Just back from a wet and windy weekend in Wales, I thought I’d quickly share just ten photos from the trip (yes I know I’ve a huge backlog of Canada photos to share… all in good time!).
I’ve been to south Wales a few times in autumn and winter but it’s the first time the weather has been quite so bad. Rainstorms and gusty winds overnight meant some missed sleep, but luckily the worst of the daytime weather came when I was under cover.
Saturday morning was rained out, and Plantasia in Swansea offered a watertight glass dome filled with plants and animals. As the weather brightened up a lunchtime trip to Verdi’s Cafe in Mumbles gave the opportunity for views across Swansea Bay. Being close to 5th November there were lots of fireworks to choose from in the area, and seeing a bonfire and fireworks in the shadow of Coity Castle was a treat.
On Sunday a trip to the Cats Protection Bridgend Adoption Centre left me feeling a little sad that there were so many cats waiting to be adopted. But I was perked up by a visit to St Fagans, and all the dark clouds didn’t lead to a drenching. This was my second visit to the museum, which is a huge site with various buildings from all over Wales. The buildings are dismantled brick-by-brick and rebuilt at St Fagans. The St Teilo’s Church, for example, took twenty years to dismantle and move. Autumn is a great time to visit and see all the buildings set amongst the colourful trees.
A wet weekend produced a small but lovely waterfall at St Fagans National Museum of History.
Looking up a chimney and getting rewarded with some colourful lens flare at St Fagans National Museum of History.
The Newbridge War Memorial, donated to the St Fagans National Museum of History in 1995.
An artistic little window in St Teilo's Church, from the late 12th century and moved to St Fagans in 1985.
A watermill nestled amongst the trees at St Fagans.
Fireworks at Coity Castle.
More fireworks at Coity Castle.
In the pitch black, the camera could still capture Coity Castle.
The seafront at Mumbles is very pretty, and if you ever go be sure to go to Verdi's for an ice cream.
Over the last few years German Christmas markets have become very popular in the UK, with stalls selling traditional German food, drinks, and gifts. In a similar style local Christmas markets are popular too, like this one in Oxford.
The Oxford Christmas Market is run by Nicole Rahimi (who, ironically, is German), and for its first few years was run in the picturesque Oxford Castle complex but after a one year break popped up in Oxford’s Broad Street. Broad Street is much less photogenic but better for the market as it’s next to the main shopping area and attracts lots of passers by.
These photos were taken after dark, and next year I hope to spend a bit more time at the market to get some daylight photos too.
The Christmas Market on Broad Street, between the shops on one side and historic Oxford University on the other.
The market stalls are wooden huts, great for showing off the items and keeping the stallholders warm.
A long exposure to introduce some movement into the picture.
A Christmas tree and carousel, with Balliol College, Oxford University behind.
This post is the second in a series of two about a recent trip to Scotland and is focused on Edinburgh.
A day trip to Edinburgh as part of the break allowed for just five-and-a-half hours exploring this amazing city. It was the day before the Edinburgh Festival Fringe started, and so there was a real buzz and the city geared itself up for a month of fun!
After being dropped near Princes Street with limited time available I decided that Edinburgh Castle should be the first port of call (after a coffee, of course!). The Castle, on the edge of the Old Town part of Edinburgh, overlooks the New Town part and beyond with spectacular views. The famous One O’Clock Gun was a great photo opportunity, so I picked a place with a good view for photos and despite some rude tourists shoving to get a view I still got a good shot by holding my Olympus OMD E-M1 camera up high and using its handy tilt screen to keep everything in frame.
Leaving the Castle behind I went on an open top bus tour of the city to see the highlights. Although I got caught by a passing shower (luckily the E-M1 is weather proof!) it was a great way to see the city and learn about some of its history.
Time ran out on me, and I definitely plan to return to Edinburgh one day to see more of the city. If I could combine it with a trip the Fringe, that would be amazing!
An open top bus tour is always a good way to orientate yourself in a new city... and you get some decent views from the top of a bus too.
The imposing Balmoral hotel.
Scottish pride in taxi form.
There's lots of street artists around Edinburgh - I'd never seen one like this before.
A lion statue in Edinburgh.
The one o'clock gun salute at Edinburgh Castle, with views beyond Edinburgh to the estuary.
One of the Edinburgh Castle guns pointed at the famous Princes Street.
A view over Edinburgh from the Castle. You can see the Forth Bridge and an aircraft coming into land.
Princes Street Gardens and the Scott Monument.
No trip to Scotland would be complete without bagpipes.