|11.07.2014 – 14.07.2014|
My North Wales jaunt started off in England, in Shrewsbury, where I dropped Kate off for a train. She had a wedding to go to before coming back – so I had a week on my own to knock the north off!
|My ghost town right on the river.|
|From the top of Pistyll Rhaedr|
Harlech Castle on the east coast sounded interesting, so I took the more interesting mountain passes to get there eventually. Passing through Llangynog was a treat, as the hills of these isles gradually grew into something resembling mountains and I travelled up a mountain valley. You don’t know how much you miss mountains until you see them again, and marvel!
|The lovely roads of Wales|
I arrived in the charming town of Y Bala, in the Snowdonia National Park. I drove around the Llyn Tegid (a lake) and then went to visit the visitor centre.
Arriving at the visitor centre, I found a very flash modern building, all circular and slopes and that – completely overgrown. It was like a modern derelict, really rather fascinating! I did some Googling and BBC news told me the locals were well-pissed that so much money had been pissed in to something that closed five years after opening. I thought it’d be fun and novel spot to park for the night, so I did.
I took the most windy, valley-like A roads I could find, which saw me past Llan Ffestiniog and more wonderful mountain passes to the charming seaside village of Harlech. Harlech Castle was the draw – it had seen a lot of action with three sieges over 350 years. Fascinating place. It was originally surrounded on three sides by the sea, but in the last 700 years the sea has withdrawn and the defending seafront walkway (which kept the castle fed through the lengthy sieges) now awkwardly leads down to a bunch of caravan parks and sports fields. Never-the-less you can walk the 40ft castle walls all the way around, and the view from one of the main towers is spectacular.
|The view – that was all sea when the castle was built|
I also had another fun driving incident on this trip, with an old woman in a new Golf. I had just driven maybe 300 metres down a single-lane, no passing places bit – and then she came around a corner. I could kindof see there was heaps of room just behind her, but she refused to back. So I started backing and eventually made it to a tiny passing place, way too small for both me and the opposing Golf. Then a guy came up behind me, and we both did a backward shuffle for a while before I decided this was just bonkers. There was no-where behind us where both me and the dude behind could get out of the way of this lady. So I edged forward, and the old woman was forced to attempt backing.
|This cabinet would be cool in the pewl room.|
|Some of the extreme craftpersonship in the grand staircase.|
|The start of the Llanberis path, Mt Snowdon. + Welsh sheep.|
|The Snowdon mountain railway pootling up.|
|It turned from a pleasure to something to endure, but I’ve done it now!|
|Dolbadarn Castle tower|
|Views from the zig-zag quarry path|
|The relics of the Anglesea barracks, above the quarry in the Padarn Country Park. So cool!|
On my way out of Snowdonia National Park I stopped for some gorgeous views of the now-clear mountains – it was a special moment!
|Swallow Falls – meh.|
|The castle-themed 1820’s suspension bridge and slightly later rail bridge – ‘castle themed’ so as to not spoil the castle view at Conwy!|
|A panorama from one of Conwy Castle’s many towers|
|The smallest house – pretty pokey.|
|Aberconwy House and the main street looking up to the castle – Conwy.|
I then got on the slower coastal route out of Wales and saw the kilometres of caravan and theme parks for myself – all flashing light arcades and that. Not my cup of tea these days! So it was with a bit of a stinker final glimpse of Wales that I departed back to England (without even noticing the boundary) and picked Kate up for our continuing journey north.