Monday, April 25, 2005

Red Kite Delight

It’s hard to gather my thoughts together enough to recount the things I’ve seen and done over the last few days. I was so looking forward to my trip into Wales to meet up with friends and I wasn’t disappointed. I set out on Tuesday morning from Stoke Station on a coach up to Crewe, yes I know, I just assume that the trains to Crewe weren’t running that day. We took a circuitous route via Kidsgrove and Alsager stations, and I began to worry I wouldn’t get there on time to catch my train down to Shrewsbury. I needn’t have worried as, in the end, I had plenty of time to spare. At Shrewsbury I met Pauline from her train and we popped into town to have lunch at the art gallery just up from the station. We were back at the station in time to catch the Swansea train.

This train travels through the most delightful countryside, meandering past the Long Mynd at Church Stretton over the viaduct at Knucklas and into Wales. Our friend Susanna was waiting at the station in the little village where she lives and where we were staying at the local bed & breakfast which is also a museum, tea rooms, art gallery and craft workshops.* We had supper at Susanna’s little cottage overlooking her splendid garden whilst watching the birds on her feeders, including Goldfinch, chaffinch, nuthatch, great tits and blue tits. What a super display. We strolled back through the village to the guest house still amused by the fact that when we arrived my room still seemed to be occupied by someone else. It turned out that the brother of the owner had been staying and gone back to London and left his things. I had already moved to another room which on such a cold night was altogether cosier, then I found that I couldn’t get the hot tap to work on my bath but Pauline managed to sort it. All this caused much amusement.**

Next day, after breakfast*** we set out with Susanna to Rhayader to have lunch with her sister and brother-in-law and then to drive to the Elan Valley. The Valley is quite spectacular and on the drive we saw several red kites wheeling around in the sky, apparently there is a farm nearby where people can go and watch them being fed. We walked awhile at the side of one of the reservoirs and then went down to the visitor centre near the water cascade where we found out how the land was developed and the feat of engineering that went into the supplying of water to Birmingham and the Midlands.

I brought home such wonderful memories of the Elan Valley that I have to go back again soon with Paul so he can see the Red Kites.

* I may write more on this place later.

** Also amusement the next morning when Pauline set off the smoke alarm with her hair dryer.
*** the marmalade should have been in the museum.

1 comment:

  1. The Red Kites are so beautiful - the farm you mention is called Gingrin Farm