Friday, December 8, 2017

Hiraeth 2016: Dydd 18, Caernarvon, Snowdon, and Dolbadarn

This has to be in the top 100 days of my life. North Wales did not disappoint. We drove up and around fulfilling the unfortunate explanation we heard from more than one of  the Cymry, "If you want to get anywhere in Wales, you have to go out to England and back in." There is no north-south M-highway in Wales. That doesn't mean if I had my way, we wouldn't wander the valleys, mountains, and seashore. But then, it would have been hard to fit all this in one day.

While Caernarvon was established by Edward I to put down the Welsh, today it is thoroughly Welsh.

Walking to Caernarfon Castle
You just can't beat this. (At least not until the next day.)

Caernarfon Castle. The round dais is where the current Saxon pretender to the title, Prince of Wales, was invested by his mother.
Looking over the Castle to Caernarfon Town.
Boats on the Afon Seiont and Caernarfon towers.
Then it was off to climb Yr Wyddfa, Mt. Snowdon. They said it wasn't as bad as climbing Timp (Mount Timpanogos above BYU in Utah) but it wasn't good either. I mean, it's a great adventure. I am suspicious that Tolkien's endless stone steps up Cirith Ungol were inspired by a climb up Mt. Snowdon.

At the summit, we had the most amazing and unusually clear views.
Wales not being all that big, we could see pretty much the whole country!

Looking South, the mountains on the far horizon are probably the Brecon Beacons.
One of my moments of glory was when I said, "Look! It's Ireland!"

Some Brit up there said, "You can't see Ireland from here! That's Liverpool!"

Even as a Yank, I know my West from my East. My wife checked the directional circle on the summit stone and said, "Yes, that's Ireland."

The Irish Sea, and yes, Ireland!
The route we came up, over and along Llyn Glaslyn (the lake)
A few of the many steps we climbed near the summit
And, if you're not up for the hike, you can always ride up with the tourists from the Continent.
On the way down, we looked back at the peak we had conquered.

Yr Wyddfa above Llyn Glaslyn
Then we went to a place that can only be described as the Land of Faerie.

On the way to Dolbardan
And we came to Llewellyn the Great's Castle, Dolbardan!

My wife and I had been reading about Prince Llewellyn and Lady Joan of England, daughter of King John. And, oh yes, all ancestors of mine!
Looking through a Dolbadarn window down Llyn Padarn towards the sea.
Dolbardan and Snowdonia
That's no moon! Well, yes, it is. Just with a bit of a zoom.

The end to a perfect day!
Click here for the next exciting adventure!

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