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Gored Gôch

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    • Day109

      Day 109: North to Anglesey

      June 4, 2017 in Wales ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

      Up and out fairly early today, after a lovely breakfast provided by our host. Managed to cut her off before a whole bunch of talking started, but we said a fond farewell and hit the road around 9:30.

      We drove north-east at first along a few back roads, then eventually emerged at the coast on the main road heading north. Our destination for today was the island of Anglesey, right in the north-western tip of Wales. Countryside was still fairly nice, as usual, though we didn't stop until we found a decent pub for lunch a couple of hours into the drive.

      Happy to report the pub was excellent, and as it was a Sunday we both tucked into Sunday roasts: beef for me and lamb for Shandos. I also had a pint of Pint of Thrones golden ale, with a Game of Thrones themed tap head - very cool!

      Back in the car where we continued north for our first stop, at Harlech Castle. There's a series of four UNESCO-listed castles up here in the tip of Wales, built in the 1280s by King Edward I of England, aka Longshanks, aka the evil English king from Braveheart. He conquered the area after one too many Welsh rebellions, and it's been occupied by the English ever since. To cement his grasp on the area, he built several enormous castles, one of which was Harlech.

      It was in a very dramatic location, on cliffs overlooking the sea about 1km distant (movement of sand dunes over the past 750 years means that the water has receded all the way from the castle walls), and a very strong looking fortress. Gigantic walls, a strong gatehouse and portcullis, four-storey tall keep, and a large central courtyard for miscellaneous buildings. Startling to think that it was completed in just six years!

      We took a bunch of photos and did the filming we needed to, before grabbing an ice-cream nearby and getting back in the car. Next stop was about 40 minutes north, a small pub on a beach at the tip of a long peninsula. You had to park and walk for about 20 minutes to reach the pub, it was so isolated.

      But since it was a warm, sunny Sunday, it didn't feel isolated! Lots of people on the beach sunbaking, swimming, and kids running around on the sand. Again very surprised to find a white sand beach here in the UK - I just assumed all of the beaches were pebbles and stones, not so!

      We had a pint at the pub enjoying the sun, then walked back the long way along the beach. Schnitzel loved running around on the sand, entertaining himself like he used to do on the beaches in Australia.

      Back to the car where we drove the last 30 minutes to our room for the next few days, in the town of Menai Bridge just across from Bangor on the Isle of Anglesey. We're staying in a large granny flat, plenty of space this time and fairly modern. Nice and comfortable. Our only problem was that since it was Sunday and it was now 6pm, all of the supermarkets were closed and we had nothing to eat!

      Not feeling like going out for dinner, I went out and did the best I could. Our microwave pasties from the petrol station were actually better than expected, once we'd crisped them up in the oven. We're here for three nights and both looking forward to exploring the area.
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      Traveler

      Tasty

      6/6/17Reply
      Traveler

      Harlech Castle, rear side

      6/6/17Reply
      Traveler

      Main keep of the castle

      6/6/17Reply
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    • Day110

      Day 110: Castle of Northern Wales

      June 5, 2017 in Wales ⋅ 🌧 13 °C

      Awoke to the sound of hammering rain on the roof. Not a good sign, considering we wanted to visit the three remaining castles of King Edward situated nearby! We had breakfast and weighed up our options - we had to decide between going today (it was supposed to clear up later), or waiting it out today and trying tomorrow (the weather was supposed to be much the same, but can change suddenly and frequently).

      In the end we decided to head out today, because it was better to risk it today and have tomorrow as a fallback option, rather than putting all our eggs in tomorrow's basket. If that makes sense.

      So we headed out later than planned, around 11am, and headed for the castle at Caernarfon, about 30 minutes to the west. This was the largest and grandest of the castles built, though it was never quite finished; the project ran out of money as Edward was spending his treasury brutally crushing Scotland instead.

      Interestingly though, it was here that his wife gave birth to their son and heir, Edward II, who was entitled Prince of Wales to shore up his claim over Wales. Ever since, the heir apparent to the UK has been titled the Prince of Wales - funny how traditions start!

      This castle was very large, though with no buildings in the middle, so just tall thick walls and a gatehouse surrounding a large field. It was on a promontory near the old town, and some of the town walls were still visible. This castle was intentionally designed to be grand, showing off the power and wealth of the English kings, though I guess running out of money may not have helped that - there were a series of rebellions over the next couple of hundred years, but the English have held Wales since this time (1280s).

