Having been born and grown up in Wales, H always thinks he’s more Welsh than British. “I know I’m technically British, but I always consider myself as a Welsh,” he says. He insists that Wales is a country (that was invaded and illegally occupied, or so he says), and he has an obsession with dragons. Before I went there, he often told me that Wales was absolutely stunning, and I knew how much he enjoyed running and cycling there.
A day after I landed in the UK, we did a 4-hour drive to Rhayader, where his parents live. I started ‘ooh’-ing and ‘aah’-ing just after we passed The Severn Bridge, thinking ‘This is beautiful!’ But oh no, I had seen nothing. As we drove further into Wales, I realized that I was in for a treat. With lush, rolling hills that seemed to never end, little pretty houses, and farm animals, I knew my time in Wales would be relaxing, more than anything.
During our stay there, we made day trips to the neighboring towns like Hay-on-Wye, Brecon, and Crickhowell, and although all was quite impressive (thanks to their locations, in/on the tip of Brecon Beacons National Park), Rhayader was no less stunning. We visited the Elan Valley and the reservoirs, and spent a day cycling along the reservoir and River Wye, which I found simultaneously relaxing and fun (if that’s even possible). I started to really get why H truly loves running and cycling here. I’d never been a sporty girl, but even I considered to get my own bike and started running regularly after spending a day cycling here (haha, so naive).
On another day, we drove through the mountain and the view was equally gorgeous, in a different way.
The whole time we were there, the weather was overcast and it was constantly raining. I thought, even with the gray sky and rain, Rhayader was beautiful.
And then, one day the sun decided to come out (about time, huh), and we did another drive through the mountain and along the reservoirs. And I can tell you, Rhayader looked like a whole different place with the sun shining. The sky was blue, the hills looked even greener, and the water in the reservoir was deep blue instead of black.
The mountain trail wasn’t so bad either.
We also set aside some time to explore the town, but we only needed a couple of hours to do that, since the town was tiny. Still beautiful, nonetheless.
Ah, Rhayader. You’re stunning.