Blog Match

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Get your feet nibbled - it's lovely!

In the Victoria Centre here in Llandudno a new shop opened last year and it is a place where people sit with their feet in tanks of water whilst little fish nibble at them! Let me explain.....

The little fish are actually Garra Rufa fish which are also known as doctor fish and they actually feed on dead skin leaving the healthy skin alone.

This process can help to heal skin conditions such as Psoriasis and eczema and it also makes for a lovely pedicure.

The place that I went to is a shop called Neat Feet and I think the treatment cost £10 for 10 minutes and £15 for 20 minutes. I may be slightly out on the prices as we went last December and my memory isn't what it might be. It has probably gone up a bit since then too.

My husband bought me a treatment as part of my birthday present but, since my sister and her partner were staying with us at the time, he decided to buy them a treatment each as part of their Christmas present and of course he treated himself too.

When he purchased the vouchers he was told that we must not put any creams on our feet when we were going for the treatment and there must not be any open wounds on our feet.

We went and looked into the shop first where we could see all the tanks and clients in full view of all the shoppers walking past. If you are shy about people watching you this is not the place for you!

We went in and registered and were sat at the four tanks next to one another so we could chat as we had the treatment. We took off our coats as it was nice and warm in the shop.

The first thing that we had to do was to take off our shoes and socks and then wash our feet in a foot spa to make sure that they were nice and clean.

We then swung round on our seats to put our feet in the tanks and were given timers which were set for the ten minutes that we had paid for.

The water in the tank is about a foot deep and is nice and warm and there are about twenty to thirty little fish swimming around just waiting for feet to nibble! The tank is the size of a small tropical fish tank and it is cleaned between each session so there is no problem with hygiene.

There is a filter in the tank so that the water is constantly being cleaned thus making sure that there is no cross contamination form one person to another.

Now I was expecting to have problems with this as I am very ticklish on my feet but I was fine. I put my feet in the water and relaxed while the fish got on with my pedicure.

I could feel them nibbling and it was a tickly feeling but not so much that it made me want to laugh - it was actually extremely relaxing. The fish collect round your feet, concentrating on the dry skin and they nibble constantly so you get your money's worth.

When the time is up and the timer rings you have to remove your feet from the tank and dry them on the fluffy white towels provided. Then you put your shoes and socks back on and off you go with feet that feel lovely!

I had no pre existing problems with my feet apart from a bit of dry skin and I loved the whole experience. My feet felt really comfortable when it was all over and seemed almost tingly but in a nice way. It was like wearing soft slippers and it lasted for a couple of days although the benefits are said to last for a few months.

It didn't bother any of us that we could be seen through the shop windows and, as far as I am concerned, I was happy for anyone to watch as it was all good advertising for the new business. We were obviously all enjoying the experience as we chatted and laughed together so I hope that we were a good advert for them!

In conclusion I would say that this is something I would love to do regularly if I could afford it but I am afraid that my money has to be spent on more important things at the moment. However I would recommend that you have a go - we all loved it!

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

The Great Orme - God's Work at its Best!

As this blog is all about Llandudno and its various attractions I thought I would start with the one closest to my heart – The Great Orme – as I actually live there!
Just to give you a bit of background before we start The Great Orme is a headland 2 miles long, 1 mile wide and which rises to 207 metres above sea level at its highest point.

It was formed 300 million years ago on a tropical seabed and is made from Carboniferous Limestone, which was subject to later volcanic activity causing it to rise and crack forming the headland that we see today.

The Great Orme lies at the north end of Llandudno in North Wales with the North Shore and main part of the town to its right and the quieter more residential West Shore to its left, viewed looking from land out to sea.

The Great Orme has been designated a Special Area of Conservation, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Heritage Coast, and it is managed as a Country Park and Local Nature Reserve by Conwy Countryside Service.
The Orme is home to a herd of feral Kashmir goats, which are a pure breed dating back to the 1890's and they can be seen roaming about eating everything they can find!

There are gardens on the slopes of the Great Orme, the main one being Happy Valley, which is clearly visible from the beach and the pier.

Haulfre Gardens form the first part of Invalids Walk on the west side of the Orme. This is so called because it is a gentle sloping path across the face the Orme from the gardens down to the West Shore and can easily be negotiated by almost anyone. There are also plenty of benches along the way where you can sit and look at the magnificent views of West Shore beach with Conwy Castle and Anglesey in the background.

