Martin's Blog

from a Slovenian living in Wales

Tag: Wales (page 1 of 2)

Cwm Gwesyn and the Llyn Brianne reservoir

This is marked as the toughest walk in the Brecon Becons & South Wales book and it turned out to be living up to its name. The most difficult part was trying to not get lost on Bryn Rhudd at the same time as not loosing interest in the walk as well. The views on there are almost desert-like, nothing but dried grass and boggy moors. Even the sheep are sensible enough not to stray that far from the valleys.

The day of the walk also happened to be the hottest day so far in 2010 and the humidity was excruciating. Despite it still not being a complete sunny day I managed to rack up quite a nasty sunburn and don’t forget we are talking about Wales of all places – go figure 🙂

This walk also takes you to some very remote areas of Wales and in the 6h 20min it took me to walk it I didn’t see a single person until reaching the Glangwesyn farm when I asked for directions.

After the walk I took a drive in my car up through the valleys of the man-made Llyn Brianne reservoir that was completed in 1972 so the same young age as I. Some nice views there so definitely recommended!
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Wales prepovedal elektronske ovratnike za pse in mačke

Welsh Assembly GovernmentV sredo, 24. marca 2010 je v Walesu v veljavo stopil pravilnik Valežanske Skupščinske Vlade (Welsh Assembly Government), ki prepoveduje uporabo elektronskih (električnih) ovratnikov pri psih in mačkah.

Ti ovratniki se v večini primerov uporabljajo za odpravljanje neželenih vedenjskih navad pri psih. V skupščinski debati so utemeljili pravilnik s tem, da so ti ovratniki nepotrebno mučenje živali in pogosto ostanejo orodje lenih in brezbrižnih lastnikov, ki ne znajo odpravljati neželenih navad pri svojih hišnih ljubljencih na noben drug način.

Storilca, ki krši ta pravilnik lahko doleti zapor do 1 leta (51 tednov) in/ali denarna kazen do £5.000 (~€5.700)

Wales je prva država/pokrajina znotraj Velike Britanije, ki je uvedla takšno prepoved. Organizacije, ki se borijo za zaščito živali, se zavzemajo za takšno prepoved v celotni Britaniji.

That these collars are no gentle persuasion tools can be discovered by watching people trying them on themselves. In this video the guy tests it on himself and it starts at about 3.30 min, but you can watch the whole thing, I don’t care. This other video is shorter and its tested by a girl.

Both the above videos are actually very funny as they are done under consent, but it does have a serious back tone as dogs probably wouldn’t be so prepared to wear them.

Aja, pardon, sem šele zdaj opazil, da sem gornji del začel pisat v angleščini. Se mi ne ljubi zdej spreminjat.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9fQq3CuXro#t=3m29s
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sq996M-zgvU

Elan valley, Snowdonia and the longest place name in Europe

Here are just some of the best photos from the trip.
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Woody Pines in Cardigan

Woody Pines (woodypines.com)

What a great night. Never though I would like country & western music. Funny thing to hear it in the heart of Wales.

The guys played great and made a great atmosphere despite the hall not being completely full.

As a fellow guitarist I was impressed and did appreciate how quickly the vocalist and guitarist Woody recovered from a broken guitar string.

By the way, I thought the name of the band “Woody Pines” came from an association with the local North Carolina forests. In fact that is the name of the apparent leader of the group Woody (last name Pines, of course).

They are currently touring Scotland and they come very warmly recommended!

http://woodypines.com/

http://www.myspace.com/woodypines

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Pembrokeshire snow in January 2010

Had a big snowstorm last night that covered Pembrokeshire with a bit of snow. These photos taken from a hike up to the highest peak in the Preseli hillsFoel Cwmcerwyn. Very windy at the top!
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Zadenite valežansko gostilno za 20 funtov

Danes, 30. septembra 2009, se izteče rok za oddajo vlog za gostilniški netačaj, kjer je glavna in edina nagrada – gostilna sama. Cena za vstop v natečaj je bilo 20 funtov in število sprejetih vlog je omejeno na 30.000.

Kot rečeno bo zmagovalec natečaja postal lastnik gostilne The Plash Inn & Brewery Cottage, ki se nahaja v majceni vasici Llanfallteg v Carmarthenshire-ju v Walesu. Skupna vrednost celotnega objekta je 300.000 funtov. Če torej prodajo vse karte potem bi lahko trenutni lastniki lahko dobili celo dvakratno vrednost nepremičnine. Število kart, ki jih je lahko kupil posameznik, ni bilo omejeno in tako si je lahko vsak še povečal možnost za zmago.

Več na www.winapubinwales.co.uk

Posodobitev:

Gostilno je zadel g. Borley iz mesta Swansea.

Snemanje Robina Hooda – od daleč

P6230013V mesecu juniju 2009 so pričeli nedaleč od tod s snemanjem naslednje filmske upodobitve princa tatov – Robina Hooda.

