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Semester in Wales!!

So I'm going to school at the University of Wales, Bangor until June. Colleen suggested I do this so you all can look and see what I'm up to. :)

Diary Entries

Sunday, 04 March 2007

Location: Liverpool, UK

Hello :)

This Friday Mel and I went to Liverpool just for the night. We caught a train Friday morning and arrived around noon. We found our hotel right away which was nice compared to the weekend before in London. We were in a nice hostel called the International Inn. Friday afternoon we just wandered around the city and went in some shops. It was a nice city and my Let's Go Travel Britain travel book was actually very helpful. That was where we found our hostel and it helped us find some really good cheap restaurants. On Saturday we had to check out at 11. Since Liverpool is the birthplace of the Beatle's we went to the Beatle's shop and the Beatle's story. There is a large general "Magical Mystery Tour" for the beatles where you get on a tour bus with about 40 other people and get a tour of the major places related to the Beatles. Mel and I had found out about a different tour that is run by a guy that takes you around in his eight passenger mini van. This tour is supposed to be pretty famous and since it wasn't high season, like summer, we were able to arrange a tour with him. Since some people didn't show up there was just four of us on the tour. We started at 3:30 on Saturday and had to catch our train at 6:10. If we didn't make the train we weren't going to make it back to Bangor that night. The tour was really fun. Mel and I got to sit right in front. We saw where each of the Beatle's were born and learned about their history. We went to some places that had songs written about them. We saw where Paul McCartney had originally met John Lennon. It was fun and Phil, our tour guide, was really cool and showed us other parts of Liverpool as well. We got to the train station at 6:06 and had to hurry to get to our train. We arrived back in Bangor around 9. Overall it was a very nice little outing. Now we just have to make our plans for spring break...

Sunday, 18 February 2007

Location: Bangor, Wales

It's been awhile, but I'll cover the big things that have happened. Let's see...Had class the last two weeks. Nothing too exciting there. I'm probably going to do an internship on mondays at a North Wales newspaper. Last Tuesday we had outdoor pursuits, and when we got in the van in the morning our instructor, chris, told us that we would be gorge scrambling...which was fine, except none of us knew what that meant. We went to the center to get all geared up in our wet suits, waterproofs, helmets, harnesses, life jackets and wellies (their word for galoshes/rain boots). We were all looking pretty good at this point....but since we were going to be getting wet all day we couldn't take any cameras so there is no evidence. From the beginning we got soaked...but even though it was cold out none of us got all that cold...other than the occasional frost bitten hands... We climbed up the gorge in the water falls and on the rocks. At a couple spots we had to be harnessed to a rope and climb pretty vertically. There pools of water that we could slide into and at the top there was a deep pool that we were able to jump into from above. All in all the day was very fun. I like my group of 10 that I do outdoor pursuits with. And our instructor was fun. Then on Saturday morning we had a tour of Angelsey Island for Tecwyn's Welsh culture class. Most of my new pictures are from that. We went to see Puffin Island...where there used to be a huge population of....you guessed it....Puffin Birds!! But then somehow rats were introduced to the island and they ate all the baby puffin birds... and they are just now trying to reintroduce the puffins and increase the population on the island. Then we went to a holywell where people have supposedly washed their eyes and never needed their glasses again. But Tecwyn didn't recommend that anyone wash their eyes with the dirty water. We also went to two ancient tombs and one was on a cliff over looking the ocean. We went to the town that is in the guinness book of world records for the longest name. It's spelled: LLANFAIRPWLLGWYNGYLLGOGERYCHWYRNDROBWLLLLANTYSILIO
GOGOGOCH.....try saying that five times fast....or just once. It's english translation is: St. mary's church in the hollow of the white hazel near to the rapid whirlpool of Llantysilio of the red cafe. Imagine mailing something to someone there..there must be some sort of abbreviation. We went to a couple of burial chambers and one was on a cliff overlooking the ocean. We went to the beach for a little while and ended at a lighthouse that is supposed to be one of the most haunted buildings in the U.K. but it was locked so we couldn't get very close.
Then we had another exciting week of classes. On Tuesday we had outdoor pursuits and this time we went mountain scrambling. We climbed a mountain but didn't take much of a path and were just rock climbing for alot of it. It took a couple of hours to reach the top. I had alot of fun, but some people were scared because there were some spots that if you fell...it wouldn't be good. That weekend I went to London with Mel, Tyman and Cody. That was definetly an interesting experience. We got to london at 9:30 a.m. on Friday...and found our hotel at 12:30. It turned out that there are several London Roads....and our was one that was about a 30 minute train ride from the nearest underground station. But we made due. On Friday we went to Buckingham Palace, Parlaiment, Westminster Abby, London Bridge, London Tower, and Tower Bridge. It was fun but I was exhausted by the time we got back to our hotel in Timbuktu. The next morning I woke up with Pink Eye! That was awful. I'd thought I'd gone blind. We guessed that it was from touching stuff when we were out and about on Friday. Luckily it was short lived and I recovered quickly. On Saturday we went to St. Paul's Cathedral, the British Museum, and Globe Theatre. Sunday we went to petticoat market or something like that which was just a bunch of stands selling stuff. But it was pretty busy and we had all of our stuff w/us so we didn't stay long since we were paranoid about having things stolen. Then we went to Piccadilly Circus to shop and eat before getting on a train back to Bangor. It took 3 1/2 hours to get to london and 6 1/2 to get home. I've never been so happy to come back to my dorm room. We were all tired from the weekend. Today, Tuesday, for outdoor pursuits we were supposed to go canoeing but it was too windy so we ended up climbing in an indoor facility. It was alright, but not as fun as the other days up to this point. Sorry for the extremely breif and general overview of what I've been doing. I'll try to update more often in the future. And definetly check out the pictures from my wales tour and london :)

