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Issue 66 a71 June 2009
alph Emerson’s much
quoted phrase –
“Life is a journey,
not a destination” – is one I always
strive to live by. When the American
philosopher penned his observation
in the 1800s, the meaning was clearly
intended as a metaphor, but it
should also be taken literally.
As we rush through our hectic lives, the
joys of travelling from A to B have been lost
in recent decades. While commuters push
past each other fighting onto trains, and early
morning drivers teeter on the edge of road
rage, the great British countryside flashes by
in a green haze. Even when we travel for
leisure, it’s all too easy to have our minds
fixed so firmly on our destinations that
we forget to enjoy what’s just beyond
our windscreens.
Most summers my husband Howard,
myself and our dog Poppy jump into the car
and head for the Welsh coast for a break,
usually via Welshpool and across to
Aberystwyth, before dropping down to the coves ambitious plans to make it the longest scenic
and pretty coastal villages of Cardiganshire and railway in the UK at some 40 miles in all. And
Pembrokeshire. The scenery stretching from the you can read all about it on pages 38-44.
Border, through the mountains and out to the It was certainly a proud day for north Wales, as
west is never taken for granted on these trips. the line will attract new visitors and prosperity to
The weather ensures the views are different each the region. And I challenge anyone who climbs
time, and there are often surprises along the way. aboard not to be mesmerised by the romantic
On our last journey, red kites swooped high steam trains that not only transport passengers
above the sunroof, while the first glimpse of the deep into the wilds of Wales, but back to a bygone
sun glistening on the sea in the distance was as era when technology didn’t rule our lives and
magical as ever. travelling was to be enjoyed, rather than endured.
A passionate group of people who never take As we sat in our comfortable carriage behind
the countryside for granted are the supporters, two shiny locomotives pulling us gracefully
employees and enthusiasts behind the Welsh through mountains, past lakes, fields and
Highland Railway, which runs from Caernarfon woodland, there was a real sense of occasion.
Castle through Snowdonia and will very soon For once each passenger was savouring every
reach Porthmadog. We joined them recently second of the journey.
aboard the first passenger train for 70 years
to depart Caernarfon bound for the village of
Beddgelert. This new stretch of line is part of
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catherine@borderpublishing.com
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