For the more active walkers amongst you there are numerous paths, which lead right up to the summit of the Orme. The Summit Path starts from Happy Valley and goes in an arc past the 13th century church of St Tudno's, where there are open air services every Sunday during the summer, and the Zig Zag Summit Path starts from either Haulfre Gardens or from part way along the Invalids Walk. There are numerous other paths including a nature trail, an historical trail and the Monk's Path, which it is said remains green and fertile even when the weather is very dry! 

You can also drive up to the top of the Great Orme by one of two routes; either directly from the town via a road next to the Empire Hotel or by taking the Marine Drive around the base of the Orme and bearing left about halfway round. This takes you a less direct route past St Tudno's Church.

I will just say that if you use the Marine Drive around the base, which is a one-way road from the North Shore all the way round to the West Shore it is a toll road and will cost you £2.50. The cost does however cover parking at the car park next to the Summit Complex.
Half way round the Marine Drive is the Rest and Be Thankful Café. I can assure you that when you walk the four and a half miles around Marine Drive you do 'rest and be thankful' when you get there!

There is a local bus service, which runs from the town up to the summit and a scenic tour bus, which is an old single decked boneshaker doing tours around Marine Drive.

Another way to get to the top of the Orme is by using the Victorian Tramway, which travels from a stop in town up to the summit in two separate stretches - you change trams halfway up. These open sided trams provide an amazing ride at an incredibly steep angle.

The final way to reach the top of the Great Orme is by catching the cable car in Happy Valley, which takes you to a point next to the Summit Complex at the top. The cars carry two people at a time and are the open sided sort so they do only run when the weather is appropriate, but they are well worth a try.
At the top of the Orme there is a pay and display car park and a Summit Complex, which consists of a visitor centre, café/restaurant where you can get all sorts of snacks and meals, a small shop, a pub and a small amusement arcade. There is also a Crazy Golf course and a good play area for the children with climbing frames, slides, swings etc., all set in a fenced off area to keep the children safe.

Apart from the goats that I have already mentioned The Great Orme is home to wide range of wildlife including guillemots, kittiwakes, razorbills, ravens and little owls, as well as butterflies by the 'cloud' and numerous rare species of plants.

The other main attraction on the Great Orme is the Bronze Age Copper Mines, which are located next to the Halfway Tram station.
All over the Orme there are relics of the past inhabitants from stone circles to fossils and hill forts to previously inhabited caves, all ready to explore providing you take care both with the countryside itself and your own safety on the paths and climbs.

I can only say that words cannot express the beauty, splendour and majesty of the Great Orme so you'll have to come and see this wonderful example of God's work for yourself.

One final comment, if you are visiting, do remember that being a seaside town all things are seasonal and the attractions on the Orme are mainly open from Easter until October each year.

Memories of Bank Holiday Weekends

Well, with two consecutive Bank Holiday weekends, we ended up working 5 days out of 10 on the promenade selling RNLI souvenirs! We had sunshine for all of the five days although the wind was keen and cold at times.

We begin at 9am by fetching all the tables out of the van. putting them together and pinning RNLI flags around the front. The flags are hoisted on the caravan too so people can see us from a distance.

We then unload a huge amount of stock - well we did on day one but this had diminished considerably by day five - and arrange it ready for sale. We usually have between one and three of each item on the tables depending on the size and nature of the souvenir and as they are sold I constantly restock from the boxes in the van. This means that I am on my feet from 9am until 6pm when everything is packed away! It is certainly a good workout I can tell you!

Of course for the three days of the May Bank Holiday the Victorian Extravaganza was taking place so there was a parade each day at noon which brought lots of customers to our stall as it passed and we were entertained by the music from the stage which was set up just along the prom too.

Our boat - The Andy Pearce - is on the slipway ready for launch whilst the stall is in place so that members of the public get the chance to see her and see just what their donations are used for.

As it is our 150th anniversary of the lifeboat here in Llandudno in 2011 I will tell you more about the history of the boats and the events scheduled for later in the year in subsequent posts.

For now I will sign off by saying thank you to all who made our efforts so worthwhile by buying our souvenirs and remind you all that we will be on the prom every Sunday (weather permitting) until the end of September.