Patrick Mcmullan, Martin Delenda, Switzerland discussed on Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network
Realize when they got onto everest. The thousand closed system froze so they the luckily they had a couple of open systems with them but they had some rugged enough areas in north wales where they thought they could have some practice there. And you to some mountain they're not resorts there. Sort of hiking centers or something. There's some beautiful towns There's a temple beth. Lert have to guess who described beth gillard. Well it's a mountainous area and therefore towns villages they nestle in the valleys. they don't sit on top of hills and bear galette which means galaxy grave is Is in little bowl with rivers running through it stone building. Oh yes everything's built of stone. I have everything is built a stone. Don't bridges over the babbling thrown bridges. And of course slate roofs because wales used to be these slate production center of the world at one time. That's right so when we think about going to north wales as a visitor and we wanna do some hikes. What advice would you give for enjoying the nature of snowden national park and bringing up some calories at the same time you can hike at all levels. Mt snowden itself with as it is in. Welsh is an attraction. And there's railway that runs up so if you don't want to walk for three hours just take the train and this is kind of a cute little tourist steam train yell it goes from clan sambas up to the top and that's a family day out it is. It gets crowded what was going to say is that snowden is like a magnet people have heard of it people know that so that eight hundred and twenty seven square miles so get away from snowden. You'll see fewer and fewer people which is a lovely thing. It is very emptier. It is and if you wanted to have some rugged memory you could hike it without the steam train. Take what five hours or three hundred zero five hours up down if if you know it. It's a nice day. it's a lovely day. Beware say this flatter. Beware of times of year like easter. Right when it's considerably the top dress. Well okay archaeologist martin delenda Our guide right now on travel with rick. Steves to mount snowden and snowdonia national park. it's near where. He makes his home in northern wales. When we're enjoying the great nature anywhere in britain if you want experienced the industrial age sleet industry. The heritage in wales. What are your suggestions. I would suggest inflammatories itself now. We suddenly mountain railway goes up and better better. You have part of the national museum of wales. The slate museum of the north. There is no charge to go in and to me it's fascinating i go there myself. I dropped in. It's very well done. It is well done. But it's it's a museum in its it. Duplicates replicate some sort of slices of life from those days. But you can actually go into a mind and you can take the lifts down and experience. What would you recommend if you want to actually put a hard hat and doing. I would go to blame of his synagogue. Leno festina neha with this. What what festina starts with two fs. Yes f- f- and then through two hours and when you l. is pronounced l. but to el-zor pronounced esh okay so that be f- that initials of the town's name in when you see that you know. That's the quintessential slate mining town just outside of town. There's the liquid mine from say embarrassed with is about. I'd say comfortable drive on the wrong side of the road that is it's a bat and now has maybe forty five minutes when you going to tour a mine. What does that entail you. Go in told history of the mind you see how it worked and then people will demonstrate slate into you have to understand that everybody in the region was employed in the slate industry chewy and they can split that slate. It's just like incredible. They'll make shingles them. You can get it down to a sixteenth of an inch even less sixteenth of an inch now as a traveler real fun part of his in northern wales assistant to hear the the choirs inaction and I understand a lot of towns. They have a practice the same day every week interest actually welcome usually it's tuesday wednesday midweek and You go along making contribution. Why wouldn't you sure is like the practice for everything. It's almost more interesting. Interestingly the event oh it's so convivial so and culture and then afterwards they're done singing what are they do. They go over to the bar and they sing some more. They sing better with lubricated voices. It's beautiful thing and as a traveler. You become a temporary welsh person. And he joined by him a few beers. And you're part of the family. This is travel with rick steves. We're talking with martin. Dilemna bits from northern wales talking about snowden in the area around northern wales where. You've got the slate culture. You got the tallest mountain in wales and he got plenty of opportunities to enjoy as a traveler. Our email is radio. Rick steves dot com and bj. Mackinaw illinois has emailed us and martin. Bj rights with a limited time for our first trip to the uk. Our family of four which includes two. Teenagers can't hit every park to the extent that we'd like should we see snowdonia. Instead of dartmoor yorkshire dales or the lake district And should we climb snowdon. Or ben nevis. Well snowden as the tallest mountain wales. Ben nevis the tallest mountain in scotland. First of all dartmoor and yorkshire dales are kind of dot more is let's say is not as elevated