As we approach the end of the Autumn season, I come to you with another travel blog, showing some more of the golden autumn beauty before cold takes over!
It’s been a long few weeks, spent travelling to some beautiful places but also sadly, being stuck at home ill, I mean it is a flu season…. Luckily my cat Luna, has been keeping me company giving loads of hugs!
I wonder what all of you have been up to, so let me know down in the comments!
But now moving onto todays blog, we of course, take a trip to the beautiful Welsh countryside, one of the favourite ways to spend my day. Today I went to the stunning place called Elan Valley. This area is big with many trails, viewpoints, forests, rivers …. The list goes on.
Whenever people visit Wales and ask for recommendation of places to see, this one makes the list instantly. The variety of landscapes, nature, wildlife as well as traditional Welsh culture is prominent in this place showcasing its beauty to anyone visiting by.
As much as I love exploring new places, this one I return to regularly. I’ve walked many trails, read books by the dams, had little picnics and went camping in this place, and as many times as I’ve been to this place… each time it looks and feels a little different. And that is truly wonderful.
The days are shorter nowadays, so I made sure to get up super early to drive and have enough time for some exploring in this place before it gets dark. While driving through Welsh landscapes, the air felt colder and crisp, the winter is approaching.
I was mesmerized by the vast landscape of valleys spreading before me, the golden autumn colours everywhere that started fading slowly as the winter approaches. Standing there admiring the views, I also noticed the freezing cold, awakening my senses but also making me realise that this is not a sweater weather anymore. Before I knew it, I had to reach back into the car and throw more layers on myself.
Driving past the road, I made a few stops to admire the beautiful landscapes as well as the wildlife, whether it be sheep just passing down the road or the cows munching away in the grass. One of joyous things was feeding some apples to them, which some refused (didn’t think cows were this picky) and some of them absolutely loved it. They were stunning, just standing there in the tall grass looking at me and my camera in curiosity.
The moments like this are the ones that I cherish most, I think it’s important to remember to take a moment to appreciate the scenery and life right before you, I take a photo so that I could have a memory forever- but then I put it down and make the memory. I’m trying not to live a life through the lens or technology and instead put down whatever tech I’m holding and just allow myself- to pay full attention to the scene with all my senses, therefore imprinting it in my memory for years to come.
I made my way down to a chosen trail but not before stopping by some infamous dams. Those beauties never fail to impress me. They are a very characteristic staple of this place, 4 of them constructed for the river Elan, each one uniquely charming. With a vast history of construction to aid the water flow to Birmingham, all the way to the lost houses and valleys due to it’s building, the baroque aesthetic of them has been attracting tourists, photographers, poets and other artists for decades.
As I started walking on the chosen trail that day, for a moment I could still admire them from a distance. That’s before I disappeared into depth of the woods and was consumed by the depth of greens and golden shades all spreading before me in a scenery that resembled a fairytale.
I kept walking along the trail, admiring the views but it was long until I strayed away into the forest depths to explore more of this scene. Each step I took, I could smell the scent of earthy moss and pine trees getting stronger and adding the piercing light rays through the trees from the sun, made me feel as if I was lost in a magical world. I was just waiting for some magical creature to pop-out from the trees hehe
As I emerged from the forest depths, I was met by grand views of valleys and elan river spreading before me. I sat at the edge of the forest admiring this view before going back in, low and behold just at the edge of the forest I found some mushrooms! (Edible ones, don’t worry I know my mushrooms). I picked some of them for the meal later that day.
Going back into the forest, I admired more of the stunning views all around me. I appreciated the deep green of everything which made me feel as if it was summer (if it wasn’t for the cold). I was also stunned by the sun. It felt as if my day had just began, yet I was there catching the last glimpses of it’s golden glow illuminating the paths before me.
That’s when I realised it is time to head back so I could have a little break before it gets dark. I went to a nice picnic spot and started unloading some food. Some old style sausages for a barbeque… probably last one this year. And I also added some mushrooms which I found in the forest!
After a long walk there’s nothing better than aromatic scent of fresh hot coffee. That’s a priority for almost any trip I take haha. So, as always I made sure to have some fresh hot ground coffee in a thermos with a nice autumn themed doughnut to sweeten the deal!
I sat there with the coffee warming my hands as the sun started to slowly descend, the place started getting darker and with that it was a time to head back home.
While driving back, once again I stopped by some stunning views, taking in the nature and beauty before I had to leave for the drive home. With fresh air in my lungs, my legs aching a little from walking (but in a satisfactory way) and a nice coffee buzz, I felt refreshed in mind and soul. It’s amazing how with each step you take on the hike among a beautiful view- your problems don’t seem as big anymore, the stress doesn’t feel as overwhelming and the joy of living is refreshed in one’s soul.