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Journey in Wales

Hello folks. Thanks for visiting my travel page!

The goal here is to write an entry every few days, not just meaningless entries for the sake of entries but actual material that won't bore to read. Hopefully, I can supply entertaining travel tales along the way.

Please feel free to leave a message.

Sit back, relax and the adventure begins...

Diary Entries

Thursday, 13 July 2006

Wow, July 13th and for the wrap up entry. I have been home and working at camp for over a month now. Its strange how quickly I adapted to a new setting and left everything behind. I dont feel I totally realise or appreciate the opportunities I was granted the past year of my life. Now that I am deep into camp life it all just feels like a dream. I have so many people to thank and met many people that I truly admire. I am so lucky.

This adventure has taught me that anything truly is possible if the vision and passion are there. There are already "plans" in the works for the next one, although we should live everyday has an adventure. Go for it and dont worry how.

Thanks for following my tales from wales. Those of you in Canada I look forward to seeing you and chatting with you over the summer and into the fall. Those in my second home I miss you and think about you everyday, cheers for all the memories we created.

Friday, 09 June 2006

Wow, July 13th and for the wrap up entry. I have been home and working at camp for over a month now. Its strange how quickly I adapted to a new setting and left everything behind. I dont feel I totally realise or appreciate the opportunities I was granted the past year of my life. Now that I am deep into camp life it all just feels like a dream. I have so many people to thank and met many people that I truly admire. I am so lucky.

This adventure has taught me that anything truly is possible if the vision and passion are there. There are already "plans" in the works for the next one, although we should live everyday has an adventure. Go for it and dont worry how.

Thanks for following my tales from wales. Those of you in Canada I look forward to seeing you and chatting with you over the summer and into the fall. Those in my second home I miss you and think about you everyday, cheers for all the memories we created.

Sunday, 21 May 2006

Hi again!

Wow you say two entries in such a short time. Well, I respond... I find it easier to write about every day life then to sum up such surreal and amazing emotions and experiences involved with traveling.

Its been raining for five days now, suppose to rain a lot more before it stops. I miss the sunshine that we were so blessed with a few weeks back. Although it is good for revision purposes I am not tempted to take the books down to the beach, I am sure you can all imagine how productive that is. But, I just want to go for a run and stay dry.

Today's goal involved learning heck loads about urban and economic issues. I believe myself to be 'up' on these issues so I am hoping it will go smoothly and I will get everything accomplished that I am hoping. The exam is on Wednesday morning which is worth 100% of my grade and I hate the feeling of panic when it comes to exams. I also have sports psychology on Tuesday morning and still have quite a bit to learn for that. But there is a plan being planned out so everything will get done and I know that, but I feel pressure in my stomach doubting my plan. I have already been awake for four hours making notes and reading!

Last night I went to a Tapes bar with my friend Laurel and her flat mates, for Laurel's birthday. It was a really good night, although the red wine and sangria and not doing much for my epic study day. Laurel is one of the girls I traveled to Italy with, she is exceptional we clicked straight away and have so much in common. She studies International Development and is so passionate about many issues. She has decided that she doesn’t want a career in this field but wants to work with children who have disabilities. We both want to do something to The long and short of the story is that we came up with a promise that in the next few years of our life, after we get our lives sorted we will travel to India, Nepal and Tibet to do volunteer work in the environment and social justice sector. I just love when connections happen like that, its so refreshing.

I'll get to it now. Love you all!

Friday, 19 May 2006

Howdy folks!

I am well into m exam period now, two under my belt four to go!
I wrote Biomechanics and Motor Learning this week and have Sport Psychology and Urban/Economic Issues next week and then finish up with Exercise Metabolism and Medical Imaging on the final week. The first two went as I expected, I have always struggled with math and physics so I struggled with that course but feel I did the best to my ability. I am really enjoying the revising for sport psychology, I find it so interesting... perhaps i will study it further some day.

I suddenly realised how little time I have left here last night. Then, I started thinking about everything I have done this year, wow I have gotten around! In hindsight, I am disappointed that I never made it to North Wales to have a go at the mountains up there, considering that was one of the reasons I chose to come to this country. I shouldn't focus on what I didnt do and think about all that I did. In the end I am just grateful of being able to have the experience to go to uni in a different country.

Can I just say... Go Edmonton Oilers!

Back to the books. May good luck be with you. It surely has been with me.

Tuesday, 02 May 2006

Where to start...

The weather her in Wales has been really niced mixed with spontaneous rain showers, but thats Wales. The sunny days make it perfect for going to the beach (which is 5 min walk from my uni).

