Not long after the Brit and I started dating, he sent me a cell phone picture of the coast of the little seaside village of Abersoch. He always spoke fondly of Abersoch as it’s a place he grew up visiting with his family and we talked about visiting during my 5-week stay this summer. So, when it was decided Abersoch was where we would be celebrating his sister’s 30th birthday, I was really excited!
The roughly 2 1/2 hour drive (or 2 hour drive when the Brit is driving!) was quite beautiful as much of it follows the coast. Soon, we had arrived at the boat yard in Pwllheli (pronounced puth-HEL-ee) and we were off on the boat to meet the rest of the group. We really enjoyed the boat ride to Pwllheli, even though it only takes about 15 minutes. The weather was surprisingly good (much nicer than expected) and the views are stunning.
We dropped anchor off the beach in Abersoch and all I saw were jellyfish. A lot of jellyfish. Keep in mind, we still had to wade in waist-deep water to get to shore. I’m not usually one to shy away from jumping into water (okay, that might be a small white lie…I am terrified of sharks and other random creatures lurking below), but no way was I getting off that boat and risking a jellyfish sting!
So, the Brit waded to shore narrowly avoiding the sting of no less than 1,000 jellyfish. Meanwhile, I’m on the back of the boat waving to everyone. Ha. Finally, I got the courage to jump into the water and another jellyfish floated by right where I had planned to jump. This happened roughly 5 more times before the Brit took pity on me. He waded back to the boat and proceeded to carry me piggy-back style to shore while I yelled about the jellyfish coming right at us from every direction. Real smooth, Yank, real smooth.(I realize I’m not doing a good job of selling Abersoch. I swear the jellyfish are not always there…only once in awhile. In fact, most of them were gone by later in the afternoon!)
Half of the beach in Abersoch is for swimming and the other half is for boats and jet skis to anchor offshore. The boat-friendly half of the beach is also car-friendly, so people actually launch their boats and jet skis from there. It’s quite a neat system they had set up. The weather was absolutely beautiful that day, so we enjoyed time on the boat and sitting on the beach. It was actually quite hot, but the sea breeze kept you at a perfect temperature.
After our afternoon on the beach, we were all ready for a shower and a rest. We had arrived too early that morning to check into our hotel, so it was perfect timing for us to take the boat back to Pwllheli and head straight to The Venetia. We received a warm welcome from one of the staff members, who was actually an American woman married to a Welsh man! She took us to our room and showed us where everything was and how our keys worked. Of course, once in the room, my eyes went straight to the tray of freshly-cut strawberry slices and homemade chocolate truffles. (The Brit and I finished those off in 0.2 seconds…so yummy!)
The Venetia is a boutique hotel with five charming and amazingly modern rooms. The rooms are impeccably clean as are the bathrooms. After long days out and about, it was so nice to return to such a comfortable space and fall into such a fabulously comfortable bed, too.
The Venetia boasts a fabulous in-house restaurant. Breakfast is included in the room cost and is delicious. (We also had dinner at the restaurant one night, which I’ll talk about in the next installment!) I’m completely blanking on what I ordered on the first morning, but I know for certain I had the lemon and sugar crepes the following morning. Wow. They were perfectly balanced in flavor with sweet and sour. The crepes were perfectly thin, light, yet surprisingly fluffy in texture. For those craving the traditional English-style breakfast, that was an option as well.
We all had a good chuckle when I ordered water for my drink and the waiter thought I had asked for a latte! I said water a few more times before the Brit just said it and then all was cleared up. The waiter even laughed at that point! (I wish I could say this was the first time that has happened as I attempted to order water! Oh well, it goes with the territory! :))
This is getting quite long, so I’ll continue in another post tomorrow!