Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

A litte more catch-up (Gower Peninsula tour et al.)

Time November 7th, 2011 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

Here’s the problem with the idea of catching up on your blog: the longer you leave it, the more you have to catch up on, the less you feel like doing it!


I’ve determined that there really isn’t anyway I can catch up on everything that’s happened in the last month in detail. From now on, I will just make more of an effort to post more. School has gotten extremely busy, so I may just need to designate a day and time to do it!


I was extremely lucky to have my wonderful parents visit me for a few days in mid-October. It was really nice to see some familiar faces from home! I had a wonderful time showing them Cardiff and doing a little bit of Welsh exploring with them.


On the Sunday of their visit, we headed out with the Where When Wales tour company (wonderful, if you ever visit Cardiff, head to the tourism office and ask about them!) on their Gower Explorer tour, which focused on the city of Swansea and the absolutely gorgeous Gower Peninsula.


Our first stop on the tour was the Swansea Marina itself, where we visited the National Waterfront Museum and Dylan Thomas Centre.


Swansea Harbor

The Dylan Thomas Center


While driving through Swansea, we passed actress Catherine Zeta-Jones’ house, and then we had the option of taking a really amazing coastal cliff walk, which we did! We were so lucky that the weather ended up being gorgeous on this day, which made the cliff walk very pleasant.


On the cliff walk...

Cliff Walk


The beach at the end of the cliff walk.


The Welsh coastline is absolutely beautiful. Little did I know, we then headed to Rhossili at the tip of the Gower Peninsula, which is hands down one the most beautiful places I have ever been in my entire life. I have never seen such a wide, sweeping beach anywhere! The coastline in Wales is so lovely and so much less spoiled than in the US. Standing on the end of the peninsula, you really feel as though you are in a fairytale (I think I said this about my last trip, too-but it’s true!).  We had lunch at a bistro overlooking the beach itself, and right above it, there were about twenty people parasailing!


The view from our lunch spot, The Bay Bistro! Could you even ask for a better view?!
Mom & I!
Plenty of sheep, of course.
Too beautiful for words.


Unfortunately, the pictures can’t really do it justice! After spending a good deal of time at the end of the Gower peninsula, we visited another part of the Gower, a Neolithic burial site known as “Arthur’s Stone” which offers amazing views of the Llanrhidian marsh and Llwchwr estuary below. The walk from the road to Arthur’s Stone was also pretty cool–there were wild ponies everywhere! They didn’t seem to mind us walking right in the middle of them, either. I suppose they must be quite used to people coming and going up there.


Arthur's Stone

View of the marsh/estuary from Arthur's Stone.

One of many wild ponies.


Unfortunately, my parents were only able to stay in Cardiff a few days, but I was glad to have them there for any length of time. :)


The next weekend I had quite a few more adventures–the highlight was my very first Tea Crawl with the Cardiff University Tea Party Society! Almost everyone was dressed in skirts or dresses and suits; we walked into the nearby neighborhood of Roath where we spent nearly 5 hours in three different tea shops, tasting different teas and cakes! We got lucky here too, and got another cool and sunny day, so we were able to spend much of the morning and afternoon sitting in outdoor tea gardens, sipping and chatting away. It was a wonderful, low-key, relaxing way to get to know a few more people. I very much hope there will be another tea crawl soon!
Coffee-Walnut cake from
This picture pretty much sums up the day. This particular piece of cake (coffee-walnut!) was from a fantastically homey little place called the Coffi House.


After the tea crawl, I decided to visit Cardiff Castle. I had been there previously, but never for the tour inside the house itself, so I did that right at sunset, which was lovely! Unfortunately, it was too dark for pictures, but my dad sent me some of his from my parents’ visit while I was in class the week before.



The rooftop garden. Back in the day, it would have been entirely full of various exotic plants!



Aside from that, there isn’t too much especially interesting I can report. My week days are pretty standard–due to the amounts of reading and studying I need to do, mid-week adventures have diminished somewhat. I was, however, able to attend the IFSA Butler lunch at PizzaExpress, hosted by our IFSA program representative from the London office, Andrew! It was a really good time and nice to see the other two students in the program, as I don’t see them too much around campus!


Sadly, last weekend was a major bust–I have been fighting a very unfriendly cold for the past week, and last weekend was accompanied by a fever as well, so I spent the entirety of it in my room drinking tea and trying to get through all my homework in preparation for the FOUR additional seminars I had this week! I’m not entirely recovered yet, so this weekend has been spent going out to lunch in City Center with my super-cool flatmates and doing essential errands-and that ever important task, LAUNDRY!


Until next time! It is currently Reading Week in my department, so I will be spending most of this week study for my Welsh exam next week and working on an essay for my Material Evidence for Ancient Historians course, but on Tuesday I will be going on a tour of the Wye Valley, so I will post pictures of that!