View across the valley

A walk up Snowdon

It’s taken four years, but finally I made it to the top of Snowdon. It was supposed to be a training ground for my Everest Base Camp trek back in 2011 but somehow my friends and I were not able to get a date in the diary until now. This was back in April so lambs and daffodils were out in force

While there are many paths to the Mount Snowdon, we decided to hike up the Snowdon Ranger Path, an eight-mile round trip from the Snowdon Ranger YHA and one of the oldest routes to the summit . The self-proclaimed ‘Snowdon Ranger’ John Morton used this path to take Victorian visitors to the summit. It’s a fairly easy hike to the top, however the views were not spectacular until you hit the top and you get a great view of Snowdonia.

We also visited the village of Beddgelert and walked by the river to the grave of Gelert the dog. Legend has it that back in the 13th century,  Llewlyen, Prince of North Wales returned after a hunt and saw his dog covered in blood, an empty cot where his son should have been, and blood stained bedsheets. Thinking the dog had eaten him, Llewlyen drove his sword through his pet, only to hear the wail of his son. It is said the prince was filled with such remorse, he never smiled again.

I wouldn’t like to leave on a sad story, so as ever, here’s a selection of photos of our trip.

Photos taken with the Lumix GX 7.

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Dressed to impress 3

Jack in the Green 2015

May Day has been celebrated in the UK since the times of old and it’s no different in the Sussex coastal town of Hastings.  Every year the Old Town is awash with green to welcome in the start of summer. Jack in the Green has it’s roots in the 16th and 17th century. To celebrate May Day, people would compete to see who would make the most elaborate garland until, by the 18th century, garlands created by chimney sweeps covered an entire person and thus Jack in the Green was born.

The straight-laced Victorians soon put a stop to the May Day drunken shenanigans. A law was also passed which banned boys becoming chimney sweeps and gave Jack in the Green the death knell in 1889. It was revived in the 80’s by the Mad Jacks Morris Dancers and now groups from across the UK come annually to help the town continue it’s tradition.

The celebrations are a four-day affair, starting on the Friday and ending in a procession that sees Jack being stripped of his leaves on the Monday, with morris dancing and drinking in between. It’s said that if you manage to grab some leaves off Jack, you’ll get good luck for the rest of the year. Unfortunately, I only managed to get down for the last day when everyone was waiting for Jack to appear. I also didn’t get any leaves this year either. I hope I’m not doomed for the rest of 2015!