Day 113: Liverpool via PontcysyllteJune 8, 2017 in the United Kingdom
Time to leave Wales, after a great 10 days or so travelling through. We've both really enjoyed our time here, and it's got a lot more variation than I think either of us were expecting. Good history, great beaches, friendly people, and of course the green hills, sheep and rain that you'd expect!
Had a host-provided breakfast and another chat before heading off around 11am, a bit later than planned! Still quite stiff and sore as you'd imagine from our exertions the previous day. Today's mission was driving to Liverpool, via a UNESCO World Heritage Site: Pontcysyllte Aqueduct & Canal.
First stop though was Betswy-y-Coed, a pretty little village town surrounded by mountains and rivers. We parked up and had a quick look around, but it was raining pretty steadily and didn't feel much like exploring. Instead we popped into one of the many many outdoor gear shops in town, where I bought some new hiking shoes and a rain jacket. Figured that travelling into northern England, Scotland and Ireland, I was definitely going to need both!
Back in the car, where the 90 minute drive passed fairly uneventfully, though it was raining fairly heavily in places and we weren't feeling super enthused. Pontcysyllte (pronounced pont-ke-shith-te) is a large aqueduct built entirely of cast iron and wrought iron, the largest in the world. It was built as part of a larger system of canals and aqueducts to ship heavy goods like coal, copper and tin from the mines in Wales to the dockyards in Liverpool and Manchester.
Unfortunately, despite the incredible engineering involving in getting parts of it built, it was about 40 years too late as the expanding railway network sounded the death knell for canal transport.
Nowadays you can take a tourist boat across the aqueduct (which is impressive, at several hundred metres long and about 40 metres high), but we declined due to the rain. Did some filming, but neither of us were overly impressed with the site itself. Painfully descended a walking track down to the river level for a good view of the aqueduct, but the viewing trail was closed off for health & safety reasons (there was a guy doing gardening). This country is ridiculous sometimes, they close off an entire walking track because of one guy with a wheelbarrow.
Back to the car, where we drove another couple of hours north-east into Liverpool. Made a couple of wrong turns but eventually found our accommodation, a spare room in a large terrace house with a couple our age. Had a good chat with them about the election taking place today, before we headed out to walk Schnitzel at a nearby park.
He had a great run around on the grass, and we then went to a nearby pub our hosts had recommended. It was sadly a bit of a let-down, since the kitchen closed at 7:30 (!!!) and we had to make do with cold meat platters. And there was a guy playing piano and singing, which was fine except Schnitzel HATES rounds of applause, so at the end of every song he'd bark his head off. Oh well.
Walked back home and made a slight detour to George Harrison's childhood home, in the block behind our house. Very disappointing, not even a plaque or a sign! Just a normal house in a normal street. Oh well. Back home and off to bed, looking forward to exploring the city tomorrow.Read more