We left the caravan park in north Wales on a Saturday morning, after a wonderful family reunion and holiday at Hafan Y Mor Holiday Park, taking the whole day to drive to Cardiff in south Wales.
There were no three lane motorways, just single lanes of traffic, flowing in both directions, the whole drive. It felt like driving in New Zealand all over again. The road twisted and turned, over hills and into valleys, with beautiful scenery the whole way.
Our three daughters happily whiled away the time, playing ‘I Spy’ and ‘Who can spot a cow first’ etc. etc… whilst I gazed longingly at the scenery, wishing I had weeks to walk over the hills and explore the national parks of Snowdonia and the Breacon Beacons.
I sat in the back, sandwiched between our two youngest daughters, whilst our eldest daughter had the ‘sane’ seat next to her Daddy. Thankfully they didn’t eat too much candy!!
I snapped a photograph from the back seat, as we dipped down a steep road, and it looked more like we were taking off in a plane than driving on a road.
After a while our tummies started to grumble for something with more sustenance than travel sweets (and extra sugar was the last thing anyone needed), so we found a lovely pub to stop at for lunch (cue expat nostalgic *sigh*; probably the thing I miss most when away from the UK is a decent pub).
We lingered to enjoy a game of cards and a brief try at darts (didn’t stay long enough to do any real damage!).
Back on the road, we headed further south, towards the beautiful Breacon Beacons (memories of my old hiking days in my late teenage years drifting back… mostly stories of getting lost, narrowly escaping a pack of farm dogs and eating nothing much more than baked beans for a few days!).
I quietly vowed to myself that I’d return and walk these hills again – but with a bit of extra cash in my pocket for a decent meal in a pub every night, rather than baked beans over a camp-fire!
Before long we needed to stop again. Everyone needed to stretch their legs, be free of the confined space in the car, and listen to something other than our eldest daughter singing (she was fine, with her headphones firmly placed over her ears).
We found a field, a playground and a Mr Whippy Ice Cream Van (cue more nostalgia for my childhood days of hearing the melodic sound of the ice cream van visiting our street).
After a play, a little walk around to observe some fish and ducks (without dunking any children in the canal), we piled back in the car for our final part of the drive.
We arrived in Cardiff early evening, with time for a dip in the hotel swimming pool before dinner.
Since we only had one night in Cardiff, before travelling on Sunday afternoon down to Hampshire to stay with my dear folks, we decided to stay at a hotel in prime position, ‘The St. David’s Hotel & Spa‘, on the beautifully regenerated docklands, now known as ‘The Cardiff Bay‘. The view from our hotel window was lovely.
That evening we took a stroll along the waterfront, which was buzzing with life on a summery Saturday evening. We were delighted to come across a fair-ground – which we were told was there for six weeks over the holiday period. We had a lovely time, enjoying the ‘old-fashioned’ feel of a fair-ground (without the Disney paraphernalia!).
Loved seeing a helter skelter – it’s been a while since we’d seen one! Our eldest isn’t a fan of slides, so gave it a miss, our middle daughter loved it (wild child!) and our youngest gave it a go – but once was enough!
After a few more rides we headed back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep.
The next day hubby and I headed off in different directions. Our eldest is HUGE fan of Doctor Who and our main reason for a stop off in Cardiff was so she could visit the Doctor Who Experience.
I would have loved it too – but it would have been too scary for the younger children.
Whilst hubby, and our eldest, enjoyed Doctor Who, I took the other two girls along to a cool hands on science discovery centre – TechniQuest.
TechniQuest was heaps of fun and had an array of science activities.
We enjoyed a couple of hours exploring before heading back to the hotel for a swim and meet up with hubby and our oldest daughter.
In the afternoon we bid Wales farewell and hit the road for England. Crossing the Severn Bridge brought back so many memories. As a child I would travel from Hampshire, England, to Penarth, in South Wales, about once every six weeks, to visit my dear grandparents. As I crossed the bridge, with my own children, I told them stories of my car journeys with my sister and parents – of course in those days there were no seat belts and car seats. So many memories and it felt good to be travelling the same roads with my own children, making new ones along the way.
Linking up with ‘Country Kids‘ with this post (not that we did too many outdoor activities – but we definitely covered a lot of countryside!). Go visit the lovely Coombe Mill, based in Cornwall, and read all the other lovely bloggers that enjoy outdoor adventures with their children and families.