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[personal profile] life_of_glamour
After a lovely breakfast at the hotel we set out into rain and windy cold weather to see some castles. Our first stop was Conwy and the adorable little walled city penned in with it.

As we left our cottage Cathyn said, "Boy I wish I had brought a light jacket on this trip."
"Well why didn't you?" I inquired.
"I don't own one!"

It's true, we live in California and he's highly resistant to cold weather, so he doesn't own one. So before anything else, we inquired at the gift shop next door to the castle where we might obtain a jacket, explaining that we were from California where it doesn't rain, and the nice gentleman took mercy on us and led us out the back door of the shop and down some cobbled streets to a mountain gear shop which appeared closed but he knocked on the door and a nice lady come out and let us in to buy a waterproof jacket. During this transaction the rain stopped and shortly thereafter the sun came out and we never needed it again. So it's a good thing we bought a jacket to ensure good weather the rest of the trip!

On to the castle! Edward I, Hammer of the Scots (and Kind of a Dick to Every One Else, Too), had a series of imposing castles built on the North Wales coastline, and 3 (maybe 4?) of them were recently listed as World Heritage Sites. Conwy Castle was our first in this series, and what a great place to start!

1ConwyCastle

2Conwy

3Conwy

Strange meeting him here!
4conwyCathynface

And this sign, which I will now translate for you. It says, "If you are foolish and don't pay attention while climbing around on ancient castle ruins, when you trip and fall down we will all face-palm hard on your behalf."
5dontfalldownfacepalm

When we bought our tickets to see the castle, the lady selling them said, "Do you also want to see the Elizabethan House?"
...
"The what?(!)" we asked.
"The Elizabethan House down on the High Street. I's only £2 more if you buy them together..."

SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY! Or I politely said, "Yes, please!"

So after the running up and down the towers and ramparts of Conwy Castle we moseyed down to the High Street and Plas Mawr. Practically unchanged from the 16th century, now outfitted with period furniture and other items.

Oh the plaster ceilings!
6ElizHouse

Oh the period furniture!
7ElizHousefurniture

Oh the rushes on the floors! Oh the people you meet in the kitchen!
8ElizKitchen

Oh the painted plaster and fireplace! Oh the loud creaky floors! Seriously...they could raise the dead with the noise the floors made as one walked about.
elizfireplace

9ElizGreatHall

And the view from the tiny little window in the tower at the top!
10ElizTowerView

So that was £2 each well spent! Then we found a little cafe for a light lunch before stopping for honeycomb ice cream at a sweet shop then to the car for our next stop - another World Heritage Site, Caernarfon Castle. Undoubtedly larger and more imposing than Conwy, I still found Conwy more evocative. Caernarfon is a brute of a castle, and there were several museum exhibits and a film presentation set up in its many towers. It is where Edward II was born, and has seen the investiture of 2 Princes of Wales in the 20th century.

11CaernarfonCastle

12CfonCastle

And here's the dais where the current Prince of Wales was invested in 1969:
CfonDais

For some reason I was underwhelmed by Caernarfon, as compared to Conwy, but it is certainly an imposing fortress. Our next stop was Segontium - the ruins of a Roman Fort! Sadly when we arrived we discovered that the museum was closed and has been for quite some time and will be for the foreseeable future. Walking around the site without any interpretive signage was...less than informative.

14Segontium

13SegontiumRomanRuins

Still, I loves me a Roman Ruin. I was somewhat mollified over the fairly disappointing Segontium with knowing that later when we get to Cardiff we can go to the Roman amphitheater at Caerleon, which I saw once when I first visited Cardiff 10 years ago and have been looking forward to taking [livejournal.com profile] cathyn to see.

After castle-traipsing and jacket-buying and ruin-observing we headed back for dinner at our hotel. Here is an example of a typical road sign in Wales, just thought you might be interested:
15WalesRoadSigns
I would like to buy a vowel, please.

Dinner at the hotel was somewhat disappointing and yet faintly amusing. This morning at breakfast the staff asked us if we wanted to make a reservation for dinner, and we thought we'd check out their restaurant so we agreed. She told me that the only times left were 7pm or 8:30 because they were already booking up fast. 7pm was earlier than we wanted to eat, but 8:30 might have been too late if we were jet-lagged at all (Note: we are not. My tried and true "take a nap when you get in, get up and see some sights and have dinner later in the afternoon" method wins again), so we agreed to 7pm, since we wanted them to be able to fit us in.

HA! Ha ha. We arrived for dinner at 7pm to find we were the only people in the restaurant, a situation which endured until 7:45 when 2 more couples arrived. When we finished around 8:30 there were still only us and 2 other couples in the restaurant. I'm so glad they didn't stretch themselves too thin by allowing us to dine at 8pm...that would have been crazy mad busy! My meal was not quite as good as what we'd had at the pub last night, but I am happy to chalk it up to live and learn. I seriously can't get over their weird scheduling practices though!

Tomorrow we shall venture forth to Anglesey Island. I've heard a whisper of a possible Bronze Age burial site to explore! In other news, I'm still taking pictures with my phone, and it still hates humanity and all it embodies.

Date: 2014-05-09 08:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] freewaydiva.livejournal.com
The vowels have all fucked off to Finland, FYI.

Also: I would like to live in the 16th C. house, please. We could all live there together. It'll be great!

Date: 2014-05-09 10:42 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Wonderful narrative and great pics (I especially liked the window shot of Captain Hammer of Wales). You bring it all back. Thanks for posting this!

Date: 2014-05-10 01:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] twistle.livejournal.com
oo ooo - my great aunt owned a cottage on the seafront at Beaumaris - I've been past that sign lots of times!

*jealous*

Date: 2014-05-10 06:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] helblonde.livejournal.com
Color me jealous. :)

Date: 2014-05-10 11:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kahnegabs.livejournal.com
This is a great travelogue! Thanks.

Date: 2014-05-11 05:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dakini-bones.livejournal.com
See?! Weird scheduling!

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