Monthly Archives: September 2012

weekend links

 

Weekend Links is a collection of the interesting bits and pieces that I’ve come across on the streets and online. I hope you enjoy them as well!

1. Enjoying the start of pear season and baking spiced pear muffins (picture above taken at my local market)
2. Spotting two new cookbooks that I need to add to my collection: Under the Walnut Tree and Small Plates and Sweet Treats
3. Seeing pictures of the autumn harvest around the Northern hemisphere
4. Looking forward to the ‘Dutch fish with a French twist’ restaurant by Ron Blaauw to open in Amsterdam in January 2013
5. Putting the Italian Lago d’Orta on my travel list
6. Viewing the photo series Window Seat by Matt Low that captures the feeling of looking to the earth below (pictured below, via cool memories)

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Climbing Mount Snowdon

During our visit to North Wales, we climbed Mount Snowdon, the highest point in the British Isles outside Scotland at 1,085 meters (3,560 feet). My hiking boots were quite dusty from years of living in the Netherlands, one of the world’s flattest countries, but we planned to take one of the easier trails past the lakes and waterfalls.

Due to a series of circumstances, we ended up taking the Watkins trail, deemed the most difficult route to the summit. It was very difficult. The first part of the trail had a moderate incline and an abundance of beauty. Most of the photos are from the first 1.5 hours of the hike. About the point where I took the photo of the cairn, the incline steepened and clouds rolled in. I put away the camera and we focused on the summit. There were moments I felt daunted, when the wind whipped and the fog was so dense that you could only see several meters ahead. Not to mention the 45 degree incline. Reaching the summit made it all worth it though and we basked in the glory before beginning the descent.

Snowdonia, Wales

The sunny weather stayed with us as we drove to North Wales on a narrow road, barricaded on each side by stone walls. I distracted myself from the terrifying proximity of oncoming vehicles by taking in the dramatic landscape and countless sheep grazing on the hillsides. We stopped for afternoon tea at Pont Yr Afon Gam Cafe, surrounded only by sheep, a stone bridge, and a swift-moving creek (images 2 and 9).

Our destination was the town Betws-y-Coed, nestled in the foothills of Mount Snowdon. We stayed in a Shepherd’s Hut, again right in the middle of nature, with an ideal view for watching the sunsets. The first morning, we discovered Cwmni Cacen Gri (The Welshcake Company) and their delicious assortment of griddled Welshcakes. Another culinary highlight was The Silver Fountain, where I ate my favorite meal of the trip, Welsh style wild rice with roasted tomatoes.  Wales was amazing. One of the many reasons I love to travel is the opportunity to go to new places and discover new things. To put myself in unfamiliar territory in the chance that I might discover something new about the world and myself. It’s the best of places that you long for when you leave and dream about returning to someday very soon.

The Cotswolds, part I

After leaving Bath, we headed one hour north to The Cotswolds, an area filled with rolling hills, stone cottages, and green meadows. We rented a yurt in a field owned by an organic farm to be in the midst of nature. Our days began with the sight of cows grazing on the fog-covered hills and ended around a campfire with the last bits of sunlight streaming through the trees.

We hiked through fields, spotted a fox, climbed over stone walls, cooked dinner on the campfire, and enjoyed the pubs and farmers’ market in Cirencester. And we discovered the Budding Pale Ale made by the organic Stroud Brewery, one of the best drinks we’ve come across yet.

visiting Bath

Our road trip started in Bath primarily because we didn’t want to pick up the car in London and have Marcus learn how to drive on the other side of the road in city traffic. Still, I was excited to see the place Jane Austen once lived in and a town so teeming with history that the entire city is a Unesco World Heritage Site.

When we arrived in Bath, it was sunny and warm. A nice welcome to England and the forecast for almost the entire trip! We dropped off our luggage and promptly went out in search of a pint. After getting in a properly relaxed mood, we headed towards the circular row of houses known as The Circus (images 2, 6, 7). It was beautiful and the sun shone warmly on the houses. Soon after, we found a fantastic vegetarian pub and then took a meandering walk back to our hotel among the old buildings.

The next day was dedicated to seeing The Royal Crescent (image 1), visiting the Jane Austen Centre, and picking up the rental car, which resulted in a long walk along a quiet canal. We left Bath and traveled 1200 miles (about 2000 kilometers) around England and Wales over the next ten days. At the end of our trip, we returned to Bath for the afternoon and had the chance to visit Prior Park (post to follow) and the Pulteney Bridge (images 3, 4).

a (other side of the) road trip

The last weeks have taken me across England and Wales, on a road trip dedicated to spending as much time in nature as possible. (And admiring the ease with which Marcus could drive on the left side of the road.) I’m still awash in the experience of waking to foggy hillsides and hiking across the Welsh countryside. More about the when, where, and how to come in the next days. For now, a few images from my Instagram feed.

weekend links

Weekend Links is a collection of the interesting bits and pieces that I’ve come across on the streets and online. I hope you enjoy them as well!

1. Making homemade graham crackers for a s’mores party/workshop on a perfect summer night (pictured above)
2. Visiting the exhibition German art from Kiefer to Henning at Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam
3. Anticipating the Monocle and J.Crew collaboration, a show about print media
4. Putting a trip to the Scottish islands on the travel list
5. Learning a few more reason why to love sauerkraut
6. Dining at Hotel New York, where from 1872-1971 passengers began their voyage by ship across the Atlantic from Holland to America (pictured below)