Faith Denig: Snow!

When Ball State Sports Link announced the opportunity to travel to Cardiff for our Transatlantic Storytelling project, I had no idea that it would turn into the best trip of my life.

The moment the plane touched down, I knew I was in for an unforgettable experience.The 10 days we spent on the ground in Cardiff were full of adventure and excitement.

From collaborating with our partners at Cardiff Met to the views at Cardiff Bay, there was never a day that wasn’t full of memories. One of those days consisted of a rigorous climb up Pen y Fan. 

The mountains of Pen y Fan were beyond amazing. Standing 886 meters high inside the Brecon Beacons National Park, the climb was daunting. But once we made it to the top, I knew it was all worth it.

We often heard how the weather we had on this day was glorious — full sunshine and warming early Spring temperatures. The sun shone on us the whole day, including at the top providing stunning scenics.

I can honestly say I have not witnessed anything so breathtaking in my entire life. I can not tell you how many times I just stopped, looked at the view and took it in. 

What felt like on being on top of the world, the beautiful mountain literally took my breath away. During this entire climb I could not help but smile. There was a point that I just looked off the side of the mountain and thought to myself, “ wow I can not believe this.”

The climb to the top was incredible. At one point during the climb, we came across a mountain stream. That is when Joe Towns told us how amazing the water was. We then filled up our water bottles and drank ice cold refreshing mountain water. This was by far the finest water I have ever drank!

Rachel Berry and I fill our bottles with the refreshing water in the mountain stream.

As much fun as the hike up the mountain was, it was made so much better by sharing it with some fascinating people. On the drive to the mountain, my classmates Tristan Russell and Zach Roy bought a freshly baked loaf of bread and vowed to carry it to the top of the mountain.

We forgot about it on the way up, but we were delighted when they pulled it out at the summit and all shared a delicious snack. 

Zach Roy and Tristan Russell and the famous bread.

The snow at the top brought out the kids in all of us. We proceeded to have a friendly snow ball fight. There were snow angels made and laughter galore. 

This historic mountain brought me so much joy throughout my climb. I think it was also because the hike was near the end of our trip.

That day, allowed me to reflect on the entire trip to Cardiff. The historic city, its pub-lined streets, markets and people were simply as stunning as the views which surrounded me.

In many ways, I think the hike with our friends from Cardiff Met, was a microcosm of our entire trip.

The day encapsulated the characteristic qualities or features of something much larger, and that ultimately was what this entire experience in Wales was all about.

There is nothing like being with a group of amazing people on your trip, and this came full-circle surrounded by a phenomenal view at Pen y Fan. 

If you have the opportunity to travel to Cardiff, or are from the area and have not been to Pen y Fan, this is definitely something you should add to your itinerary. 

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