Introduction. How did we start our love for travelling and exploring?
It was back in 2015 when we won tickets for Hammerfest VII in Pwllheli, North Wales. Up to that point our holidays where mostly in Poland. As many Polish folks, on immigration, we were going back home to see friends, family, already known places – sentimental journeys really. trying to go back to what was. Then we started family, had two kids, so no time for long travels, unless it was Poland again. Back to 2015 we had tickets for biggest spring heavy-metal festival in UK. Still, having young children we were a bit reluctant to go. However, Mrs Sting’s parents and brother offered to babysit Hurricane and Flower so we can go and enjoy the first weekend without the kids. After all, Wales is not that far away from us, 2.5 – 3 hours drive. So we have decided to go.
Just driving through the North Wales for the first time was an experience. Seeing welsh names written on the road signs, those without vowels, strange sounding place names as Yr Wyddgrug, was quite enjoyable. Then going through beautiful coast roads on the sea side, Snowdonia mountains, all those signposts for various castles were just eye opening. we started to realise that the world and the UK has much more to offer that sticking to the same places over and over again.
Hafan y Môr
Finally we have arrived to Hafan y Môr, a holiday park. Apart from the musical side, that place offered one of the most beautiful coasts I have ever seen. One morning, during a beach walk, we have spotted something looking like a castle. We did not want to just see the bands on the stage, most of which we have never heard of, also the arena was a little bit too noise at times. We have decided to drive an check out the possible castle place.
Two and a half miles from Hafan y Môr is a little village called Criccieth. The “possible castle place” turns out to be just ruins of the castle and it was not big at all. The scenery, however, the hill, the coast line, and the castle with its twin tower gate was just breathtaking! We bought tickets from Cadw office and went to the castle. I cannot describe feelings i have had. This castle was so different to the ones I saw so far in Poland, Slovakia or Hungary. Even though this castle stands in ruins since Owain Glyndŵr times, you could just feel pride and position this small fortress had in the past. If you like old castles, you instantly fall in love with this one.
What helped us out to enjoy this place even more was beautiful weather. You could see clearly the land on the other side on the bay with another, bigger castle in the distance. We sat down and just enjoyed the view. It was one of those moments in live that open my eyes and make me change the course I was going so far.
The Snowdonia mountains around, beautiful sea side, castles, history. I think at that moment we have realised how much did we miss so far just by sticking to same places or concentrating on work instead of enjoying life. from that moment we decided to travel more, even if it is just weekend breaks. What was most important we decided to bring kids next time (which happened few months later) to show them this place and to make them feel what we felt.
Mr Sting’s moment of reflection
Travelling, exploring, trying new things can open your eyes, give you perspective and comparison that you did not have before. I will always be grateful to North Wales, Pwllheli, Hafan y Môr and Criccieth for the opportunity to change my course of life and start our adventures that are, now, an absolute essential part of our family life.
Written by Mr Sting.