I really cant believe how quickly this year has gone. Some days seemed to drag on but weeks flew by.

Last weekend, monday being a bank holiday, Kath took me to her house for the weekend. Kath lives in Droitwich, which is close to Birmingham. We drove up to Stratford and spent the day there. We saw where Shakespare was born, I took Kath for a row on the River Avon, we went to a cute pub and ended the night at a play. Bless Kath, she went through all the trouble of getting us tickets in advance for Othello, but has we were standing in line, she said" Jen, look at your ticket...", the play ended up to be in German with English subtitles (which went along the top of the stage). It was pretty funny, but in the end it made the play more moving because you really had to pay attention to who the characters were well reading what they were saying. In the end I really enjoyed it. On the Sunday Kath drove me up to Nottingham where the national watersports centre is. I was competing with Swansea at the British University Rowing Championships. It was a laugh, but we didnt do too well. There were 69 boats in the time trials and the top 24 advanced to the semis. We came 25th by 1 second. On a postiive note it was really good to see the facility they have there in Nottingham, very impressive, they have a man built white water course and I have heard it is where the 2012 Olympics games will be. After that Kath;s mom made the most lush roast dinner. Her family are so generous and sweet. I have really lucked out this year with the people I have met.

I headed in the rest of my course work last week. Also last week, I headed to London for the whole day on Wednesday to meet up with my friend Katie from Belleville. She is doing a Koniki tour around Europe and they were meeting in London. I showed her and her friend Leslie around one of my fave cities and we even had a chance to hit up the pub. It was really nice to be around someone from home and hear about everything that is happening, made me miss everyone a bit more.

What do I have planned for the next fews weeks...

- Surfing next weekend on the Gower, probably Roshilli Bay, a group of us are taking professional lessons. I will let you know how that goes.

- Year end rowing dinner this Saturday with wine included!!!

- Six exams which start next Tuesday, some of them are worth 100% so it doesnt really matter how much time and effort I put into lectures, it all comes down to two hours, except I guess those hours in lecture were revision, but will she remember what she learned in October? Thats the question.

- Our favourite Welsh band ... The Blims are playing in Swansea the night before my departure for the homeland, that will be a good time i reckon.

I put up some photos of the Europe trip during Easter break. Enjoy!

Saturday, 22 April 2006

Arrived back in Swansea really early Friday morning after 23 days of solid traveling. What a trip it has been, seems like so long ago now. I did try to write updates on the road, however, I would spend a half hour writing about everything in detail and then something would always happen and it would not post. I would get pissed off and not even bother writing it again. Sorry, somewhat selfish of me.

So, instead of writing in detail again I will just talk about so highlights:

Favourite Spot: Switzerland and Norway tie for my favourite places. Norway had the most unique landscape and I am a huge landscape person. The one singular spot that i most appreciated was in a residental spot in Lucerne that i stumbled upon when looking for a supermarket. It was a look out of the city, lake and all the mountains surrounding the town. No other tourists around and so quiet I sat there for quite awhile.

Biggest disappointment: Crossing the arctic circle line was so touristy. Santa has a workshop there and everyone from everywhere comes to visit him. We had a better arctic circle experience when we traveled up to Kemijarvi (the most northern town in Finland). On the otherhand, I had a nice chat with Santa

Favourite city: Berlin. Filled with so much recent history and very cultured. I really wasnt expecting to fall in love with that city. It helped that I went on a walking tour and had a guide who was very passionate about European history.

Favourite train trip: Oslo to Bergen. Crossed an ice cap and saw many a fjord.

Least favourite train trip: Prague to Vienna. The train trip that was suppose to be 6 hours turned into 10 hours because they decided to take a detour into Solvakia, resulted in very bad moods in Owain and Alex but of course I was a bundle of roses.

Funniest moment: Kath walking nude into a communal suana in Finland (she thought it was only for females and there were signs on the door with a cross through the swim suit and towel) The two males on the trip were in there to view the entire thing, I am happy it wasnt me but we all laughed for days afterward.

Least funny moment: Waiting in the Tampere (Finland) train station for our bus connection. There was so many drunk people and one security guard. I acutally thought it was quite funny but the others were a bit freaked. Another not so funny moment was not getting the right connection on to a boat to cross Lake Constance in southern Germany to get the airport. It was quite a tense boat trip knowing we when got to shore we had about 10 minutes to find the airport to check in time. We made it in the end.

Favourite hostel: Vienna. It is ranked in the top ten hostels worldwide. We had a room on the top floor with a view of the entire city. The atmosphere was great and we met a lot of travellers from all over the world.