the extra days are beautiful rolling. It's rolling it's it's mellow leads is sort of remote unused flat. I rolling hills. Is its farmland mostly but it says is just want more neutral if you want more hardcore nature. I think i would recommend lake district or snowdonia. Okay it's me. I'd recommend snowdonia of the late. Just district is more rounded. Snowdonia is no jagged. I love scotland ben. Nevis is four thousand four hundred thousand six feet so that's another thousand feet or whatever dot com and because it's so much further north it can get much colder and you have to be aware of remember the latitude factors in there But bj's talking about the lake district. That's the cumbrian lake district. That's you've got to to the south in the north. The south to me is more touristy. I i love settling down in the north and comes. They can plenty hikes there but a great thing about wales is the castles. You can't go to north wales without being just wonder struck by the castle's tell us just briefly as we visit snowden and we drive there and we explore around. We're gonna see castles. Who built them in. Why well there two sets if you like of cancels in north one set was built by the princes. Gwinnett dear understand. That's the area which not only finds itself now. if you're trying to attack them that you have to. Because it's a mountainous landscape you have to come along mountain valleys and so to defend their homeland. They built their castles in the valleys however granada was conquered by edward the first in the twelve eight long shanks of braveheart fame so beautifully played by patrick mcmullan. But he wasn't interested in the valleys he wanted to be able to get to. His castles built his castles. Which are the most expensive set of wonderful castles. You've ever seen but his castle on the edge of the seat so he could access bring building materials by sea So the castles that. I'm thinking of in wales for these big dramatic state of the art in the thirteenth century castles. They would be english. Castles built to keep the indigenous welsh. People down yeah and they would be accessible by cc. Because that's what you you don't need to control the countryside you just didn't have these tow- halls access by sea. And then you can administer your empire when you've been there you know there's a very narrow coastal strip mountains on the inside so if you're gonna move in granada north wales. You can't move either along the coastal strip all through the valleys. Well if you build castles at the mouths of rivers on the seashore. You've got landscape tighter. You bottled up the country king edward. He had his castles there. And what are the top three or four castles that come out and conway damaris. I'd say those arteries one. How beautiful gorgeous castles this is travel. With rick steves joined by martin land of its guide from northern wales. We're talking about the snowden national park in the cultural and historic wonders nearby martin. Thanks so much for joining us. And i'd like to just close with a moment with your unit. Just spent three just exhilarating hours. We didn't take the steam train week. Claimed that is a beautiful day. We got to the top of mount snowden you as a welshman tell me what do you see and what do you think accept. The view from the top is stunning. You can see ireland from the top star. You can see the island man from atop certain the see is there. The lakes heavily glaciated landscape deep steep narrow valleys little streams that run down them and a very green countryside is not by accident that tom jones sang of the green green grass of home. It does rain a bit. But you know it's worth putting on her coat to go out into the of snowdonia in at that moment. You're in the top of wales literally house martin. Thanks so much joining us. Thank you fat in just a bit. Well explore the outdoorsy appeal of laid-back former yugoslav nation slovenia where there'll be celebrating thirty years of independence later this year but i british travel writer. Dan richards looks at the small outposts. You can find scattered around some of the wildest paces on earth. It's travel with. Rick steves as a kid. Dan richards climbed trees and built forks in the countryside of western england since then his enthusiasm for adventure as him to untamed landscapes around the world. Some even come with a place to stay end up breathtaking view for his book outpost. A journey to the wild ends of the earth. Dan explored the huts cabins and refugees that have sheltered wilderness adventures for decades. He joins us now on travel with. Rick steves to take us to these secret worlds that you won't find on airbnb. Dan welcome. Hello thank you for having me. You mentioned in your book that it all started with a polar bear pelvis. That sat on your father's desk. Can you explain that. Just before i was born. My dad came back from an expedition That he had done to combat in the high arctic when he was younger he was a mountaineer and also a bit of an explorer and he went to this the most northerly human permanent settlement on earth. Which is called neo listened as part of a sort of geology expedition. And when he came home he unpacked his bag. And he had this amazing almost alien artifact. Which was this whole obama pelvis very old when he founded so you know he never met the bear involved but he found this kind of bony frame and brought it home and as you say. Kind of existed has incredible object in his study. So there's the polar bear pelvis and then a