Lokacija, kjer poteka snemanje, se imenuje Freshwater West in gre za eno lepših plaž v Pembrokeshire-ju in Wales-u nasploh. Tu so pejšnji mesec celo snemali naslednji film o Harryu Potterju. Produkcija za Robina Hooda pa je precej večja in vključuje veliko več ljudi in opreme. Pred tedni so imeli v bližnji dvorani avdicijo za statiste in prijaviti se jih je hotelo veliko več, kolikor je bilo mest na voljo.

Ker je produkcija tega filma tako velika, so uspeli pri občini (izraz občina upoorabljam kot nadomestilo za county council, v tem konkretnem primeru Pembrokeshire County Council) dobiti dovoljenje za dvotedensko zaprtje lokalne ceste, ki poteka mimo plaže, kjer se bo snemalo največ prizorov. Očitno prihaja do manjših zamud, saj so morali zaprositi za podaljšanje tega dovoljenja za nekaj dni.

Sam sem bil priča snemanju prejšnji torek. Čeprav so govorili, da bo plaža odprta za javnost, to skoraj ni bilo mogoče realizirati, saj je med snemanjem tam ogromno opreme in statistov, tako da do plaže sploh nisi mogel, je bila pa odprta pot ob plaži in ima tudi posebno ime – Pembrokeshire coastal path. Na njej je bilo kar nekaj opazovalcev in fotografov, ki so opazovali dogajanje med snemanjem. Očitno so se pripravljali na snemanje spopadom med nekakšno srednjeveško pehoto s sulicami in konjenico. Stal sem ravno nad severnim delom plaže, kjer so ravno takrat počivali konji z jezdeci. Na sliki se prav dobro vidi, da so precej izmučeni in da se jim kaj dosti ne da. Ko jih je šef začel klicati naj grejo na konje, jih je moral včkrat nadreti naj že spravijo riti na sedla in odsmrdijo do snemališča.

Sredi zaliva pred Freshwater West plažo je bilo kar nekaj plovil, nekateri v stilu robinhoodovskih časov (baje) in nekateri malo bolj današnji. No, iz enega iz slednje skupine se je vsake toliko časa izpustil gost oblak dima – verjetno je šlo za posebno meglo, ki jo uporabljajo za snemanje. Ta megla se je najprej razprostrla preko zaliva in potem še naprej na celino in prav čudno je smrdela.

P6230029Tik pred snemanjem se je potem pojavil še helikopter za katerega sem najprej sumil, da je pripeljal glavne zvezde – najverjetneje pa je bil uporabljen samo za snemanje – na nosu je imel namreč namontirano ogromno okroglo belo ohišje s kamero v njej. Ko snemanja ni bilo, je šel začasno “parkirat” na bližnji hrib. Takoj, ko se je snemanje nadaljevalo, je zopet zaštartal motorje in nadaljeval delo. Meni je bilo vse skupaj precej zanimivo, ker še nikoli nisem bil na prizorišču snemanja filma, kaj šele za snemanje tako velikega holivudskega filma. Bi bilo kar kul, če bi me spustili na plažo, da bi si zadevo bolje ogledal in kaj poslikal – avtogram Russel-a Crowe-a me namreč niti malo ne interesira.

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Na trenutke je bilo dogajanje na plaži kar gledljivo, prav kamlu pa se mi je začelo dolgočasit. Prav hecno pa je bilo gledati eno prvih vaj pri spopadu prej omenjene pehote in konjenice. Ko se je režiser zadrl “Action” in ko so planili eni proti drugim, se je režiser kmalu zadrl “Cut”. Statisti so bili očitno toliko zagreti ali pa so začasno oglušeli, da so nadaljevali z bitko, tako da se je moral režiser še večkrat zadreti Rez …  rez, da so končno prenehali s klofanjem. Fotograf, ki je spremljaj dogajanje mi je povedal, da gre za igralce rugbija, ki so bili precej zagreti za dober “fajt”.

Na koncu sem si še mimogrede ogledal prizorišče snemanja, ki naj bi še prišlo na vrsto – ob plaži, nad plitvimi pečinami, so postavili nekakšne manjše enostavne koče.

Na dan pa že curljajo novice iz samega snemanja. Čisto slučajno se je kolegičina mama uspela slikati z glavnim igralcem Russelom Crowom. Sem pa iz zanesljivih virov izvedel, da je nek statist, ki je bil zaposlen kot veslač v filmu, stopil do Russel-a in ga poprosil za fotografiranje ali avtogram. Russel mu je obljubil, da ni problema in se lahko zmenita, ko pride nazaj. No, nazaj je prišel le nek asistent , ki je tipu (veslaču) zabičal, naj ne nadleguje glavnega igralca in naj se pod nosom obriše za fotografijo in avtogram. Pijar, da mu ni para.