Least favourite hostel: Oslo.

Most stupid purchase: 9.50 CAN for a pint in Lucerne. Dammit Jen!

I have been trying to calculate the total distance travelled but am finding it hard to find information about the Scandinavian countries... I will keep looking and post that on later.

Love you all. Must get to work.

Sunday, 02 April 2006

Norway is full of wonderful things. We spent the day in Frogner-Parken which is a huge green space in Oslo. It is home to over 200 statues, the most famous being Monolitlen by Vigeland. It is the most impressive thing I have ever seen in the art world. We also had a epic snowball fight and listened to this really great street singer during our time there. We then took the subway up to the Olympic ski jump.. good times! Alex, Owain and I slid down on our bums... mine is still wet as I write this.

I am at the Olso train station right now, we are getting a night train back to Stockholm, spending the day there and then up to the far north. Its going to take 17 hours to get there, but it will be well worth it.

Bergen was gorgeous. We climbed Mt. Ulriken, actually took a cable car up, hiked a bit up there and walked down. The view of the Norwegian Sea and the surrounding fyjords were amazing.

I must run for now, but promise to write more when I find cheaper internet and have more time.

Love to you all!

Thursday, 30 March 2006

Location: Bergen, Norway

Scandinavia so far is very buff.

We have done tons of travelling in the past three days, feels like I have been away for a month. We flew into Stockholm... which I must say is a lovely city, not really what I was expecting. Our boat hostel experience was very enjoyable.

When finally finding out about train times and connections we have had to modify the Scandinavian part of our trip.

Since Stockholm, we have been on a train for over 12 hours. Got on an over night train to Oslo. Then got on a conecting train to Bergen.The Oslo to Bergen route is suppose to be the most scenic in all of Norway. I met a lady on the train whos husband grew up on the same street as my dad..Robert Stewart...small world. We are in Bergen which is on the very west coast of Norway for tonight and all of tomorrow and then get an overnight train to Oslo tomorrow and spend two days there. We will then had back to Stockholm where we have to hang out for the day to get the over night train up to Lulea, and then catch a bus to Haperanda, across the border of Finland to Kelm and up to Rovanimi for two nights.Rovanimi is 8 km south of the arctic circle and the home of Santas village. Santas village will be pretty annoying for myself but the environment of the arctic circle should even things out!

That is all we have sorted at this point. The joy of the rail pass is that we can get on any train, we have to pay a bit for a bed but it turns out to be cheaper than a hostel room.

After this, all we know is that we fly from Tampere to Frankfurt on the 8th. We have few ideas on our route, we will probably hit up Helsinki on the last night and we want to go to a sauna and swimming in the Baltic see, so I will keep you updated.

Love for Now.

Monday, 27 March 2006

It was crunch time for the past dues weeks, trying to get two reports done... success! Now for my month off school... leaving for Scandinavia in two hours.

Here is the rough itinerary:

March 28
Fly into Stockholm, Sweden

March 30
Denmark (Copenhagen)

March 31
Olso, Norway

April 2
Lillehammer, Norway

April 3
Greet the Arctic Circle at Bodo!!!

April 4
Tromso, Norway: The most northern university town in the world and home of the arctic cathedral

April 6
Rovaniemi, Sweden: The gateway to Lapland, where Santa lives

April 7
Helisinki, Finland

April 8
Fly to Frankfurt, Germany

April 10
Berlin, Germany

April 11
Prague, Czech Republic

April 13
Vienna, Austria

April 15
Innsbruck, Austria

April 17
Swiss National Park (I love the ALPS!!!)

April 18
Lucerne, Switzerland

April 19
Black Forest, Germany

April 20
Fly back to London

Thats pretty much it. I am going with my three good mates: Alex, Owain and Kath. We purchased inter rail passes which allow us to get on any train to go anywhere unlimited in Europe for a month. Hence, the plan may change slightly. We have some hostels booked, other nights we plan to get night trains... we are just going to go with the flow really.

I love you and miss you all. I wish I have more time to write more about my life... but I have to run. I will write more from the road.

Keep on keeping on.

