Archive | 4:07 pm

UK Trip Day 4: July 17/14

19 Aug

At the end of my UK Trip post for day 3 I said how I used my walk/hike that evening to de-stress from the run around from British Airways…to read that clickΒ here.

While yes, this post is about day 4 it really starts on day 3, kinda…

Earlier in the day on Day 3 I called the delivery company that would be bringing my suitcase to see if I could get them to rush it since British Airways was being incredibly unhelpful. The guy there said British Airways told them that due to the place of delivery (Wales) the suitcase couldn’t be delivered any earlier than 2-3 days so the delivery company automatically put it in to a unit destined to deliver using that timeline and they couldn’t expedite it without British Airways say-so. OMG say what?? I explained that I was leaving the delivery address they had on file from British Airways and that the longer they took to deliver to me the farther away I would be from them. They took the address I would be staying at the night of Day 4 and said they would deliver it there. I told them I wouldn’t be there until an unknown time in the evening and requested they leave it at the front desk. I then called that hostel to explain what was going on and asked if they wouldn’t mind taking custody of the suitcase until I checked in, the lady was very nice and said that wouldn’t be a problem.

After my walk/hike I called British Airways to try to get an update, the first call the lady disconnected cause she said it was too windy where I was and she couldn’t hear me, the second call I was told they absolutely would deliver my suitcase that night, but they didn’t say by what time. This meant I was once again trapped in the dining room since it is the only room in the hostel with a view of the driveway, sigh. After dinner, which was a lovely goat cheese and tomato quiche, I sat with my cards, my book, and a diet coke and waited…and waited…and waited…I couldn’t decide what time would be the cut off time for a delivery person when it came to luggage, part of me thought no later than 10pm but then I extended that to 11pm juuuuuust in case. Regardless, it never showed so off to bed I went with a renewed sense of anger towards British Airways because not only did it not show but I stayed up later than I wanted waiting for the suitcase cause they promised it would be delivered that night. Arg!

The morning of Day 4 I got up nice ‘n early cause I had to be on the road hopefully by 9am. I wasn’t lol. This didn’t surprise me but I wasn’t running too late so that’s good. I had my full Welsh breakfast, left my contact info with the hostel so if my suitcase did show up they could let me know and headed off to Beaumaris.

Oh, before heading off I spoke with British Airways to give them a piece of my mind in regards to the lack of delivery even though it was promised. It didn’t get me any results, or even an apology but the venting kinda felt nice lol

So off I went to Beaumaris, which is pronounced how it is spelled in case you were wondering.

Beaumaris is the first place I found on this trip without getting confused or lost, yay! The super kind people at YHA Llanberis Hostel printed me out some google map directions and the road signage was a better than the signage on my way to Llanberis so no wrong turns for me! πŸ™‚

There is a lot more to do in Beaumaris than I realized. My original plan was to go to the Gaol (that’s a prison) and the Court House, they are both Victorian era and have been turned in to museums, I looooove stuff like that! There was also a castle there to explore, a pier to walk along, boat tours, fun little shops and more. I planned to wander Beaumaris on this particular day because I wanted an easy day after climbing Mt Snowdon, as we all know by this point an easy day wasn’t needed since I didn’t get to climb the mountain but that just means I had more energy for exploring. πŸ™‚

I went to Beaumaris Castle, it was built, well, ordered to be built since I doubt he did any of the work lol, Β by King Edward 1. To build the castle the English forced an entire town of people to move so they could have unlimited space, rude! πŸ˜› This was the last castle built by King Edward 1 in Wales and it never got finished due to the Welsh being able to get the English out of their country, and lack of money. The style of castle is called concentric and that means there is no central keep, really, there is no centre at all. The castle has a high inner ring of defenses surrounded by a lower outer circuit of walls.

It was absolutely beautiful! The day was sunny and warm, entrance was cheap, and you were left to your own devices so I was able to take as much time as I wanted to explore the nooks and crannies of this castle. πŸ™‚

The entrance, you can see the moat that surrounds the castle.

The entrance, you can see the moat that surrounds the castle.

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You can climb up to the top walkways and walk around the perimeter, you get great views!

You can climb up to the top walkways and walk around the perimeter, you get great views!

One of the stairways to the top, not the widest of things lol

One of the stairways to the top, not the widest of things lol

View through one of the peep holes/archers spots.

View through one of the peep holes/archers spots.

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My only regret about the visit to the castle is that when I was in the gift shop I saw a necklace I reeeeeally wanted, it wasn’t out of my price range but I opted to not buy it because I thought I’d find something I would like even better later on in the trip and I didn’t want to buy my memento item so early without seeing what else was out there. Bad move! Bad bad bad move! I never found anything else I liked nearly as much and I really regret not purchasing it, sigh. I can’t remember the name of the company that made the jewellery so I can’t even look for their website and buy the necklace online. *rolls eyes at self*

Other than that my time at Beaumaris Castle was so enjoyable! πŸ™‚ I highly recommend it to anybody who will be in the area. For information on where it is and hours of operation you can check out this website…

http://cadw.wales.gov.uk/daysout/beaumaris-castle/?lang=en

I’ll put the next part of my Beaumaris Day in a new post since this one got long awfully quickly lol

 

 

Victoria Dragon Boat Festival

19 Aug

Alrighty, so two things…

(1) Sorry for the inconsistency of my posts, I have been having internet difficulties and have been going for days with NO internet! None! It is quite annoying, sigh. Β Shaw has replaced the modem so theoretically I should have internet access again without disruptions…we shall see *glances with suspicion towards Shaw*

(2) This post is not going to be about my vacation (no, I’m not done with those posts), I just want to let you know what happened this past weekend, then I’ll get back to my vacation posts – hopefully with a bit more speed than I was posting them before because of ya know, actually having internet access again lol.

