Sunday was a lovely, sunshiny day in South Wales so my Sweet Babou and I loaded the kids up and took them to meet some friends for an amiable amble through Fforest Fawr (which means the big (hunting) woods in Welsh), also known to locals as Bluebell Woods. It feels wonderfully rural but in reality is only a 20 minute drive from Cardiff and a mile or so outside the incredibly charming (and unpronounceable) village of Tongwynlais and adjacent to the picturesque Castell Coch.
It was absolutely gorgeous! We had been warned in advance that the peak time for bluebells wasn’t until June, but we managed to find a few attractive things to look at anyway.
There were places where the path was spacious and level:
And there were smaller paths that let you meander in slightly more woodsy woods:
The bluebells weren’t at the peak, but the wild garlic was blooming in profusion. Garlic flowers are white, and it made it look as though it had snowed blossoms, and the whole place smelled as if there was a nearby Italian restaurant cooking pizza in an outdoor, wood-burning oven. Other than making me crave lasagna, it was a pleasant odor to walk through.
Then there was the view from the edge of the woods – that wasn’t too bad either!
Wales is beautiful, no?
There were carvings along the trail we were on as well, and they were a bit odd. For example, this guy, whom we Christened “mushroom dude”
Then there was the mystery of what this naked couple were doing with this boar:
I am all for loving nature, but this seems excessive.
My favorite sculpture was a stump carved into an almost throne-like chair. I made Sweet Babou sit down upon it and look regal … which he did admirably for a picture before he cracked up at the silliness of it all.
There was also a former mining site known colloquially as “Three Bears’ Caves”, for obvious reasons. The kids were enchanted, of course, and particularly enjoyed the warnings from the grownups about getting too close to the edge of the pits and other obvious parental foolishness.
Although it wasn’t yet the season for bluebells, we nonetheless saw a few of them. Just a couple, though. Nothing much.
If that is scant bluebells, I cannot wait to see the woods in full bloom! I tried to get some good pictures of the little flower bells up close, with limited success. The camera phone can only do so much:
I love Wales, especially Wales in the springtime.