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Recent Messages

Still waiting on that wrap-up entry are slacking off...

just kidding...I love you and I hope you are having a great time at camp!
From Kath
Well Jen, I finally read you're journal! This really has been an extraordinary year and you've done so much in your time here! I'm really glad I had the honour of meeting you and I know we'll be friends for life. Miss you loads
From Jane and John
Jen, hope the exams are going well. Your diary has been great-what wonderful experiences.
Continue to travel safely.
Love Aunt Jane & Uncle John
From E Girl
Exams worth 100%!!! that's crazy! good luck!!!
From Hi Jen!
Just read your experiences of your adventures for the last 23 days!!! What a GREAT time you had. I have been home from Mexico for a week-had a wonderful time and many laughs!!! Happy Belated Birthday!!! Miss Ya Lots Luv Cathie xoxoxo
From hey jen! :)
it's your cousin Jess... you look like your having so much fun! i miss you tons, we will have to catch up soon,

Love always Jess
From Hi Jen!
Keep on having a good time-You are having so many experiences.It is rainy and cool today,but spring is just around the corner! Miss Ya Tons Luv Aunt Cathie xoxoxo
From Katie
Hey Jenny,

I need some more adventures to read about while I'm trying to procrastinate on my school work! Haha! Miss you! xoxox
From Greetings!
Hi Jen! I so enjoy your web site-look forward to hearing about your adventures! It is really COLD here,and we even have snow-hopefully we will get skiing sometime!!! Keep on having fun-Miss Ya Tons-Love Aunt Cathie xoxoxoxo
From Katie
Hey Jenny!

I'm getting so excited about visiting now! Only 6 more weeks of school and then we're off to London to visit!!! You're going to have to drink a pint with me in a pub! Woohoo
From Brit
Just checking out your pics, looks like a good time was had at that ruggers match, hehe! Lots of snow here today, missing you lots!
From Emma
Hey Jen!! I never noticed this before!! Well hope ur doing good !
From Hi Jen!
Your adventure in Italy was so GREAT to read! Hope all is well with you. Miss Ya, Love Aunt Cathie xoxoxoxo
From Aunt Cathie
Hope you had a GREAT trip in Italy!!!! Looking forward to hear from you.You are back in classses I presume-let me know how your life is going? Miss You Lots !!!! Luv Ya, Aunt Cathie xoxoxoxoxo
From Britni
Hey JMAC!!
So what did you think of Sorrento?, when we went there i got sick so i didn't get to experience it!! Are you going to Capri, i loved it there! Well hope all is well!
miss ya
From Hi Jen
Finally learning to use the computer! Your web site is amazing!! What a great experience for you.By the way-Happy New Year!! Continue having such great fun.Talk to you real soon.Miss Ya Tons. Luv Aunt Cathie xoxox(and Uncle Doug)
From E Girl
aww thanks for the Birthday shout out Jen!! :) And the driving update!! Miss you!
From Bruce Willett
Happy New Year Jen!!!!!
I am going to call your folks right now to see if they are home and say hello. But I wanted to see the photos first so that i had some thing to wihich I could relate your time together. Once again I am very impressed with the country that you are so fortunate to be visiting.
We are all ok. Andrea is snowboarding and visiting in Switzerland until the 11th. Erin is finished her CEGEP and is looking for some kind of international volunteer gig somewhere before she hits Concordia in the fall, Avril is gearing up for continued hard work with the Ministry and the Board and I start back tomorrow. All the best my dear. Take care and continue to explore.

From Whitney
J-Mac.. missing you at brock, but your pictures are amazing and I wish I could be there with you cause it seems absolutly amazing. When are you coming back, cause theres been talk about sending some girls crews to English Henley (which is beginning of june) so hopefully you'd still be there and can come see us, and show me around.
From Patrick
Hey Jen! Happy New Year.

Christmas camp was fun but Ambrose and I missed you snowshoeing with us, not that there was much snow. Hope things are well. Take care.
From Jon
This Travel Page is brilliant. It sounds as though your having an incredible time. I head out on the 6th to start my adventure to New Zealand. Hope your enjoying the time spent with the folks. Cheers Jon
From The Rooke's
Hi Jen, Mary and Dog

You must be having a great time. Merry Xmas & Happy New Year. Our weather is still mild. We're waiting for Shane & Christine to arrive.

All our love

From Aunt Nance
Hope Mar & Reddog landed safe - we're thinking of you all!!
Nance & Dave
From Cheryl Foss
Hello lady, glad to hear that your time in Wales and aborad is everything and more. Talked to your Mom and Dad at David's BDay and talked about their upcoming Xmas visit. You all will have a wonderful time I am sure. Sounds like you are living life is what you make of it. Rich, complex, hairy, wonderful, tense, etc,etc,etc. Ain't life grand. Missed seeing you but will catch up when you get home. Have a wonderful hoiday with the folks. Love C
From John/Jane
Hi Jen, great to read your diary and to see your photos-what a great experience for you. Hope all goes well on your trip with your parents-please give them our best wishes. Have a wonderful Christmas
Love,Aunt Jane & Uncle John