Royan welcomed us this morning for the first land excursions of our voyage, Navigating the Atlantic Coast: Brittany, Wales, and England's Channel Islands. National Geographic Resolution maintained dynamic positioning outside the small harbor of Royan, France while a short Zodiac boat ride awakened our senses en route to the port.
National Geographic Resolution
Holyhead, Wales, United Kingdom
The population of Wales is 3.1 million people and nearly 10 million sheep. Besides sheep, Wales is known for its rugged coastlines, mountainous national parks, melodic Welsh language, a rich mining history, and more castles per square mile than any country on Earth. After breakfast, we were given a short lesson on the Welsh language from our local guides before we disembarked from Zodiacs in the town of Holyhead. Holyhead is located on the island of Anglesey. It is a hiker’s paradise, part of a 200-km long Anglesey Coastal Walking Path. Luckily for us, hiking was one of three options for the day. Guests could also choose to explore Caernarfon Castle and Beaumaris Castle, two of King Edward I’s Iron Ring of Castles and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Guests could also learn about the slate industry in Wales and explore Snowdonia National Park and the UNESCO World Heritage Landscape of Northwest Wales. For those of us who chose to hike, we headed out with packed lunches on a 3.5-hour long hike of approximately 10 km along the Anglesey Coastal Walking path. Our guides were part of the Royal Air Force Mountain Rescue Team before retiring, and they shared stories of daring rescues. We returned by Zodiac for a light teatime. Our day ended with Captain’s Heidi Norling’s Farewell Cocktail Party and a wild trivia night hosted by the expedition team. Our trip on National Geographic Resolution flew by.