Two weeks ago we decided to go to Aberystwth for the day. It's a good long way from here, and barely day-trippable, but we set our alarms early, and off we went. On leaving home the weather was awful - persistent rain all the way through Bristol and South Wales. Just look at that sky.
As we got deeper into the Welsh countryside the low-lying clouds and water-vapour became very picturesque.
Then it slowly started to clear. The landscape looked very beautiful, with conifer plantations and little streams running down from the mountains.
After a long morning's drive we finally spotted the sea - hooray! We'd reached our destination.
Firstly we visited the University perched high on the hill above the town, and looked around the famous National Library of Wales. The university was set in a lovely campus and the library is very impressive. We stopped to look at the Dylan Thomas exhibition which I really enjoyed as I'm a fan of his poetry. My husband took this photo out of the library across the town and towards the sea.
After lunch we drove down to the town centre and seafront. At once I was struck by the colourful, painted houses everywhere.
Some quite deep shades ...
... and lots of lovely pastels.
The sky was still a bit overcast, but it was very warm, and the view from the beach was gorgeous: a high rocky headland called Constitution Hill
towering impressively over the town
and its attractive pebbly beach.
I liked the slatey grey colours of the rocks on the beach.
After a dip in the sea we had a stroll along the promenade, just as the sun came out.
The seafront positively glowed in the sunshine.
Looking in the opposite direction towards the pier I enjoyed the angles created by the white railings, and the greeny-blue of the sea.
Finally we set off for the long drive home after our afternoon by the Irish Sea, having eaten pasties and doughnuts on the seafront. As we left the town the road rose higher and higher into the beautiful Cambrian Mountains, and I saw lots of familiar Welsh sheep.
By now it was early evening and the sunshine was glorious, making the short grass of the mountains look softly green.
I breathed in the fresh air as we drove, savouring every last moment of the beautiful Welsh landscape. Above us circled several red kites, a bird I'd seen on TV and read about, but never seen in real life. The perfect end to a lovely day.