Tag: vacation

Hafod Eryri – Snowdon Summit Visitor Centre

Hafod Eryri – Snowdon Summit Visitor Centre

 

IMG_8143.1We drove to the heart of the Snowdonia National Park and had booked our tickets with Snowdon Mountain Railway to go up to the Snowdon Summit Visitor Centre.  The train journey up to 1085 meters.  We reached the little village at the foot of Snowdon, Llanberis in the heart of the National Park.  This was a great experience for our friends to experience an awe inspiring journey by a rack railway to the summit of Snowdon the highest mountain in Wales and England.

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We reached Llanberis station very early and had enjoyed ourselves to see the workers busy working at the steam trains. As the first train will be leaving in 20 minutes  so all the workers were busy putting the coals into the train with the smoke curling into the misty morning.

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Our train leave in next half hour and once all seated, the train begun the journey upwards to the clouds. Our first glimpse of the waterfall in Llanberis and when our train crested on the mountain. We had been surrounded by the beautiful views.

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A beautiful landscape rich in alpine flowers and rare ferns caused by the retreating ice age and it was dotted with ruins. These ancient mountains thrust upwards by volcanic forces 450 million year ago, once towered 10,000 meters. The wind, rain and successive ice ages had sculpted them to their current form.

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Unfortunately, we can’t see the two viaducts across the Afon Hwch River and the waterfall plunging into the gorge below due to mist covered around the mountains peaks.

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The beautiful ruined Hebron Chapel and spectacular countryside before we finally reached one of the world great panoramas at the Summit of Snowdon. The visitors centre had a café where we had some hot soup and hot pastry to warm our bellies. Sadly, it rain heavily with strong wind  we couldn’t view the panoramas view of Eryri, Land of the Eagles.

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The Summit trains operating from May to October only. We were happy we had reached the summit of Snowdon and will be back again soon, there are so many spectacular spots which I haven’t got a chance to see or trek.

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Conwy Falls – Betws-y-Coed, Wales

Conwy Falls – Betws-y-Coed, Wales

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Conwy Falls is a little harder to find than the other falls in the area.  It is easier to go Conwy Falls cafe, park in their car park and enter through the turnstile gates which cost £1.00 gbp for the entrance.
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Stunning waterfall and scenery cafe serving homemade food, using local produce wherever possible. The £1 gains entry to the Conwy Falls and woodland walks.
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Conwy Falls is one of the most popular and scenic waterfalls in Snowdonia. The falls are not located near the historic town of Conwy, as the name might suggest, but just east of Betws-y-Coed, in the heart of Snowdonia National Park.
The falls are at the heart of over 9 acres of woodland at the junction of the Conwy and Machno rivers. Footpaths lead through  the woodland, part of which is listed as the site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
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As we reached the waterfall around 5.00 p.m. there aren’t any visitors except ourselves and another couples who stayed at the nearby hotel as we were. It was amazing beautiful falls with jutted out formation rocks.  It was so peaceful and serene with beautiful woodland surrounding the falls. There are several trails to follow but we followed the short
trail to the waterfall due to the lateness of the day.
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Utterly happy with this visit and thought to bring my friends here the next day, unfortunately they wanted to skip this falls and go straight to Snowdonia.

 

Hollyhead, Anglesey

Hollyhead, Anglesey

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We started our journey early in the morning to Hollyhead, Anglesey. When we reached there strong wind and rain beat us away from Holly head. We took our lunch at the shopping mall and did some shopping at the Tesco.  Once we had our lunch we drove around the town and the busy ferry port.

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Unfortunately, the bad weather of grayish with misty clouds covered the surrounding landscape.  Our spirit wasn’t flatten by the bad weather, the scenic view from isle and the harbor were beautiful and enchanting.

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After cruising around for an hour or two, we drove back to the National Park of Bala and enjoying the beautiful Welsh countryside scenic view.  We reached the hotel around 4.00 p.m. and cooked an early dinner so some of my friends can relax and have and early night.

