Back to the travelogue for day 14 of #blogjune…
Croeso y Cymru, Welcome to Wales
It’s amazing isn’t it how a one hour flight can transport you to a totally different environment, not just geographically, but in feeling and spirit as well.
As we boarded our little KLM 737 for the short flight from Amsterdam to Manchester I was trying to enjoy the last minutes of our short stay in the Netherlands, which I’d come to love so quickly. We’d bought our last “Old Amsterdam” cheese sandwiches at the supermarket at Schipol Airport and we ate them while waiting to board. We needn’t have bothered really – we got another cheese sandwich on the flight.
Manchester – the airport at least – was so different to Amsterdam. The people seemed somehow very sad. Even the immigration and security staff at Amsterdam were cheerful and quirky but at Manchester they were just grumpy. I bought a bottle of water in the depressing airport shop and we fled as quickly as we could.
We picked up our hire car and got upgraded to an Audi which I regretted almost as soon as we drove out of the car hire place. In fact I accidentally almost drove straight back in after getting confused at the first roundabout. I only drive a small car at home and this was like driving your lounge room around.
Pretty soon we were in Wales with Welsh language road signs and drivers speeding past us along the North Wales motorway as we headed along the coast. Turning south at the town I was born in and heading through the mountains of Snowdonia, the roads were narrow and winding, lined with slate walls. In the rear view mirror I could see a line of frustrated local drivers stuck behind me as I stuck to the speed limit – people drive fast around here but I was frankly a little bit terrified in the huge Audi, especially after the heavy rains started making the dark skies even darker.
We found our way to Porthmadog and a Tesco supermarket where we stocked up on provisions for our cottage. At least I now know how to say “Baked Beans” in Welsh.