Thursday, 08 February 2007

Location: Conway Centre, Wales

Hi again...

Second week of class is nearly over. I have two classes today and then I will be done. I ended up dropping my psych sport class because it seemed entirely too difficult and most of the class had taken an intro class leading into it. Instead I will be taking intro to sports leadership and it actually sounds like it will be really fun. Tuesday was my first day of Outdoor Pursuits and we did High and Low Ropes courses. It was really fun. My group is ten of us from america since its not a class open to Bangor students. The first "challenge" we were given was, once we were paired up, there were two wires running along side one another, but as you got further down the wire, they got further and further apart. I was paired w/Becca and we are by far the shortest people from our group. You have to lean on one another for balance and Becca and I nearly made it to the end and only one other group got further and both people in that group were like six feet tall. The high ropes course was pretty similiar to the one at Pine Lake, but we got to belay for one another. I only belayed once and I did it for mel. You are clipped to a wire on the ground, but shen she came off the wire I was pretty much lifted off the ground, which was funny, but kind of distracting. I did the high catwalk, just a log between two trees, but it was ridiculously high up. Once I got up there I was supposed to walk across to the other tree and there's nothing for you to hold on to. It took me a while to get away from the first tree, but after that I was good to go. We did a trapeze thing next where you go about 60 feet up a tree and stand on a little plank. Out in front of you is a trapeze that can be adjusted to how far you want it from you. I went for it even though I knew I probably wouldnt be able to reach it and completely missed the bar my first time, but it was fun to just jump out there. I went again right after that and moved the bar a little closer. This time I got my hands completely on it, but they were really cold and I slipped off. Oh well....We made it back to school around 4:30. It was really a fun day and next week we are supposed to go kayaking or canoeing or something w/water anyways...weather permitting I guess. It snowed here a little last night, not a lot, but it's still snow :)

