Europe 09: Day 5 - Hay on Wye to Bala

October 31, 2009 | Leave your thoughts

Tuesday was my big driving day which I was a little anxious about… But it turned out to be perhaps the very best solo day in the trip. Certainly the best weather – stunning.
A very special breakfast – my first cooked breakfast in a gorgeous private B&B with amazing hosts and lovely fellow guests. Morning tea could have been better but was nice sitting in the sun.

More about Mary Jones in the detail….
(Once again – Don’t forget to see the combos in a larger size – click on photo)

The afternoon was special – amazing castle that I just HAD to draw, light bulb moment realising that I can draw a plan from a signboard on location in rapid pace plus it increases my knowledge and appreciation of the place (especially if it is a ruin).

As an architect achieving this type of discovery of a place is as important as understanding all the history – unfortunately I often don’t feel like reading at the time and it is only when I get home and am in the process of putting together my photo album that I properly read up on a place and regret that I missed something special….but if I reach this architectural appreciation I am satisfied and have a suitable buzz at the time. Of course, sketching is the best way for getting that travel buzz that we all expect to experience at every sight! I am rambling – not sure if I am making sense!

The day end in style – the most stylish (and expensive) accommodation of the trip and also I had dinner with a wonderful English who actually shouted me! Wow!!!! How nice!! Thankfully I had a spare copy of my Blurb book so I was able to give them a thankyou gift!

I think that I should post my first sketch of the full cooked breakfast… More cake and tea with a architectural sketch. I could do this every day!?! (stay tuned to see if I did in fact do this every day on my trip!?!?)

The story of Mary Jones and how she saved up for years and then walked 25 miles for a bible was something I grew up with. I had no idea that the valley in which she lived or the route she walked was so spectacular. It was also incredibly quiet. The village church was deserted and I felt a little weird going into it on my own and then I walked from the church to the remains of my home without seeing a soul. Really quick loose and wet landscape sketch and then a more careful one at the monument – was fun to write out the Welsh as well.


Special historic moment for the trip! Looking forward to re-reading the book this weekend (I read it the Sunday before I left)

A quick stop at a ruined castle on the way (for a few photos… Was what I told myself) turned out to be a ‘I must sketch this’ moment. This certainly didn’t do it justice – totally spectacular! i really wished I had more time to spend sketching… every sketch in my Welsh week seemed rushed -” maybe when I get to Scotland I can slow down” I was saying to myself….

By the way this is still on the Mary Jones route – would love to come back with some friends and walk this! Cadair Idris is a majestic shaped mountain from this angle.

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