Monday, April 11, 2011

Adventures In England--Day 20 & 21

Thursday, April 7, 2011
Today was filled with packing bags and doing any last minute things before we left for Wales. We planned on heading out right when Jason got home from work--everything needed to be done before then. Once Jason got home, we were out the door and walking towards the bus stop. Our train was leaving out of Kingston so we had about a 40 minute bus ride before we got to our train. The trains (we had three train switches) were on time and we were in Wales about 5 hours after we left. Our final destination in Wales was Llandudno Junction, which is about 1 mile away from Conwy. We wanted to visit Conwy (Conway in English) because Jason's family has a lot of history there. We got in around 9:00pm so it was hard to really see much so we just had the taxi drop us off at our B&B, Gwynfryn House. We couldn't have asked for a better place...such cute decorations, amazing owners and a traditional breakfast each morning. After a long day of train travel, it didn't take long for us to fall asleep. We had a busy weekend planned and we needed to be well rested!

Friday, April 8, 2011
We had a busy day planned out so we ate breakfast and headed out to the town. Before I go too fast, I'll have to explain our traditional breakfast that we enjoyed.
If you look at my plate, you'll see a hashbrown, 2 sausage links, an egg, a mushroom, 2 pieces of ham, beans and black pudding. This is a traditional breakfast, along with the tea and juice, and it looks pretty normal to an American breakfast. The beans and the black pudding are the two odd balls. We said we were going to try a little bit of everything on our plate, regardless, because we wanted to truly experience Wales. Well, the black pudding (the black patty looking thing) was the last thing on our plates that we tried. It tasted like a strong sausage but Icouldn't eat it and not know what it was, so I asked the chef. I shouldn't have asked because we found out it was blood sausage...needless to say, breakfast was over as soon as we found out! I literally thought Jason was going to get sick. Haha! Once we finished breakfast we went exploring. Conwy is one of the few towns remaining in Britain that is completely walled--the only holes in the wall are for the roads.
We were even able to climb up and walk along the walls that surround the town. Such amazing views from that high up! We couldn't visit Conwy and not tour the Conwy Castle, after all it is our castle (don't we wish). The Castle was amazing. I'm not sure if the name of the castle made it more exciting or if it was just that awesome, but it was pretty amazing!
From the top of Conwy Castle, you could see the River Conwy and Conwy Marina. Bridging across the river was the Suspension Bridge....such a unique bridge. The marina was beautiful in the morning light. It was low tide (you can tell if you look down the middle of picture) and some of the boats were resting on the ground. It was kind of weird to see the river so low.We left the castle and walked along the river to the Smallest House in Britain. The house is painted bright red and it's 10' by 4'2". The last owner was a fisherman that was 6' in the world did he fit in his house?!Another famous building in Conwy is the Plas Mawr. The Plas Mawr was built by a wealthy merchant in the 16th century and was restored and preserved to its original beauty.
We walked around Conwy for most of the morning and saw all the other historic buildings and then we jumped on a bus and headed to Betws-y-Coed, the heart of Snowdonia National Park. We were told that we could hike along the river and then Swallow Falls, a famous waterfall, would just 'pop up' in an opening in the woods.
We walked through the woods and after an hour, we started to question Swallow Falls. Finally we saw a few other hikers and we asked. They told us that once we got to Miner's Bridge we would be about half way to the Falls. We found Miner's Bridge and we were tired of walking through the woods so we crossed the bridge and got on the main road. The walk through the woods was killing us--mud puddles, tree roots and climbing fences was not on our agenda! Another 40 minute walk, UPHILL, along the main road and we finally saw a sign for Swallow Falls. I'm so glad we saw the sign because we were seriously considering turning around and heading back to the town center. I'm so glad that we didn't turn around because I would have been so upset at myself. Swallow Falls was so pretty. We had such a great first day in Wales. We didn't get back to our B&B until 8:00pm--such a long day of exploring. We had such a great time just talking and walking that it made the day go by so fast. We caluclated it up and we thought we walked close to 10 miles! After a jammed packed day, it didn't take us long to fall asleep.


David and Elizabeth said...

Everything is so quaint and perfect! I love it!

Hannah said...

Sounds like an awesome day! Beautiful pics :)