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Once we had finished our dinner, we decided to go out to explore Conwy  Fall which about 15 minutes drive from our hotel.  Our trip to Wales was meant to be free and easy due to my friend, he is 83 years old and we wanted him to relax end enjoy the Pretty  Welsh Country Scenic View. The fabulous Conwy Fall will be in my next post soon.

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Llanuwchllyn Station, Bala

Llanuwchllyn Station, Bala

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Our journey to Wales –  I had booked our hotel rooms in the National Park of Bala.  On our way to the hotel, we came upon Llanuwchllyn Station.  The railway’s head quarter is located in the pretty Welsh village of Llanuwchllyn,  there are ample free car parking, refreshments,  small gift shop, toilets and picnic tables for locals families day outing, The storage and repair facilities can be found here.

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On our way to the station, we met a lady enjoying herself, happily and lovingly painting  a portion section of the train. The serene and pretty Welsh country side surrounding the station.  We can get the train tickets from the cafe, drinks and foods also serve here.

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Llanuwchllyn Station features an original Great Western Signal Box that is often open to visitors and provides an unique perspective on the station. All trains start and finish the journey at Llanuwchllyn and early visitors may be able to view the day’s engine being prepared prior to the departure of the first train of the day.

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Each trip to Bala and back, the locomotive is serviced at the water tower at the western edge of the Llanuwchllyn station site, where this fascinating process can be viewed. The Bala Lake Railway  offers a delightful 9 mile – approx  1 hour , return journey along Llyn Tegid (Bala Lake), through the beautiful and natural  Snowdonia National Park.

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We didn’t want to go for the steam train rides and spent our times at this gorgeous and beautiful steam station. I had a happy hour of clicking my camera on the locals and their families enjoying the day outing at this station.

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Chasewater Country Park, Staffordshire

Chasewater Country Park, Staffordshire

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Our Singapore friends came to England to visit us and we planned to tour England and Europe for the 21 days when they were here. The first day was free and easy and we went to the Chasewater Country Park.

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Chasewater Country Park in Staffordshire is perfect for a gentle stroll, bird watching, running, cycling or even a steam train ride. It is located between Burntwood, Brownhills and Norton Canes, in a picturesque countryside setting. It covers 360 hectares, including some 90 hectares of water.

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The country park provides a home for many birds and animals, where the keen naturalist can find rare habitats to visit including Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). There are excellent bird watching, walking and cycling opportunities.

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In May 2011, Chasewater Country Park and its reservoir were transferred to Staffordshire County Countcil. The park have been totally changed since it was taken over by Staffordshire County, it became a park where the locals enjoyed the benefit of water sport organized by the County. Lot of locals come to the park to enjoy the day with their families and having picnic and enjoying the steam train rides every Sunday.

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Unfortunately, due to all these activities in the park, the wild life such as rare birds and swans, ducklings been pushed over the edge. There are lesser wildlife around this park and hope the Staffordishire County will take step to protect the wildlife habitat so that the wildlife would immigrate to this reserve again.

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Lei Yue Mun (鯉魚門), Hong Kong

Lei Yue Mun (鯉魚門), Hong Kong

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Been to Hong Kong so many times, thought that I had seen all the tourists spots from Hong Kong but I was surprised when my friend took me to take the tram or “Ding Ding”  operating in Hong Kong. The trams traverse from the Northern part of Hong Kong Island on a East-West direction, they are cheap, clunky and slow. It was unique experience and a sightseeing attraction on its own. At only HK2.30  per ride, one of the bargain deals.

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The rackety double deckers have been traveling these routes for over a century.  They have been very much a part of the Hong Kong landscape and culture and are beloved by the locals who still use them to carry on their daily routines such as getting to work, go shopping, or the races. So riding on one of these relics gave me the unique glimpse of everyday Hong Kong street life, as we were traveling literally close to the ground.

