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  • Writer's pictureSpiced Cranachan

Going Solo, Aberystwyth

There's a strange sort of freedom to travelling by yourself.

Don't get me wrong, having a companion with you has its benefits. Besides from having a partner in crime for your adventures, it's always fun to have someone share in your experiences.

But for some reason I didn't care about any of this on my trip to Wales.

I was completely content with my own company.

And beside, I couldn't possibly get bored when all the toilet breaks were mine and there was no argument over where to have lunch.

And I got to experience the curious challenge of taking meaningful photos of myself with just the timer on my camera...

It offers some truly unique experiences and can completely change your trip... in ways I hadn't even imagined.

With no one to talk to you can appreciate more.

Aberystwyth has a great deal to appreciate. The pier seemed like a good start, considering I was staying with my sister who lives about 2 minutes' walk from the sea.

And at 9am, with no tourists around and the locals at work, walking along the beach was probably one of my highlights of the trip.

Just beyond the beach lay a grassy mountain, sloped at one side and a cliff at the other.

As I drew closer I spotted a sign with 'DANGER' printed on it. 'UNSTABLE CLIFF,' it read.

And so of course...

...I climbed it.

So while I definitely insist you all try travelling by yourselves - I do NOT condone this erratic and arguably idiotic behaviour.

If at any point during a trip you have even a single doubt about your safety and, more importantly, sanity - ABORT. I REPEAT, ABORT.

That being said, I did get some spectacular views

Although this hill was so fun to climb and held breathtaking views... it was also the strangest hill I've ever encountered.

Located at the edge of the countryside, after either a long(ish) walk or ridiculously dangerous cliff-climb, the top of the hill is home to...

...a bowling alley...

...and a camera obscura...

...and a bouncy castle?

It was honestly the most confused I have been in my entire life.

And all around me, happy families looking at this sweating girl who just clambered over the cliff from seemingly nowhere.

Whatever the case, a great spot for a wee rest.

After a pleasant descent (down a different, gently sloping path, I'm happy to say) past a number of wild berries and the tram which travels up and down the hill each day, I found the seafront to be a bit busier.

And I was a lot hungrier.

However, I wanted to make the most out of my single day in Aber, so I decided to wait for lunch and instead have a coffee.

Coffee #1 is a cafe chain across Wales and South-East England - as a Scot, I had never visited before.

To describe it in one sentence; the homeliness of a Tinderbox with more variation than most contemporary cafes.

Back at the pier afterward, and it's busier still.

Beautiful regardless, but a little too busy to walk on the sand comfortably.

Instead of walking by the water, I'm off the beach and heading along the wall. At the other end of the bay lies a ruined castle, offset by a tall war memorial statue.

The view from here is different, but equally nice.

The castle looks out toward the sea again, but to the south you can see the land mass curl back in on itself as it connects to another bay.

The castle has been reduced to a lone tower, a collection of broken stone and a small segment where you can almost make out something resembling a room.

On my walk back to the town center I took a walk through the buildings, passing the children's park, the university, a number of restaurants and hotels until I found myself back where I started.

By this point, I was ridiculously hungry, but looking around all I saw where some pretty pricey restaurants.

Oysters with lemon and tabasco

Oh yes please...

After an ice-cream on the beach (who knew pistachio with summer berry tasted exactly like a Bakewell tart?) I went in search of more adventure.

And after a brief fallout with Google Maps which took me up a giant hill and into someone's garden... I finally made it to the National Park.

Access to the golf course, a distant view of the sea, a surprisingly dense forest; who'd have thought you can find all of this in one small town?

Aberystwyth is basically a Tardis.

I met y sister after work and we sat by the ocean together for a while. The waves were coming in much faster now.

And after all of that, I wanting nothing more than to go relax.

Until next time, Wales.


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