Mountainous Wales

Photo taken from a mountain looking out over the countryside towards more mountains

I was driving from Wales to Devon for a short board gaming break, when I looked around me and realised just how flat this part of England was. I was on the M5, driving through Somerset, and there wasn’t so much as a mound on the horizon. You know, I don’t recall ever being somewhere quite so flat.

As I travelled further south, the road became less flat and hills finally rose about the horizon. Gentle rolling hills. And where I’m currently sitting you can see such hills.

There's a little hill from the window of where I'm staying.
It’s a hill! But it’s a dwarf compared to the Welsh mountains around my house.

But there is no mistaking it. I am in Wales no longer. And it only serves to remind me why I chose to make Wales my home, and why my visits to my country of birth are short and infrequent.

My love of Wales

I fell in love with Wales as a child, during wet camping holidays where welly boots were far more useful than bikinis. Living in the Midlands, the beaches of west Wales were some of our nearest, and I was always excited to have my adventures again in the sand dunes of Borth.

But it was in south Wales that I made my home, due to university, then work, and now children. And I have never once considered moving back east and over the border. I have lived my entire adult life in this country. It is where I formed my beliefs and opinions, and more importantly my friendships. This country is where I belong.

I can’t guarantee this is Wales as I took it many years ago, but I think it is!

I now live in the South Wales Valleys, an ex-mining community, not quite fully industrial and yet not quite fully rural. My home village is surrounded by ‘mountains’ – possibly not by official standards but that’s what the locals call them – and they would certainly tower over the hills around Ivybridge. My drive to take the kids to school is over such a mountain, where sheep and cattle roam and regularly block my way.

There are countless reasons why I love it in Wales: the people, the lyrical accents, the history, the government, the small community feel where everyone is connected, I could go on. But it’s the mountains that make me truly feel at home, that I will look forward to when I head back up the motorway in a few days time.

This, to me, is Wales.

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