Every year, my church organises a weekend away for young adults (most of whom are students). I didn’t get to go last year as I was in Hong Kong, but I finally got to join them again last weekend.
We stayed at Boulder Adventures, in Llanberis, North Wales, situated right at the foot of Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales. I forgot to take a picture of our accommodation, but you can check out their website [here]. My experience was definitely positive as it was clean and tidy (especially the showers, thank God).
Since we were a big group (28 in total), we went for the self-catered option, and a lovely lady at our church called Karen prepared every single meal with minimum help. On our last morning she prepared a full English breakfast for all 28 of us by herself. If that isn’t amazing, I don’t know what is! Thank you, Karen!
We didn’t spend the entire weekend cooped up inside, though. By the time we arrived on Friday evening, there wasn’t much time to do much but enjoy a late dinner and go to bed. On Saturday, though, we got to go out for a walk/hike. If you’re planning a similar activity, I definitely recommend walking boots! They make a huge difference, especially with muddy and uneven paths.
We started with a stroll around Llyn Padarn, a glacially-formed lake (so Wikipedia tells me) that was close by our accommodation.
(Above) My friend Melody making friends with the locals. She also blogs and you can find her [here]!
Being as lazy as I am, I would have been content to stay around the lake, but everyone wanted to explore more and- gasp!- hike. A few months ago, I managed to wriggle out of climbing Snowdon, but this time there was no escape. Still, at least it wasn’t raining.
Apparently, the path we took was too boring for my friend Farhad…
We paused our hike for a moment to explore Dolbadern Castle (below). Welsh Prince Llywelyn the Great built the keep in the 12th Century to be used a watchtower against the Normans, who were advancing into Wales at the time. Today,it’s considered one of the best kept round towers in Wales, often explored by tourists and serving as a local landmark that overlooks Llyn Padarn.
(Above) My friend Sally modelling the window from inside the castle.
As a side note, if you have a fear of small spaces, height, dislike getting dizzy, or all the aforementioned, take extra precaution scaling the narrow staircase, particularly if the weather is rainy.
Eventually, I decided to go back down a little earlier than everyone else because my friend wanted to return before it was dark (and, fine, I really needed the loo as well). On the way down, I failed in kidnapping a fluffy sheep:
As picturesque as the area is, we didn’t have much opportunity to explore, considering how short this break was. But ultimately, this trip was for us, as a community, to spend time together and most importantly, spend time with God. We spent hours in worship and in prayer rather than cramming every minute with activities. That weekend I got to forge new friendships and reaffirm old ones. I received a reminder to be positive and thankful for the things I have in life, especially the wonderful people God has surrounded me with. It was an opportunity to take the time to really thank and encounter Him once more. And that, really, is what our weekend was about.