View towards the south. You can see a tractor "combing" the sand next to the wood stacks

View towards the south. You can see a tractor “combing” the sand next to the wood stacks

Slišal sem tudi za novico, da se je pri snemanju prevrnila barka na kateri so bili konji z jezdeci. Kar nekaj jih je bilo pripeljano v lokalno urgenco. Konjem, po poročilih, ni bilo nič hudega. So pa imeli še eno težavo, ko so spet druge barke pri snemanju, nasedle na mivko. Pri tem je prišlo do hujših težav s posebnimi motorji Mercury Verado saj so se ti, kljub mehki mivki, poškodovali. Poklicati so morali neko lokalno podjetje, ki je zastopnik za te motorje, da so zadevo rešili.

Snemanje bo potekalo še kar nekaj dni in na dan bo, prav gotovo, prišlo še kar nekaj zanimivosti.

Ogled galerije.

Trekking the hills of Snowdon

snowdon_01

Ever since I moved to Wales 2 years ago I had a quiet wish to climb the highest peak in this country – Snowdon. Last weekend was showing to be a perfect opportunity to fulfil that wish. I was working only till 12 pm and the forecast was for sunshine and high temperatures stretching way into the following week. Getting some good literature, so you know what your are doing, is very advisable.

View from Garnedd Ugain: to the right is Snowdon and to the left is Y Lliwedd with its three peaks ) from left Lliwedd Bach, East peak and West peak. Any similarities with Triglav are strictly coincidental :-)

View from Garnedd Ugain: to the right is Snowdon and to the left is Y Lliwedd with its three peaks ) from left Lliwedd Bach, East peak and West peak. Any similarities with Triglav are strictly coincidental 🙂

If you are based in southwest Wales it is a good idea to head up there on the day before you are climbing as the road trip takes you over three hours. There are no motorways or even dual carriageways between the south and north parts of Wales! Instead of going for a more expensive option of a hotel or B&B (the decision to go to Snowdon was make pretty late and the hotel accommodations were either not available or very pricey) I opted for a campsite. The last camping I did was for a skydiving tournament that was held in my “home” DZ in Prečna near Novo mesto a few years back and I was a bit worried I might forget to bring along something essential. Hold that thought.

See the full photo gallery here.

There was a slight snag with camping in this part of Wales. I looked at the weather forecast and the low day temperatures were very, very close to freezing – and I mean 0° or 1°C. This was the forecast for Llanberris. So instead I went for campsites a bit closer to the sea and, of course, the warmth. I found one close to the town of Penrhyndeudraeth called Barcdy. Would recomend it, but it is a bit more pricey then others: it cost £10/person/night for a tent – other campsites were around £6 or £7. The additional problem you might have to contend with is kids – there was a family that came to the camp after me and they put up their tent right next to mine and, you guessed it, had a bunch of very noisy kids with them. Don’t seem to be a big fan of them, but would maybe feel different, if they were mine – and I stress – MAYBE ;-).

Continue reading

Freshwater West meets Harry Potter and Robin Hood

Freshwater West beach in Pembrokeshire

Freshwater West beach in Pembrokeshire

Of course not literally, but it was published today in the local newspaper that the Freshwater West (the location of one of my recent trecks: The difference is in the Angle) will be used as a filming location for the upcoming movies Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood remake.

The debate is now mostly concerning whether the beach will still be opened to the public and when the road will be closed during the filming in May and June 2009. The biggest problem I see is that there isn’t much parking available close to the beach anyway so I suppose that is why they will shut the road off.

See the gallery from the hike here and here are some photos taken of the beach…

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The difference is in the Angle

I am convinced you everyone will see the huge difference in the views you see on the north side of the peninsula, compared to the south – while on the north side you see the beautiful town of Angle, but then as you move further along you are met with the view of all the petroleum and gas industries in the area with their huge piers and tall chimneys. And as you continue to the south part of the peninsula all that you can see is the vast ocean.

The Chevron oil refinery

The Chevron oil refinery

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A small guard fort, probably from Napoleonic times. St. Ann’s head in the distance on the right

The walk started on a very sunny day with hardly a cloud in the sky. As it was Easter Sunday I was better off arriving early as the crowds of tourists were soon to follow. Luckily only the beach parking area and Freshwater West beach were busy, the rest of the path not so much as people opted not move more than 500 metres from their cars.

The tower house in Angle

The tower house in Angle

OK, so I don’t forget to mention this. It is about a reference in the hiking book to a  “leafy lane” – word of warning – the trees above are covered with nests and you would probably want to avoid the poo projectiles coming from the heavens. I also advise changing the path a little bit in the town of Angle by continuing pass the church on the right and turning right on a path through the playground, which, on the other side, continues towards an old guard tower.

As you continue on the coastal path you get the opportunity to have good look of the new LNG South Hook gas terminal – it recently had its first shipment of gas from Qatar and I heard the tanker that was docked in front of the terminal was spectacular.

The more exhausting part of the route is from West Angle beach to Freshwater West, there are many valleys to climb down and just as many to climb up from. A good idea is to pace yourself, especially on the ascent.

Have a look at the photo gallery but the photos, as usual, do not do the »live« views justice.

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