anthony galvin

TAGGED: HOLIDAY

Nearly 7 years on and we are back at Rhyd Fudr. This time there’s four of us, and in the time that’s passed it seems that it is only us who have changed. The hills, houses, lake, rain and mud seem timeless.

But that’s not quite true. This time the sense of Wales being a separate country seems more acute. Perhaps, it’s the strident debate that’s escalated after the EU referendum, which in the media is played out with England and the UK as interchangeable concepts. Slightly out of season In North Wales, away from the crowds we are routinely mistaken for people who speak Welsh. There’s a lack of big chains in the small towns and villages. Even the Gin is made differently.

More than last time we were here, this corner of Wales seems like an escape.

#wales #family #holiday #mud

17/05/2018 permalink

Once more. With feelings.

Back to the “inner isles” (Na h-Eileanan a-staigh) for our summer trip. Some new islands this year. But the same objectives: Immersing ourselves in landscape and history. Exploring beaches. Scanning the horizon for the wildlife (this time including Basking Sharks).

Each time we go back to these islands the connection gets stronger. Our collective Islomania intensifies.

3 weeks, 1500 miles driving, 5 Scottish Islands (Coll, Tiree, Mull, Ulva, Bute) and 11 ferries. Happiness.


#holiday #scotland #islands #hebrides #family

2017-09-11 20:22:59 GMT permalink

10 winters

Back to Morzine. I remember a springtime visit 10 winters ago, when Richard and Fiona had bought the old barn on the edge of Morzine. I slept on a concrete floor and then Richard and I went up to the top of the Avoriaz and talked about the future. Then we boarded down in the spring sunshine and it didn’t seem real.

Fast forward to 2017 and we are back in the Alps. The sun shone again and this time I’m on chair lifts with my Violet and Hazel. Sitting at the top of the resort looking out over the mountains, still thinking about the future. 

#boarding #morzine #holiday #snow #family #spring #alps

2017-04-11 22:15:44 GMT permalink

On a blazing hot August day we jumped aboard the Island Lass and headed off for a boat trip round the Treshnish Isles, past Fingal’s Cave and onto Staffa

After spending a few days on Ulva the crowds on the boat and island felt a bit overwhelming to start with. Despite the good weather it was still pretty choppy on the way into the landing at Staffa. It’s hard to imaging the portly Dr. Johnson arriving in 1773.

#islands #staffa #holiday #scotland #boats #photo

2016-09-05 21:16:05 GMT permalink

After our week on Ulva, back to our usual Mull haunt of Treshnish

Fabulous accommodation. Great weather, the best beaches in the world, amazing local food and swimming in the cold, cold sea.

#mull #scotland #treshnish #holiday #photo #islands #beaches

2016-09-05 21:16:02 GMT permalink

Late summer and we headed northwards again. To Ulva, a place we’d visited but never spent more than a few hours at a time.

People first started living on the island more than 7000 years ago. At the height of the kelp boom in the 19th Century 600 people called Ulva home. It’s a much quieter place now with just a few residents. The passenger ferry runs 6 days a week at the height of summer and stops at 5pm. There are no paved roads. No street lights. Little phone signal.

The week at Fisherman’s Cottage will live long in the memory. Great food from The Boathouse. The amazing landscape and weather. Walking through abandoned villages. Stumbling across a family of red deer. Watching curlews and buzzards.

It’s easy to think about places like Ulva as period pieces or as a tourist destination. Our stay made me realise that it’s much more complex. Ulva is a private island and a real place.

We’ve been coming to the Inner Hebrides for about 5 years. The relationship between the ecology, animals and people who live on and around the islands is complex. Each time we visit, I understand a little more.

#scotland #islands #ulva #holiday #family #hebrides #photo

2016-09-05 21:03:05 GMT permalink

Went out last night to try and grab a picture of an otter. I failed. But the view across the bay was pretty good. 

#photo #ulva #sunset #calm #holiday #scotland #islands

2016-08-23 21:05:59 GMT permalink

It’s becoming a bit of a family tradition. Piling the car high and driving northwards for our summer holidays. Usually to Mull, for a family holiday in and around the islands off the North West coast of Scotland. With a few detours on route, this year via the Northumbrian coast.

The holiday and the journey have become a bit of a ‘yardstick’, a marker against which we measure the year - a mid-point where it’s possible to glimpse just far enough forwards and back to take stock of another years temporal changes and what might lie ahead.

And perhaps the islands are a useful tool for this. Although they’re a permanent fixture for the people and animals who inhabit them, for us the islands are a temporary respite, a fleeting viewfinder that helps us see more clearly. There’s a liminal quality to our visits, not permanent but through repeated stays more than just temporary.

#scotland #photo #holiday #family #mull #islands

2015-09-22 21:49:45 GMT permalink

Back in the mountains. 

Earlier in the week someone asked me if I was enjoying my time in the mountains “in spite of the weather” - as if somehow the wind, rain, snow and (occasional) sunshine were somehow separate entities from the Alps themselves. 

The sun hasn’t shone everyday, and the reality of bringing two small children on a snowboarding trip has meant that there hasn’t been a huge amount of actual boarding.

In the pockets of time in between (ski school, getting children back to sleep, sneaking off to grab a late lift) - it’s easy to see that it’s a great time to be in the Alps. 

The season is turning, little streams opening back up, small birds flitting between the trees on the lower slopes. A feeling that another winter has been marked off and observed. And as a family the trips at this time of year are becoming our own way of marking the end of winter. The point where we start to move our horizon beyond the next few weeks and to start to think about the spring and summer that lie ahead.   

#boarding #family #holiday #morzine #spring #alps

2015-04-03 16:58:30 GMT permalink

There’s always another island.

Looking west from Haunn, Mull I can see the island of Coll across the water. The weather always looks slightly better over on Coll, the sunset brighter, the beaches a golden streak across the dark island.

And beyond Coll, the Uists, connected, almost to the conjoined isles of Harris and Lewis. There is always another island. 

Which creates a slightly uneasy feeling, an unrest. A glance at the ferry times, thinking about the logistics. In the same way some people feel compelled to cycle up alpine passes, bag Munros or tick off indian provinces, the very existence of un-visited Hebridean islands creates some kind of implied experience vacuum. 

Until perhaps you reach St. Kilda, the edge of the world, just Greenland to keep it a distant company. 

But this is really a flat earth approach to island hopping, where the horizon represents the edge of the known world. A spherical planet surely means that there is always another island, near, far or unreachable. 

#scotland #holiday #mull #coll #islands #hebrides

2014-05-12 09:10:43 GMT permalink

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