Welsh Journeys (Hardback)Jamie Owen (author)
Hardback 144 Pages / Published: 03/11/2005
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A book of travel writing by the popular broadcaster in which he explores the rich diversity of the Welsh landscape and meets people along the way; includes journeys to Snowdon, the Wye valley, Anglesey, the Brecon Beacons, Llangollen, and Betws-y-Coed; full colour photographs on each page.
Publisher: Gomer Press
Number of pages: 144
Dimensions: 245 x 220 mm
It is indicative of an age of cheap flights that the very idea of exploring home is viewed as slightly barking . . . but I dont mind telling you that standing on Snowdons summit at sunset really does take a bit of beating. With increasingly urgent calls for us all to cut our carbon emissions and turn our attention to the treasures waiting right under our noses, this is exactly the kind of travel book we should welcome with open arms. Part travelogue part autobiography, Jamie Owen uses his feet, trains and boats to take us on six personal journeys through Wales during one summer in 2005: The Heart of Wales; The Wye Valley; The Brecon Beacons; Snowdon; Anglesey and Denbighshire. Throughout the book he combines a wry sense of humour with a genuine affection for the people and the landscape of Wales. He is also deeply touched by the power of the landscape to stir childhood memories, such as his trips to the railway station yard with his Dad, and his boarding schools days at Christ College in Brecon a memory he still recalls with mixed emotions and a knot in his stomach. There is an endearing freshness about the authors approach to a landscape which has inspired so many over the centuries this is the first time in his life, for example, he has climbed Snowdon - something he writes about with boyish enthusiasm: This is the heaven of Wales, the roof of the country. As a little boy on holiday here, I was told that this is where the giants live. And I believe it. Apart from the mountains, the giants of the authors journeys are the ordinary people he meets doing remarkable things: the bog snorkellers and Morris dancers of Llanwrtyd Wells; the volunteers who tend the flowers at the stations on the Heart of Wales line; his meeting with John Jackson from the reserve Everest climbing team of 1973; conservationists, farmers and local food producers; the bowling club in Llandrindod; participants at the International Eisteddfod in Llangollen to name but a few. Past and present are beautifully combined throughout the book using a series of quotes and extracts from writers and artists who lived and travelled through Wales over the centuries - Daniel Defoe, R.S. Thomas, Alexander Cordell, John Tripp, Gwallter Mechain, Wordsworth, Samuel Johnson, Dewi Emrys and Charles Tunicliffe. These extracts are accompanied by superb quality images from some of Waless best photographers: Jeremy Moore, Glyn Davies, Terry Beggs, Dyfed Elis-Gruffydd, Aled Hughes and Steve Lewis. Those who watched the BBC series on which this book is based will want it as a fond memory and a continuing inspiration. If you didnt see the series, once youve read this youll be packing your rucksack, digging out those walking boots and checking out of the airport queue this summer. Jane MacNamee It is possible to use this review for promotional purposes, but the following acknowledgement should be included: A review from www.gwales.com, with the permission of the Welsh Books Council. Gellir defnyddior adolygiad hwn at bwrpas hybu, ond gofynnir i chi gynnwys y gydnabyddiaeth ganlynol: Adolygiad oddi ar www.gwales.com, trwy ganiatad Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru. -- Welsh Books Council
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