if having a holiday is what people really need, or to be more precise what I needed.

Wales and Snowdonia Rule.

Postcard #5 Dr Who could of been filmed here

Well I’m writing this little gem back in Manchester, and I am fully depressed. I want to be back in Wales, and I celebrated the last day by driving through all the towns with castles and seeing my favourite bridge. I also spent the last day walking around Llanberis slate museum and walking around the quarry. This was me in my element. My new hobby walking and soaking up the deadly atmosphere in a quarry that looked like a planet from Dr Who. The heritage and Victorian engineering that went into this quarry is extraordinary and the wildlife that now surrounds it was wonderful. A Hawk, or Kestrel was spotted and plenty of birds. This town is well worth a trip and I wish I had discovered the area sooner as the walks and views were fantastic. Plus there was a castle.

 

A full blog/page (one can never tell if you should do a page or blog post for these thing) of my holiday will be up soon. Once I have written it. But you will see lots of wonderful cute animals like this fella. I named him Edward.