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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Emma and Piers Welsh Odyssey - The Full Story

 Emma and Piers Welsh Odyssey - The Full Story

One man stuck on a sunlounger. One woman trying to drag him off it. One (smallish) country ready to step in and help. Follow Piers and Emma's Proper Holiday in Wales!

image depicting Wales wants Piers Bramhall!
Wales wants Piers Bramhall!
Episode 1: Piers and Emma make it over the Severn in style
180 miles west. A pint with Gareth Thomas. And a plane ride from Cardiff to Anglesey. So ends the first day of Piers and Emma's proper holiday. They're excited, we're excited - even the sun was excited. It made an appearance especially for them. Have a look at their first instalment of holiday here.
Episode 2: The good, the bad and the windy
After a cosy night at Ye Olde Bull's Head, Piers and Emma were set to go sailing on Plas Menai, but with the weather forecast predicting strong winds, we took them out on a ribride instead. They were accompanied by Olympic sailing hopeful Chris Grube, who looked happy to sit back and let the engine do the work. After getting soaked on the water, they dried off and relaxed at the five-star Plas Coch holiday village.
Episode 3: Campfires, casks and caves
Today Piers and Emma are in the Pederyn whisky distillery, sampling the best tipples in Wales. They've learnt the history of the distillery, how to smell the whisky with each nostril in turn and how to give the glass a "cuddle" before tasting. Bring on the cuddles.
image depicting Piers and Emma go surfing on Gower
Piers and Emma go surfing on Gower
Episode 4: Extreme sightseeing
It wouldn't be right to bring Piers and Emma here without letting them get stuck into our countryside. Doing activities are some of the best ways to see Wales. So we took them mountain biking in Afan Argoed, followed by surfing on the Gower Peninsula.
Piers and Emma swapped their casual clothes for wetsuits as we took them down to Caswell Bay. The skies may have been grey but the surf was perfect. Under the capable tutelage of Tom from Surf GSD, our novice surfers had a few wobbles and wipeouts but did remarkably well. They were natural, surfing like they'd been doing it for years. 
Look past the cutting rain, punishing mountains, brutal surf and grimacing faces. In their eyes you will see the glint of activity-sport triumph. And maybe a touch of exhaustion.
Episode 5: VIP treatment Welsh-style
VIPs are given luxuries and privileges that other mortals can only dream of... limos, entourages, handbags full of tiny, hairless dogs. Here in Wales we like to keep it real. So we gave Piers and Emma a bench looking out over Dunraven Bay, Southerndown. And we took them to a celebrity pub quiz at the Pelican in Ogmore-By-Sea.
Episode 6: The one where Piers and Emma went to Celtic Manor
It would have been wrong to deny Piers & Emma the chance to don some spikes and visors at the world-famous Celtic Manor. Piers was given the Lee Westwood locker, where he soaked up the awesome golf-pro power. We won't tell you who won, but it might just have worked.
Episode 7: Croeso I Caerdydd (Welcome to Cardiff)
Cardiff "fort on the Taff". As host to Piers and Emma for the weekend, Wales' capital gave them privileged access to some of its many highlights. Like getting to grips with singing lessons at The Wales Millenium Centre with The Welsh National Opera and mixing their own cocktails at Ffresh. And eating their own bodyweight in cheese at St. Fagan's food festival.
Episode 8: Pierstock
After The Isle of Wight Festival and Glastonbury comes the big one; Pierstock. As part of Piers & Emma's send-off weekend in Cardiff, Gwdihw held a micro-festival. Live music came from Johnny Cage & The Voodoo groove, T.R.O.M.B, Them Lovely Boys and Ukulele Nights. Food wasn't the usual festival fare -- there were no mystery meat burgers at Pierstock. There were oysters. Watch Emma tackle her first one here.
Episode 9: The end of the Welsh Odyssey
So this is it. It's been exciting, it's been emotional. At times, it's been surreal. Sunday afternoon managed all three. The trip ended with a feast at Cardiff Castle joined by Matt Tebbutt, Paul Potts & Colin Jackson. Everyone tucked into a meal by the Welsh Culinary Team. Speeches were made, Welsh cakes were eaten and then, they went home.
Diolch Piers & Emma, it's been epic.
What they thought of their Proper Holiday in Wales:
Piers: 'What a journey and an utterly humbling experience. We have quite honestly had the best experience anyone could ask for and we'd like to say a huge thank you to everyone for showing us really how much Wales has to offer. After seeing all the fantastic pledge videos, I appreciate despite all that we've seen and done in the past 7 days, we really have only scratched the surface of such a truly amazing country. We can't wait to come back if you'll have us. Diolch yn fawr!'
Emma: 'I can't believe it's actually over. What an amazing end to what I can only call the best week ever. Thank you again to everyone involved and everyone who followed the campaign, you have made this really special and shown us what Wales is really about.'
Have a look at the Visit Wales Facebook page for a detailed account of their holiday, comments and - best of all - the videos!

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