photograph of your dead in bird. Yes and he'd stayed with his team In a number of shots up that just very very rudimentary very fragile. Little buildings where they had stayed for an identity so when your school friends are going to me orca for their summer. Break you decide to fall board and find that shed and tell us about how you got into going to these remote outposts because you've gone to these places all over the world will in light of my dad's trip. I began to think about these outposts as witness in a way to amazing adventures and travels that people had had over centuries really and often the people are gone and the only thing that remains. Is there jumping off point and that could be a base like scott space in antarctica or it could be beacon like a lighthouse or if watching cabin and the pass these places are now out of use but they still exist as these kind of amazing survivors memorials to things that went on i began thinking about that and also the way that often creative people will try and make shed or a spot in space either in the house or in the garden in a way to try and sort of interact with amuses or just create enough kind of clear space. Too thin create so I began to combine those. That is so important. I just love going to the remote fjords on the west coast of norway and finding the little tiny cabin where ivar greek. The great norwegian composer would work. And you can see the simple piano he composed on and you can look out the window and see the solitude in the pristine nature and the vastness of it all that inspired him and you can imagine that solitude was his moose absolutely. I think a lot of the places that i visited were that they had just enough to make some difference so you weren't completely outside and And thorough has that line where his walden pond hot. He was caged amongst birds so the birds were free and that he was with you know at his desk Just in the nature. So i suppose venturing to these places you would prepare yourself to know what was the purpose of this hutton. And what is the humanity of it. What was the struggle. What was the heroics of this hut and then when you go there. It becomes a little more rewarding and a little more meaningful. Yes absolutely and some of them have had amazing. Double triple quadruple lives. So that were sale house that i visited in iceland and these are buildings that are incredibly rudimentary assault and they were built by the early norse to make crossing the very barren interior of iceland possible. So they were joined the dots kind of stations along the way and they started out being almost little igloos. If you can imagine an eagling that was made of turf and rocks And then over the years. They've been rebuilt so many times that now they look like what you might recognize as a sort of prairie farmstead In a way but they still retain the foundations and the story and the myth and the ghosts of all of these different incarnations all of the travelers who've passed through them. I found that really fascinating. And you can hike to one of those. What was it like lumps in a house of joy in the middle of iceland. It was amazing. Because i think i describe in the book is driving over this featureless because we were renovating it. We actually drove out. But you can imagine the north walking over this featureless terrain immense seeing little hammock as it would have been in their day appearing and the house of joy. You know you can imagine the joy that you'll sleeping you have a roof to might you know you're going to be warm because if you miss that you get lost if you can't find it then you're out on a permafrost did completely baron sort of tundra. So the the need to get in and get warm with immense and very kind of you know essential and elemental and when i approached have atmos which was the sal house that i visited. I describe it as a little. A little house sat up and hugging its knees And when you're out in this kind of environment and you got your note pet there as a writer. All sorts of beautiful thoughts would think just flutter by and you wanna grab them and write them down absolutely. Although often i end up thinking about this. In retrospect how try and take a few pictures but often when you're in these bases it's so important just to live in the moment even writing something down you don't wanna take your eyes off What's around you directly in front of this sale house was the second largest glossier in iceland and just to look at it it was just so it had such charisma. This thing you know it exuded. This cold cold charisma. It was really hypnotic. He would look into these deep deep. Blue's all the blues. You can imagine of this you know elemental incredibly old incredibly important blasio year and then to actually take your eyes off it and write something down would almost feel like dereliction of duty you need to sort of soak it up. Take it all in. This is the quintessence of travel. What you're talking about this is travel. With rick steves. If you ever wanted to really get away. And i mean really away. The you'll enjoy the stories of travel writer dan richards. This book is outpost attorney to the wild ends of the earth and in this book. He takes adventures to ten remote cabins and refuges and some of the most hostile terrain on the planet. Dan is a royal literary fund fellow at bristol university in england. We have links to dense work with this week. Show at rick steves dot com slash radio so then you talk about these little huts in these sheds and