Sunday, 10 August 2014

Llandudno and Conwy

We awake to a grey day and can see people passing below the gate house with raincoats and umbrellas, although the rain is light and drizzly. We decide to go out anyway, and leave shortly before lunch for Llandudno, one of the iconic Welsh seaside resorts and arrive in blustery rain. We take a brief look at the pier – the longest in Wales – and then find a restaurant on the seafront for lunch. It’s a good vantage point from which to watch people’s umbrellas blowing inside out as they try to avoid the horizontal rain. It’s not a great day to be by the seaside, so after a brief shopping expedition we set off for Conwy to see the castle.

It’s still raining when we arrive, but stops as we explore the castle which occupies an imposing spot controlling the river crossing. The town was fully walled and much of the wall remains standing. The castle’s towers are also fairly intact so we enjoy some splendid views of the town and the harbour. We walk a portion of the town walls and then go to look at some of the other buildings, including the smallest house in the UK. On the way we stop for an ice cream – a hugely frustrating experience as the guy behind the counter was incapable of fulfilling the simple task of selling us one. By this time the heavens have opened again so we head back to the car.
Driving back we stop briefly at Betws-y-coed, a busy little town doing a booming trade in outdoor wear and hiking equipment. I like the buildings here, all made from the local granite which makes them seem an integral part of the landscape. Then back to the Gate House to light a fire and get ready for dinner. The sunset tonight is stunning.

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