Visit to a beach in Wales, and Conwy Castle

Trip Start Jul 04, 2006
Trip End Jan 16, 2007

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Saturday, December 2, 2006

Friday 1st December
Well it's hard to believe it is December already. Without the benefit of reading the newspaper daily, or watching the nightly news, it's easy to lose track of the date, or even what day of the week it is.
Today Tony and Dee are taking us for a visit to the northern coast of Wales. This will be another first for Gail as she has never been there before, however Dee assures me that I would have visited some of the coastal beach towns along this region many times as a young boy with my Mum & Dad.
After negotiating the many motorways and intersections around Warrington, we are soon motoring along, and it isn't long before we pass a road sign announcing we have now entered Wales. As with Ireland, the Welsh people have their own language, and while it may not be spoken extensively (at least we didn't hear it during our day long visit), most road signs and council signs have both the English and Welsh information showing.
After an hour or so we reach the Welsh coastal town of Llandudno (hope I've spelt this correct) and while we were only going for a slow drive along the coast here, I ask Dee if we can stop for a while. It is a brilliant sunny morning, and Gail and I have seen so little of the coast of the UK that it just cries out for us to take a walk along the beach.
We pull over and enjoy a wonderful hour walking along the sandy beach, followed by a walk to the end of a very long pier that talks to you of the past Victorian era, with the women in their finest skirts and dresses, adorned with their delicate hats and sun umbrellas, while the men are decked out in their tight fitting three piece suits, and bowler hats.
After our walk along the pier, we head back to the car and continue on into Wales until we reach the town of Conwy and are immediately confronted with the magnificent sight of Conwy Castle.
Conwy Castle stands astride a small rocky promontory that juts out into the River Conwy, and the castle, town, and the medieval town walls were all planned and built around the same time. It began in 1283 when the English armies of King Edward I completed the conquest of Snowdonia (a region of Wales as we know it today) and terminated the rule of the Welsh Princes. (Was there anyone the English weren't at war with back then?) Conwy was one of a series of castles established in North Wales to secure the newly conquered principality.
Anyway, I have added a few more details along with the photos if you are interested, but for now I'll just say we spent a wonderful couple of hours walking around and exploring the empty ruins of Conwy Castle.
After our visit to the castle we realized that the extra time we had spent at both Llandudno and Conwy Castle has meant we will not reach much further into Wales today. We therefore settled down to an afternoon tea and decided to use the rest of the daylight hours looking around the ancient and historical town of Conwy. Like others Gail & I had already visited, Conwy is a medieval walled town, and with almost the entire wall still intact, a walk along the top allows for an elevated view of Conwy and the surrounding areas. We spend an hour or so taking in the views, although much care was needed as it was becoming quite windy, and in some parts the wall height does not extend far above the walkway we were on, and it is a very long way down! After making it back to the waterfront along the River Conwy, and while enjoying the seaside views, we pass by a house reputed to be the smallest in Great Britain, and at only 6 foot x 10 foot, it would be very hard to beat.
By now dusk was well upon us, and with the lights of the town's Xmas decorations going on, we were given a final reminder of how beautiful the town of Conwy is.
From there we started what would normally be a 90 minute or so drive back to Warrington, however as it is now "knock off time" on a Friday afternoon, the motorway in parts was at a stand still, which is not uncommon here in the UK. In fact Gail and I have found ourselves stationary on three lane highways on mid Saturday mornings and late Sunday evenings, so there is nothing more to do but sit back and crawl along with the rest of the traffic. By the time we reach Warrington, Dee and Tony have been driving for well over two and a half hours, so they deserve a medal as they then get dinner ready for us, and we enjoy another very pleasant evening before bed in preparation for our drive to Derby tomorrow.
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