The 'North' of Wales - Snowdonia
Dan's biggest dream for our trip was to see the Redbull Hardline, and so we headed up the middle and towards the North of Wales. This area is a National Park and everyone we spoke to told us that it was very beautiful. We had booked a cottage in a place called Pennal and we were looking forward to exploring the area.
The drive took a few hours and we stopped off at an interesting memorial for a famous person who cared a lot about the Welsh countryside and was a voice for it. Shame I can't remember his name. Anyway, it was a very beautiful vista, though a bit windy. Hannah's face says it all really.
Our drive took us past some pretty cool places and through some old villages. We could tell that they were built before cars existed. I mean who puts houses so close together that only one car can get past at a time? Ah, that's right, those that only drove carts.
We arrived in Pennal to a very delightful cottage and town. It was like something out of a storybook or a film. We went for a walk to look around.
We found a cemetery and had a walk around. Lots of names and family lines buried here.
This was definitely a house out of a storybook.
The next day we headed for the town of Talyllyn, where a railway line runs. This line is pretty special and is connected with the Rev who wrote Thomas the Tank Engine, more about that later. First, we had to go on a trip.
We took the train up to the end of the line where the train engine had to turn around. We had a few minutes to look around.
It was then back down the line (about a mile) where it was lunch break time for the train driver and for us. We had some classic Welsh food of hot potatoes and beans in a tea room. Dan got a bit nostalgic about tea rooms with his Nana.
After the half-hour break, we embarked the train again and made the return journey to the station. Hannah was a bit tired by then. All that sitting and looking tires a girl out.
At the station there was a museum. My Dad and Brother-in-Law Michael would have been in heaven if they had been with us. All that train information ... the sound of heavenly bells rings loudly. We enjoyed having a look around. The kids had a go at operating a train.
We also found Rev. Awdry's study. This is the amazing man who wrote the Thomas books. Some of the trains he wrote about were based on the trains that are operated here. He also contributed to the restoration of the line and the popularity of train trips like this one. I have instructed Dan that he is more than welcome to take up a hobby that would lead to this kind of extra income.
We then thought it was a good time to explore the area and in particular the beach. I think you can tell from the photos what the weather was like, though I do need to add that it was actually quite warm. No freezing easterly whipping through the bones.
After that, we headed to Aberdyfi (said Aberdovey), a town a bit further up. We planned to walk around and explore however the heavens opened up and it teemed with rain. Soaked to the bone kinda wet. We made a bit of a dash to a well-reviewed Cafe for a top up but on the way back to the car it rained even more (even though we didn't think that was possible). We probably would have been less wet if we'd taken a shower. Ah, but that is what adventures are all about so we laughed and headed back to our wee cottage. It had been a lovely day.