On to the fun part! This past weekend I was in Victoria BC dragon boat racing, it is a two day festival, August 16th-17th. I didn’t go with my team (The Twisted Hips), instead I went as a filler for a team called Dragon Hearts Attack. They were short some paddlers and my coach works with that team so she asked if I was interested in racing with them. I had already booked the time off work assuming I would be racing that weekend and since I didn’t have another team I was racing with I said yes. I love the festivals, the competition, the fun of it all and I was bummed that I didn’t have a team to go with so I was really glad this worked out. πŸ™‚

Three of my Twisted Hips teammates were also going to be competing at that festival but for one of the sister teams of the team I was on, they were with Dragon Hearts Burn. Three of us went over on the ferry together Friday night and spent almost all of the weekend together. πŸ™‚

This picture was in the bathroom at the ferry terminal, because apparently people need to be told to not stand on the seats *rolls eyes*

Seriously?

Seriously?

There are two races per team a day at this festival and once you are done your second race on the Saturday you are basically free to do whatever you want…within reason! lol You still have to be able to paddle the next day! πŸ˜›

It was our coaches birthday on the Sunday so we all went out for dinner on the Saturday to a Greek restaurant, it was yummy, nothing amazing but not horrible either. Ray got this appetizer that they light on fire, it is cheese, he ordered it because it gets lit on fire which I think is a perfectly valid reason lol

That's the waiter, not my teammate lol

That’s the waiter, not my teammate lol

Here’s what it looks like when it isn’t on fire…

Cheeeeeeese!

Cheeeeeeese!

The restaurant had a belly dancer…

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Who then came over and tried to teach some of our guys how to belly dance…not gonna lie, they weren’t very good lol

It was a funny lesson!

It was a funny lesson!

They then had a dance off which I was too busy laughing through to take pics of, there is a video but I can’t figure out how to get it off facebook and on here so you’ll have to take my word for it that it was freakin hilarious!

Coach got a birthday dessert of baklava, hey c’mon, it’s a Greek restaurant, what did you expect?

A candle in a piece of baklava, classic? ;)

A candle in a piece of baklava, classic? πŸ˜‰

After the dinner some of the team spent the rest of the night partying and having fun, nothing too wild since we had to be up and in the lobby by 6:30am the next day, ugh.

Races went exceptionally well on the Sunday for my team and we ended winning gold in our division, yay!

Gold! Gold! Gold!

Gold! Gold! Gold!

One of the main sponsors for the festival was Denny’s, hence the name Denny’s on the one side of the medal, I feel I should now get free pancakes for life from them as a congrats lol πŸ˜›

The three of us that came over on the ferry together spent the next chunk of time wandering around a small piece of Victoria. We couldn’t go far cause one of us, Kathryn, rolled her ankle coming down The Chief prior to the festival so she was gimped. She was thankfully off the crutches but still limping quite a lot and she had to sit often to rest it. Sucky. She was supposed to race that weekend but wasn’t able to cause of the ankle. 😦

Some of the sights we saw included…

A whale made out of a bush.

A whale made out of a bush.

A fancy hotel covered in ivy.

A fancy hotel covered in ivy.

A woman being a statue, I'm surprised she didn't melt.

A woman being a statue, I’m surprised she didn’t melt.

A statue of Emily Carr that makes her look like an unattractive man...that is a monkey on her shoulder.

A statue of Emily Carr that makes her look like an unattractive man…that is a monkey on her shoulder.

The Netherlands Carillon

The Netherlands Carillon

The Netherlands Carillon was a gift from BC’s Dutch community to honour Canada’s 100th birthday in 1967. Her Majesty Queen Juliana of the Netherlands unveiled the cornerstone of the tower on May 23, 1967. A carillon is a musical instrument with a set of 23 or more bronze bells. This carillon, the largest in Canada, has 62 bells. It is housed at the top of this tower, which stands 27 meters (89 feet) tall. The largest bell in this carillon weighs 1500 kgs. To play the Netherlands Carillon, a musician climbs the 75 steps of the spiral staircase and then a 10-step ladder. There, the carillonneur depresses the keys and pedals of a clavier to play a song on the bells. Carillon bells do not swing like church bells; they ring when struck by clappers connected with wires to the clavier.

We happened to be there when the carillonneur was up there playing, at first it sounded like a song, then it sounded like a child hitting bells at random, then it sounded a bit like a song again lol it is an interesting sound.

Memorial to our courageous dead.

Memorial to our courageous dead.

Parliament building and a pretty fountain.

Parliament building and a pretty fountain.

The harbour - those tent tops and the crowds of people are the dragon boat festival.

The harbour – those tent tops and the crowds of people are the dragon boat festival.

hitchBOT!

hitchBOT!

We came across hitchBOT lounging on the sidewalk! When I first heard about his journey across Canada I so badly wanted to come across him and yay! I actually did! He managed to hitchhike from Halifax to Victoria in three weeks. πŸ™‚ People had written happy messages on him and attached cute little magnets to his chest, magnets of Canadian flags etc, to show where he had been. I’m so glad he made it lol I was kinda worried for him. Here is his website link if you are interested in learning more about him http://www.hitchbot.me

This statue is called The Homecoming and commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Navy

This statue is called The Homecoming and commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Navy

This random building that  I like the look of lol

This random building that I like the look of lol

So there we go, that is my weekend in a nutshell. πŸ™‚ I would like to go back for 2-3 days as a mini vacation and actually have lots of time to wander and do things. It’s great travelling places when racing but you don’t have a lot of time to play tourist ya know? So I’m thinking maybe next summer going over on my days off and seeing what I can see as well as go off and have some adventures.

Had an awesome time, lots of fun memories and I am so glad I was able to go. πŸ˜€

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