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The locals refer to them as the “Ding Ding”, because of the constant noisy chiming along the way.Awed to see the locals jammed on the tracks, busy with their marketing even though the “Ding Ding” chimed it way toward the tracks. After our tram trip we took a bus to Lei Yue Mun.

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Lei Yue Mun “鯉魚門”or Carp Channel is named after a short channel between Tseung Kwan O and Victoria Harbour separating Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula.The Eastern getaway into the harbour is now renowned for hosting the world famous Seafood Bazaar. We simply go to market and pick up any seafood we fancy and the chef in the restaurants will cook the seafood with a  charge.

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Lei Yue Mun is one of the few places in Hong Kong where you can still see the stilt houses or Pang UK “棚屋”. It is a traditional form of house developed by fishing people when they moved onto the land, but wanted to maintain the feel and advantages of living on a boat.

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A great place for a day out with a seafood meal and a visit to the Grade II historic Tin Hau Temple, The Wish Tree, Lighthouse and the Museum of Coastal Defense. The new buildings merging with the old traditional stilt houses,  enhancing the little fishing village and bought lot of prospective investors to live at this gorgeous town.

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We finished our day with a buffet steamboat dinner in one of the restaurant, enjoyed an happy ending of the day with my friends and had gained an insight into the locals lifestyle.

 

Wang Chung Stream (橫涌石澗)

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We met with our friends at Tai Po Bus Station and took bus 275 to the Bride’s pool bus terminal. Followed the road toward the Tai Po Station about 10 minutes walk, there is a small stream with a sign “No Enter” go through the steps and about a few meters we reached the stream. Our friends are experience stream trekkers and every weekend they will escape the busy city to the rural urban reserve for stream trekking.

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This weekend they planned to stream trek at  Wang Chung Stream so we can enjoyed ourselves with nature and has a dip in the waterfall pool to cool off the hot humid  day. Wang  Chung Stream is one of the most popular streams in Hong Kong. The entrance is on the Bridge’s Pool Road . It is easily accessible and hiker-friendly. It embraces picturesque landscapes with majestic waterfalls and clear water pools. An idea way to spend a relaxing summer afternoon in the stream and leave the hassle in the city.

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We had a mini break at one of the medium fall and enjoyed ourselves at the pool of the fall. There are bountiful  of nature such as fish, mayfly, butterflies and greenery forest surrounded the waterfalls. We had to scramble up the big boulders to ascent up to the waterfall.  The next waterfall is Dragon Ball, my son and the boys enjoyed rock jumping into the pool. This is a difficult level of stream trek and don’t take risk and get hurt.  We had experience stream trekkers to guide us for this hike.

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A spectacular view from the top of the waterfall, it is serene and peaceful, the forest merging into different shades of green to black.The big boulders create a backdrop of mythical landscape around the stream.  It been advisable not to trek up the cliff of Dragon Ball Fall, as climbers have to cross the waterfall at the junction of the upper and lower half.  Someone did fall off the cliff and lost their life.

 

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There is another medium stream cascade and the pool is deep enough for swimming. We spend a few hours at the reserve to take photos of the wildlife and landscape. At last, we came upon a bridge on Pat Sin Leng Nature Trail which takes us back to the Bride’s Pool Road. We didn’t go near to the Bride’s pool waterfall as there were lot of Filipino maids enjoying the fall. We can changed our wet clothing at the toilet near the bus terminal and every half an hour there is a bus to the Tai Po Bus Station. There isn’t any bus to the Bride’s Pool Terminal except on Sunday only.

 

IMG_5473.1_edited-1Once we reached the Tai Po Bus Station, had our dinner at the Tai Po Market. What a wonderful ending for a perfect day. We hardly spend any monies for this trek, bought our drinks and prepared homemade sandwiches for lunch. Love the Hong Kong citizens’ method of keeping fit and healthy, exciting and adventurous lifestyles  which I have totally miss when I back in England.

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