I Went To the City of Books (And Died and Went To Heaven)

This past week was my Reading Week, a week in the middle of the term when humanities students are given a break from lectures so that we can catch up on the overwhelming amount of reading and essay writing that we are supposed to be doing. At least, that is the official definition. Realistically speaking, it is a week-long vacation just for humanities students that we can taunt engineering and medicine students with until they hate our guts.

I took the opportunity to do a bit more exploring of Wales, my new home.

Monday turned out to be the perfect day to realise my dream of visiting Hay-On-Wye, the city of books. Wales offered a tease of spring with rare sunshine and slightly more reasonable temperatures. As I walked down the street on the way to my friend’s house,  I noted three older Welsh ladies huddled together discussing the sun. He is quite a special guest around here.

I was so excited about taking pictures of EVERYTHING to share with you guys. See what a good little blogger friend I am? However, my sweet lil phone had other plans. I like to call it the live-in-the-moment phone. Thanks to its habit of dying at random moments, I get to enjoy living in the moment and then steal my friend’s photos for remembrance/Instagram later. So you can thank my friends Keryn and Lyuba for all these awesome photos. Actually, they are much much better photographers than me anyhow, so it works out nicely for everyone ; )

We started the drive by pulling off at a gorgeous overpass and then impromptu hiking up to the tallest peak in the Southern United Kingdom.



Yeah, we are warriors, basically. Okay, except by the end we looked so cold and tired that random strangers were offering us Red Bull. But we will just forget that for a moment and focus on these views:




And then it was on to Hay-On-Wye. For those of you who don’t know, Hay-On-Wye is a tiny Welsh village with 38 bookstores. The firehouse is a bookstore, the local castle is a bookstore, even the cinema is a bookstore… is that great or is that great?

Narrow alley ways and the most picturesque of stone houses lined each street.




My favorite part was when we got to explore the local castle grounds.


There was an honesty bookstore which consisted of bookshelves lining the castle grounds and a little mailbox where one was meant to drop their payments.


“Stephanie…” I told my English friend who loves Texas. “I found the perfect book for you!”


“Guide to Texas Cooking”



By this point, I was literally too excited about life to contain my creepily gigantic grin.


“Can we go in there?”

“I guess we just keep going til we get kicked out.”


On the way home our driver, Keryn, pulled off the main highways to wind through scenic towns and hills. Take note guys, that is how to road trip!


And I guess it all counts as part of a successful reading week, since I did buy two books and read a few sentences of them.

Author: Susanna

I'm Susanna, a 20-year-old Christian girl incorrigibly addicted spontaneous adventures. My first dream was to become a pioneer. Unfortunately, I was born a couple centuries late, so I've decided to read, cook, run, and travel the world until my time machine is finished. You'll mostly likely find me getting into trouble and/or eating licorice. I am currently blogging the misadventures of a middle-school teacher in training. Come join me on my quest to become the next Ms. Frizzle!

9 thoughts on “I Went To the City of Books (And Died and Went To Heaven)”

  1. This is the second-most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. (The first is George the 3rd library in the British Museum of Natural History.) I think I shall have to visit and not ever leave. The pictures are amazing, and it looks like you have the best time in the world. Thank you so much for sharing!!!


  2. You look sooo happy! It’s so great that Keryn took you all there. Nice to know that Welsh are so generous as to share What a day!


  3. Reading Week sounds like Spring Break with a slightly more productive purpose XD
    Wales look so pretty and green!
    “I guess we just keep going until we get kicked out” is my new life motto!
    Hay on the Wye sounds like so much fun!

    Liked by 1 person

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