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.
It’s been a few weeks since the last blog post, due mainly to a wonderful trip to Canada. Before I start to process the 700 photos from there it’s time to share these with you, just ten photos from the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta.
In 2015 the Bristol Balloon Fiesta celebrated its 37th year, and although I used to live close by this was my first visit. The hot air balloons do an early morning and late afternoon ascent on each day, and wanting to guarantee good photos I opted to check the weather and head there for the afternoon and evening.
The weather was perfect for taking photos, but it drew in people in their masses. The Fiesta is a free event, and it got so busy that Bristol city centre became gridlocked and the organisers had to turn people away. I’d heard an estimate for 250,000 visitors, and it’s by far the most people I’ve ever seen in one place. It explains why it took me nearly three hours to get out of the car park after the event – I hope for better traffic management in 2016!
The afternoon ascent and gentle wind gave balloons the chance to take off and drift towards the city and Clifton Suspension Bridge. After sunset the night glow started – tethered balloons firing their burners to light up the sky. And to finish some fireworks.
I’d have liked to have gone up in a balloon to get some photos from the sky looking down but didn’t get the chance. When I was a child my father worked with someone who was on the team that flew Richard Branson and Per Linstrand on the first transatlantic hot air balloon flight in 1987. I had the chance to go in a hot air balloon with them, and at the last moment got scared and decided against it. A decision I rue to this day. I will fly in a hot air balloon one day!
A photo brimming with hot air balloons, all drifting towards Bristol city centre.
The balloons add even more colour to a beautiful blue sky.
Everyone loved the penguin balloons.
Bristol Balloons and Bailey Balloons are both based in Bristol and why it's so famous for ballooning.
Another big name in ballooning, Cameron Balloons.
I wasn't the only one taking photos of the balloons.
There were 250,000 people at the Fiesta, this photo shows how popular it was.
As the daylight fades, the night glow begins. Tethered balloons fire up to glow brightly.