Sunday, 04 February 2007

Location: Llanbris, Wales

So...I should probably still be camping right now, but we definetly pansied out of the second night. Friday morning we went to Serendipity 2, its like where all the clubs on campus set up booths and you go and sign up for things you're interested in. I ended up signing up for netball, swimming (even though I probably wont end up doing that one...), snooker and pool, and I'll also end up going to ultimate frisbee I'm pretty sure. Right after that we came back to our rooms to get packed up so we could catch the bus at 1:45. Had to take down the tent in my room. We had to go downtown to catch the bus, but we made it....then as we were leaving Bangor it stopped really close to our dorms to pick up people...so we didn't actually need to walk as far as we did to catch the bus but oh well it was funny. When we got to Llanbris we found our campsite pretty quickly, it was at the top of a pretty steeep hill. And it was really just a field on a hill. There were sheep in all the other fields and everything too. We set up our tents and everything then went back down to town to get food for the night. After we got back we had to gather fire wood, which was actually kind of difficult since all the wood was wet. We found a big dead branch in a field with sheep and had to hop the fence to get to it. We made soup for dinner and I kept losing the spoon in the pan. And everyone was making fun of me, but then when it was Mel's turn to heat the soup she did the same thing, so it wasn't just me. That night we just hung out by the fire, and it was really cold. The next morning Tyman decided he'd had enough and didn't want to hike or camp anymore so he caught the 9 o'clock bus back to Bangor. The remaining four of us set off for Snowden. I pretty much sweated the whole way up, but it was worth it. Really nice scenery. I felt like I was on one of those maps that has the bumped up terrain. Anyways, it took us about 2 hours to get to the top, an hour less than we thought itd take and another hour and a half to get back down. Once we were back at camp I'm pretty sure we were all shot. We made the best decisions of our life by packing up and catching the bus back rather than staying another night there. When we got back to campus I took the longest hot shower and just sat there until the water was just about to the door of my bathroom. It was amazing. And now it's sunday and I'm just resting up for this next week I guess. Might go watch some volleyball later and am going to play some pool tonight. I'll get some pictures up from camping really soon.

:) Kelsey

Thursday, 01 February 2007

Location: Bangor, Wales

Hi again :)

Not alot has happened since the last post. I'm pretty much done with my first week of classes. I couldn't get into the sports leadership class because it was full. I've spent alot of my time wandering around Bangor and it seems like I walk down to the Pier every other day or so. Tuesday night a large group of us went down to Yellow Pub for a couple drinks because it was a pint for a pound night, and it's pretty hard to find prices that good. Last night a few of us made frozen pizzas and watched movies. Six of us will be going camping at the bottom of Snowden this weekend and staying at a campsite, so I'll definetly have to post something after that..so look out for that early next week. And while we were watching movies we decided it would be a good idea to try and set up one of the tents in Mel's tiny room to get a feel for how many people we could fit in one. Once assembled it was transported to my room, and it is sitting right next to me at the moment actually...just trying to get into camping mode I guess. I seriously contemplated sleeping in it last night, but there's a little bit of nature left in the bottom from the last user so I decided against that. Next week should have more to do for school. I've been surviving on oatmeal, eggs, apples and bread because I have discovered how extremely lazy I am. Ok well I think thats all for now.... :)

Kelsey


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Recent Messages

From Colleen
Thank you for calling me the other day. I love hearing from you. Do you know what else I love?? new posts on Kelsey's planet ranger travel journal. I only kid. Hope all is well my dear. Take care and be safe.
XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO
From Christian
I was going through your pictures Kelsey and I couldn't help but notice something missing from your room. .. me wink wink. Miss ya kid. .. kinda.
Response: ahhh christian
From Rotar's
Hey Kelsey,
Looks like you are having a blast. We are watching the super bowl with your folks. I will pass this address on to Carolyn.Take care, John
From Colleen
Give me more!!!
Response: Sorry, we are going camping this weekend so I was thinking of waiting till after that, I'll try and do a little tonight :)
From Crystal
Wow, Kesley sounds like alot of fun. Is it weird not being here anymore?
Response: Yeah its been a blast, it's a little weird being so far away, but I've had more fun than anything :)
From colleen
Great work buddy! I love it! keep the pictures and commentary coming.