We’re back from our weekend trip to Wales! It’s hard to believe this was our last group trip of the semester! Unfortunately, Libby was unable to attend the trip with us because she suffered a concussion earlier in the week. Luckily, her boyfriend and fellow Luther student is studying in London this year, so he was able to stay with her while we were away. With Libby in good hands, we set off to explore another U.K. country!
After sitting in a long traffic jam on Friday, we finally made it to our hostel in Conwy, Wales. This screwed up our dinner plans, so we ended up at a bistro for an unexpected but delicious dinner! We were all very tired from our long day of travel, so we turned in early that night.
On Saturday we woke up early for a morning hike with our program director, Kathy. We trekked through a muddy field on a public footpath and ascended a hill where we were able to see stunning views of the coast. There were also wild ponies!
After breakfast we visited Conwy Castle. The castle was built between 1283 and 1289 by Edward I during his conquest of Wales. It was built as part of an effort to seize Northern Wales and display English power. It is now a UNESCO world heritage site.
We left Conwy and headed towards Snowdonia National Park where we went on a beautiful hike to up to a lake. We spent some time enjoying nature and exploring before heading back down to our bus. On our drive to our nearby hostel we saw tons beautiful scenery and rainbows. It was hard to believe we were still so close to England!
On Sunday we took a tour of a Welsh slate mine. Slate mining was one of the most profitable industries in Northern Wales during the Victorian era. Conditions in the mines were very poor, and miners were paid very little. Slate mining continues today, though not nearly to the extent that it was during the 19th century.
We had a great weekend exploring another U.K. country; many of us hope to return to Wales someday. Now we’re looking ahead to the rest of the semester and our independent travels.