whatever we call them and they have interesting names in scotland. What is it a booth or a buffy a buffy. yes tell us about arriving at a buffy in scotland. Well i think the word bossy comes from There are several of derivation. But if you can imagine a booth it's a single room dwelling and again your arriving. After a heart. They slug it scotland. So you know it rains and then it rarely rains and if the sun is shining it's probably still raining you know and you be hiking over. Maybe some moorland. Or maybe you've come off the cango mountains and you just immersed in this amazing plateau of mountains and gorse and heather and moorland menu see on the horizon again a little buffy this little former crofters hut perhaps a little house or little dwelling and you get in and one of the most amazing things about scottish and bodies exist over the uk. There are some in wales. There are some in the lake district. You get into this very simple dwelling and they're the marks of the people who have been here before you and it really put me in mind. There's a wonderful poem by philip. Larkin and the poem is called. Home is so sad and the lines go it stays as it was left. Formed to the comfort of a loss to go as if to win them back. I've got a cabin. I rarely visit up in the mountains outside of seattle. And it's like that. I never know who was there last. And sometimes it's been months but you still feel the spirit of the people who were there last and how they left it and what they must have done and the fund they must have had and then you get absolutely you get to take that story and carry it forward. That's it and the carrying forward. I think is such an amazing thing of a lot of the places i visited in the book. The bodies and the sale house. They are generous architecture and as much as they allow on movement they allow further adventures. Into as you said earlier apparently completely inhospitable terrain but within them hidden these jewel like dwellings at that. Allow you to spend a night in relative comfort. The scottish have a word rough stuffing they call it. So you know you don't find a body. You don't find sal house you end up sleeping in relatively dry ditch with your packers appello and the coat as a as a do or you know. And that's rough stuffing and the alternative to that. Is this amazing body. Give me the any day overrun absolutely. Yeah so you can have a fire and that's great. It is kinda cool to think. They're not the end of the road. They are at depot on the way to somewhere in most cases absolutely. Yeah they're kind of silo. I think you know because some people leave you know you might get candles you mike matches you might get some food. That's been left this kind of in a ten you might. You might even get biscuits. I mean that's real luxury out there. Dan richards documents is adventures in outpost. A journey to the wild ends of the earth. He also wrote holloway with robert mcfarland which we spoke about on a recent edition of travel. With rick steves then post to twitter at dan underscore zap. Then you were talking about a shepherd's hut in switzerland. Can you describe that to us. That was a writing up that i went to switzerland. There was a shepherd's hut. That's in the swiss chapter. Which is roger deakins. Kind of shepherd's hut. He was an amazing nature writer from britain. So i'm visiting his farmstead in suffolk in this chapter and really juxtaposed this very very simple almost little caravan that he had on wheels that he would move about his estate and he would write and they'll be a little potbellied stove in there and a wonderful quite uncomfortable horsehair mattress bed. And you had your own little world in that. And i just oppose this with A really space age tree house. I visited in switzerland. Which is part of your mcculskey foundations writing. I suppose you could. It looks like a fortress. But i think really it's kind of Residency program so writers can go and given everything that they would need to write and one of those things is a solitude but also they're given solitude also from the ground as in the suspended in amazing bruce list plywood treehouse with all combs. You've got under floor heating and things like that is the sort of thing that a silicon valley tech entrepreneur might build upstate new york. You know. but you're in the juror mountains of switzerland and it's for writers and it was a really interesting juxtaposition because for one you've got roger deakins very very spot in space and in the other you've got this. Super hightech almost sifi swiss. Little cube very blade runner met at the other extreme. You have again this just enough architecture to make you aware that you're not completely outside so i was juxtaposing those and seeing which might be better for the creative process and everything wasn't dan. I'm fascinated in that. Because i i can just see the rustic shepherd's hut and then i could see you in this super high tech pod. Did you try writing and thinking and organizing your thoughts in the high tech pod. I did but it strange. You know i'm the pots of that adventure. Spent six weeks in. That part is exactly the right word you use. It was a pod and the nights. I loved best with a stormy nights where you'd get a snowstorm. And you get the gaels coming in and you would see these triple ply windows. But they would warp. You know you'd see the moment breathing with the storm such was the elemental force outside and you would feel the hall. Pod begin to move on its horses and it felt