Almost every summer we spend two weeks in Britain or Ireland. This year we decided to travel to North Wales, as we have never been to that area. From the continent, France, Germany, Belgium or The Netherlands, it is easy to travel to Great Britain by car. Since the 1990s you can cross the Channel between France and England through the CHANNEL TUNNEL. From Germany we drive to Calais, France, and at the tunnel station drive our car onto a train. During the crossing, which takes 35 minutes, you can either sit in your car or stand next to it. It is unbelievable how fast you can get to Britain through the tunnel. However, Wales is in the west of Britain, and it takes about four or five hours to get from Folkstone, where you leave the tunnel, to North Wales.
We stayed in a cottage close to the Snowdonia National Park and had an unexpected period of warm and dry weather.
Because of the wet climate, the countryside is lush and green. Hydrangeas grow wild along the creek.
The highlights of our holidays were visits to a National Trust Garden (pictured below) and a well preserved Tudor House in Conwy (pictures to follow in
The beautiful garden, called Bodnant Garden, is run by the National Trust. Before the Trust took over, the garden and park belonged to Bodnant Estate. You can see the impressive Victorian conservatory of the old manor house.
The garden is on several levels, each with different layouts and plants.
Centrepiece is a beautiful old building at the pond with red water lilies.
There are many formal parts of the garden with large expanses of lawn and shrubs, and also an outstanding rose garden, beds with summer flowers, an old mill and a garden with a stream, waterfall and arboretum.
Because of the mild and wet climate you may think you are in Italy. No signs
tell visitors to keep away from the expansive lawns, and you're invited to play croquet or bring along a picnic lunch.
After spending hours in the garden we all agreed that this was the most
beautiful one we have ever visited.
Maria & Dieter
We are a German couple living near the romantic Rhine valley and the cities of Cologne and Bonn in Germany. Three years ago we met Susan through the internet and have become great friends. We have so much in common and share a passion for antiques, good food and traveling, that it is fun to meet and do things together. Over the last 3 years we have met Susan and her sister Eileen in Paris, Germany and the USA. We are already planning our next trips to Provence and Prague and Dieter and I feel honored to provide photos, comments, reports and recipes from Europe to Susan and Eileen's blog.