      The rain lashed down on and off, but we managed to get the footage we needed for our UNESCO visit. Had a quick lunch of Welsh Rarebit in a local cafe; quite tasty though it is just glorified cheese on toast! Also tried bara brith, a slightly denser fruit loaf that's traditional to Wales. Very tasty.

      Next up we drove northwards back on to Anglesey and the town of Beaumaris where castle #2 was located. This castle was the strongest and probably most impressive, military-wise, as it had a pioneering "concentric design" - walls within walls. So you had a large moat, then a set of tall and thick walls with lots of parapets and archery holes, a narrow flat area, then another set of even taller, thicker walls! The gatehouse was very strong too, with lots of murderholes (gaps in the ceiling where defenders could drop rocks, boiling oil and other nasty things on intruders).

      Very impressive to see, though again this castle wasn't quite finished. More filming, though again it was raining heavily on and off. Here you could walk along both the rooftops and the passageways inside the walls; a little claustrophobic but still a lot of fun.

      Finally we set off eastwards to the town of Conwy and the final castle of the day. We arrived quite late, just after 4:30pm, when the castle shut at 5pm and last entry was supposed to be 30 minutes before closing. But we talked our way in, particularly since our multi-day pass was expiring at midnight and we couldn't come back.

      Conwy was actually the most complete castle, and was used quite a few times to defend the town and guard the king. A couple of monarchs had spent time here, though usually not more than a couple of months at a time. Definitely interesting to see the rooms prepared for the king, as opposed to the rough stone digs for everyone else! This castle was quite nice to look at as well, since it was on a tall rocky outcrop above the town, and much of the wall had survived. More filming the rain, but finally done and just in time for closing!

      Last stop for the day was just around the corner, the "smallest house in Great Britain". Seemed a bit gimmicky, but it definitely was small! Only a metre or so across, two storeys but the ceiling would've been shoulder-height for me. It was closed so we didn't go in, just took a photo at the front and headed off.

      Back to our apartment where we cooked in for a change, the usual spaghetti with pesto!
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      Traveler

      Caernarfon

      6/10/17Reply
      Traveler

      Caernarfon

      6/10/17Reply
      Traveler

      Beaumaris, you can just see the two-wall design

      6/10/17Reply
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    • Day111

      Day 111: Working in Wales

      June 6, 2017 in Wales ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

      Very little happening today as we finished all our necessary filming yesterday. Spent most of the day working and relaxing; weather still bad though not as bad as yesterday! Typical. I got 5 videos done and my journal entirely caught up which was good, only 6 videos in the backlog now! But I've got material queued up on YouTube until late June, so plenty of time to create new videos.

      Late afternoon we briefly went out to the supermarket for dinner supplies, and also visited a Victorian-era tourist trap: the village with the longest single-word name in Europe. It was originally called something else, but they changed the name in the 1860s to attract tourists to come and take a photo with the giant railway station sign.

      So that's what we did as well, thankfully it was late in the day and basically nobody was around. Also had a good chuckle at the enormous gift shop there - easily the largest building in town. At least they embrace their tackiness I guess.

      Back home where we ate in for the third night in a row.
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      Trish Forrester

      And can you recite the name without looking?

      6/11/17Reply
      Trish Forrester

      And the winner is... the town sign writer!

      6/11/17Reply
       
    • Day10

      Bryn Celli Ddu

      July 24, 2022 in Wales ⋅ ☁️ 19 °C

      Megalitska skrivnost, kamniti krog, grobnica, kamniti koledar... Veliko skrivnosti je še v tej gomili izpred 5.000 let

      Traveler

      Ful zanimivo, lepo in precej drugače kot pri nas. In še zmeri nič folka 😜. Edin kar moram opozoriti, mal pazi ko pišeš, ene črke se ti dvakrat tipknejo (Ddu na primer...) 🤣

      7/24/22Reply
      Traveler

      Jaz vse prav prepišem ;) Valižani imajo to radost da pišejo dvojne Lje, Dje, celo Wje... nasploh zelo malo samostalnikov, mesteca pa s takimi imeni, da si jih ne moreš zapomnit niti pod prisilo... Zanimivost: Wales ima mesto z nakdaljšim imenom, menda 50+ črk... Pojma nimam, kje je.

      7/24/22Reply
      Traveler

      Najbrž odd ddežja in megle pa jim je ddolgčas..

      7/24/22Reply
      Traveler

      :) najbrž

      7/24/22Reply
       

    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Gored Gôch, Gored Goch

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