for a moment like you're in a ship in the middle of a stormy sea and those with the elements. I liked best when nature almost tried to get back on an even keel. Because you can be in this kind of almost hermetically sealed box away from everything where you can't hear the birds where everything is automated. You know everything is digital but nature will always find a way and the parts that i love. Most were the stormy elements and also. There was an amazing. we can't wear. The pod developed several leaks and say you could have dripping of water and you know the susie electricity and there's something in me that likes the chaos of that the pits. I really enjoyed so your book takes us all over the world. Tell us a little bit about being at that lighthouse. That french late house with centuries old stone slowly. Losing its battle with the mrs cole Lighthouse which is just off the coast north atlantic. It's quite an near bordeaux. A lighthouse has been on this particular sam bank at the mouth of the gironde estuary. So that's the main river going into a centuries and centuries and the lighthouse that's currently there the foundations of it. The i say ten twenty meters of it. Go back to the sixteen. Hundreds that palladian. They're made in the most amazing stone that often needs to be replaced. You have the most amazing carvings on it. And it's very very palladian beautiful. And then above that you have what people would generally recognizes the lighthouse. You know you have this long tapering tower and at the top. You have a lantern room. And that's where fresno developed and tested his amazing concentric rings of lenses but to enter. That building is incredible. You go in and it feels like you're in a cathedral or church and the first floor is actually an apartment for the king of france. You have the most amazing classical architecture going on the bed. Isn't there anymore but you. How will these busts of great statesman you can tell you in an old building. France has not really had a king for a while. Now and then you go above and the next floor up. You have this amazing chapel to the virgin. Mary with this coffered ceiling is like the pantheon in rome. And then you go further up and all the time you get these little spiral staircases in stone. And it feels like you're going up a belfry. you could be inside a calm shallow. Something really organic. And then you get up and there's another area. It's amazing all the time. You can be whipped by the fury of the see all around you and you're all alone. Yes it's incredible. I was with on that particular occasion. A wonderful guide komori and when we actually were at the top and the in the lantern room and we were looking at the works. He was saying that he has previously been up there in a two hundred mile an hour gale and he couldn't feel the tower moving though he knew that it was because it was a relative out there there was some going on but the actual movement of the light the way they keep that lubricated as they have it in a small pool a bath of mercury liquid mercury and he was suddenly aware that was splashes of mercury on the floor around his feet and suddenly he was aware that this massive mellstrom the whole stone tower was moving like an oak tree. The stories that he tells it was incredible to be in his presence and a lot of the time in the book. I met unexpectedly the most amazing people. I would go and i would try and be alone but often they're the most amazing characters who pop up an act. My guides in this book. And i was incredibly lucky and also incredibly grateful to those people who kind of populate these unpopulated areas this is travel with. Rick steves we've been talking with. Dan richards. Dan's book is outpost had journey to the wild ends of the earth. So dan all of this makes me. I find it like an amazing vicarious. Adventure was part of your Reason for writing this just to give people something fascinating to read about from their couch or did you want to inspire people not to visit these places but just to realize that. That's an option. What was your reason for writing the book. I had several reasons one was to show people. He's places exist. Another was to really open their eyes. To the fact that a lot of the ends of the world this idea of these wall places. They're very vulnerable. They're quite fragile and to suggest that maybe should you wish to visit. There are certain ways that you can do so without causing harm. The idea of leaving no trace was very important to me and in the final chapter. When i go to foul bod. It's a revelation to me. Traveling with dogs on a dog. Sled how much better that is both as an adventure as a traveler both sonically. You don't have the noise of the Snowmobile you have the wonderful patting of the dokes. The speed is so much more animal at so much more human in a way and also it gave me the opportunity to actually take in and really enjoy and become steeped and soak up the landscape. I've gone to see. I think so much travel. These days is fast travel. You go to a place and you try and use it for all of these experiences and as much as anything. I think outpost is about this idea of traveling slowly and then spending time in the place she wished to visit not trying to wring it out as if it were a dish cloth but to try just you know be in that space and to really appreciate the world. We have dan richards. The book is outpost a journey to the wild ends of the earth. Sounds like this experience for you. It's been good for your soul and.