African Women Voices

A place to go in Wales: Aberavon beach

Easter holidays spent in a tiny room with nothing but academic books and the Internet to take you company, can drive someone crazy. A solution is the psychological suicide, the second – and maybe the best – is the physical displacement.

Aberavon beach is the destination chosen for this Saturday. Who knew it takes just thirty minutes to feel like being in another universe?

Aberavon beach is a seaside in Wales, an awarded one. It is located in Neath Port Talbot, an industrial town which hosts more than 30 thousands citizens. When saying is an industrial town, I do mean it. Its business card is a landscape of smoke and factories that affects the sea and air. This justifies the statement in the town website which says: “Improving air quality in Neath Port Talbot is top of the agenda for a new project team set up by the Local Service Board.

Despite this, Aberavon beach is a place to go. From Cardiff central take the train to Swansea. Trains are frequent and a return ticket cost less than £10. Once in Port Talbot it takes few seconds to understand where exactly in the world you are, but once clear everything is figured out.

Outside the railway station is the bus stop; take the number 8 until you see the sea. I have to warn that a wrong pronunciation of the word ‘Aberavon’ could delay your trip, even if English is your mother tongue.

Only at the end of the day my friend and me realised we could have walked from the station to the beach, it may take 30 minutes and you can save £3.40 of the return bus ticket.

But still, you get there. A white cloudy sky introduces to a white and slight sea, between them is the horizon line. When you finally see the sand you realise you are in the right place. When the seaside is huge and apparently not ending, you realise you made the right choice: going out.

Paradoxically on the left of the beach are the smoky factories. The trick is always looking on your right, walk along, enjoy the sound of waves crashing to each other and talk to people. Most of them will have a friendly dog. Some will stare at you knowing for sure you are a ‘foreigner’. Others may feed you.

Remo did it.

Café Remo’s boasts having the “World famous Remo’s burger,” made with Welsh grilled beef. I am not sure whether is famous, I can surely say it is delicious and served with salad and curly chips. One international alternative can be the ‘tagliatelle ai funghi’ (pasta with mushrooms) that bewitch with their intense smell and juicy sauce.

I am telling you, you will need to walk after this lunch. So why do not go to see Wales’ largest sculpture? Is the Kite Trail, realised by Andrew Rowe and installed in 2007.  In alternative you can keep walking, in front of you there will be the Swansea bay and its coast.

Aberavon beach is also known as a place where surfing, but today was not the day. Not for us at least. The one day trip ended with a run to catch a bus we waited for half an hour and a short walk to get to the station.

Back home, the sound of sea, the smiley and curious people are gone. What is left is a gallery of photo and the will to explore more this country.

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This entry was posted on 3 April 2010 by in Travel Tips and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .


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