Friday, 10 June 2011


My friend Leigh recently passed her driving test and has been driving between home and college, home and work, and home to friends. She's never really stepped outside her comfort zone... Until today! We went on a magical mystical adventure to Wales! It was a spare of the moment day because now we both have wednesdays free.

Off we go!

Firstly we drove off into Wales from Leigh's house on the Wirral, singing along to the sounds of the radio and laughing at other drivers. Being kind of late morning on a wednesday there was next to no traffic so it was a pretty decent drive. The weather was being insane, one minute boiling and sunny, then sudden showers. Not helped by Leigh's car Bugsy being a heat box anyway because the heater is stuck on hot, more on that later. 

Look at the weird clouds

After not that long we hit proper countryside and began practicing our welsh accents, it was proper lush it was. We where heading for Ruskin as we decided to go there for tea. We drove about some time back and beyond lanes because the TomTom seemed to be a little erratic but that was fine with us. There where some road works here and there so it was a little dicey on mountains with Bugsys' clutch so a lot of screaming was involved. 

Excuse the state of my hair & make up I'd slept at Leigh's the night before 

We managed to get to Ruskin in one piece thankfully. I'm so glad we did because oh my gosh it was cute. It had sweet little stone buildings and arches and the castle is absolutely stunning. Gush. Leighs Granddad had taken her there once so she wanted to show me because she knew I'd love it.

Look at that marble Lion. 

Inside is a amazing hotel that is beyond is very classically done. It even has a zebra head in the foyer. To be honest Leigh and I looked like Trust Fund kids on a day out, everyone else there was at least forty and rich. We are two college students on a day out, but it was like twelve o'clock on wednesday so we looked like it was the most natural thing in the world.  Inside was so traditionally decorated, the castle dates back to the eighteenth century. We had a long chitter chat about our lives in plush leather chairs and admired our surroundings, sipping tea... and admiring the pretty bell boy. 

Spontaneous Ostentation 

After out tea we left Ruskin and headed to the horseshoe pass, its an amazing drive through stunning countryside. Up the side of mountains and dipping into valleys amazing ear popping fun. The radio cut out and the only station we could find was a classical one, it fitted oddly well to the surroundings...  We also drove past this destroyed abbey, which we stopped to take a picture of, we hadn't seen another car for about half an hour. 

We got to the horseshoe pass and stopped at a cafe that shows you a really good view of the mountains and the roads. It was ridiculously windy but well worth the stop. Just look at these pictures, the little windy one track road was the original horseshoe pass. 

We then actually drove up the horseshoe pass, Leigh squealed about heights a few times. I took a picture of a sheep! because thats what wales is for to be perfectly honest. The mountains are unbelievable, it was insane to think we live so close to somewhere so beautiful that we can visit on a whim. Its really inspired me to knuckle down and pass my test so I can have that freedom. 

After the horseshoe pass we headed towards Langollen, to go to The Chain Bridge Hotel which is a little hidden away hotel that over looks the Langollen Railway and a river. It is very cute. To get there you have to drive down a tiny road thats next to a river, we where a bit scared of falling in when leigh moved over for some walkers.  We got there alive, parked up and went for lunch.  Looking at these out
the window.

That's the river

We ate a loverly tasty lunch of burgers and salad. We chatted and laughed generally, generally had a great time. Outside the weather had become very sunny, we look at the unusual bridge and cheeped at ducks in the river. 

 Then left intending to go to Langollen town, but we somehow missed the parking and drove straight out the other side. Which was alright we had a fun drive through the middle of no where and started to head for home. 

Went we finally found the motor way, we managed to get another radio station and found a channel to sing a long too. About half an hour onto the motor way though, Bugsy was getting decidedly toasty... Driving along with the windows wound down keeping the cabin cool, then it started to drizzle so we had to close the windows. Within about ten minuets we where boiling. Then the weird noise started so we pulled over at a side road.  Popped the hood and had a look see. The coolant was down to just above minimum and so was the oil. eek.

Luckily we made it home, once Bugsy had cooled down. Once we got to leighs we played mechanics, we didn't even ask one of the boys down the road for help getting the oil cap off. Aren't we grown up.
Leigh then drove me to the train station and he sounded much better. Hopefully he won't die to soon. All in all it was a fab-a-lass day. 

Belinda Stepford

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