A window into the life of a professional geek, wife and mother (and nonni), stitcher/designer, bibliophile, old-school gamer, and whatever other roles she finds herself in.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

You are in a maze of twisty little backroads, all alike (UK trip 3/9)

Hawes, Tuesday 27 June 2006

Yesterday was a rather long day.
Flint CastleAt around 7am, we left Hawes for North Wales. After a bit of a traffic delay on the M6, we arrived at Flint Castle, a 13th century Edwardian castle on the north coast of Wales. The castle was once on the coast, but the passage of time has seen the water recede somewhat, and there are several hundred yards between the castle and the waterfront now. Only erosion on the towers serves to remind one of the former watermark.

Harlech CastleAfter Flint, we tried to see what was left at Mold, but not finding anything, we went on to Harlech. Harlech is the most intact of the castles we have seen thus far, a rather imposing fortress on the west coast. We spent a while there, exploring the towers and walls. The tallest tower had 143 stairs, but the view was well worth the climb. We stopped for tea, then drove to Dolwyddelan.
The third time must indeed be a charm, for at long last we were able to actually get *in* to Dolwyddelan, one of the few native Welsh castles, and the reputed birthplace of Llewelyn Fawr. Dolwyddelan CastleDolwyddelan is situated at the top of a hill, affording a beautiful view (pic) of the surrounding countryside. The keep and only a bit of the wall still stand, and it takes a steep climb to reach the castle. There, like Brough, was also a rather large amount of sheep dung.
By the time we left Dolwyddelan, it had started to drizzle. We drove to Conwy to eat at Alfredo's - practically a tradition whenever we're in North Wales. The food was good, as usual, then we headed back to Hawes through the rain. We got a bit turned about at some of the motorway changes, but by the time we got past Lancaster on the M6 the rain had stopped. The sky was a bit lighter than one would expect at 11pm, streaked with swaths of white and rose. Driving down the A684 at nearly midnight was almost too much of an adventure. The road is very narrow and winding, and rather a large number of rabbits nearly became one with the road. But by midnight we'd arrived safely back at the cottage.
Everyone slept in late today, with no plans beyond walking into Hawes for Market Day.
This afternoon, we walked to the Wensleydale Creamery right here in Hawes, and sampled all their lovely cheeses. We bought several for group consumption, then walked back home. It was a nice day to be out walking - the sky has been clear and it was a bit warmer than yesterday.
Proof your narrator truly is a CrackpotLate this afternoon some of us made the drive to Crackpot, hoping to take pictures and acquire postcards, but after a somewhat unnerving drive through narrow roads with steep drops to the side, we found Crackpot to be nothing more than a handful of houses - no town sign or anything. We did get pictures by a sign *to* Crackpot, and DsS and I discovered that nettles are No Fun. The drive home was slightly easier, along a road we christened Flat Bunny Pass for the sheer amound of roadkill! We also ran into traffic obstacles in the form of stray sheep (several times) and a herd of cattle (once).
We hit the grocer in Hawes on the way home, and got ingredients for spaghetti and some wine. Dinner was wonderful, courtesy of JA and BA, and between the wine and the cider, all were in good spirits.

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