May 7: Caernarfon and Snowdonia

We started our day by going to Caernarfon Castle, Edward I’s main castle in Wales. It’s also the biggest

Lots of interesting exhibits about the Princes of Wales and the history of the castle.

There’s also a video of Prince Charles’ investiture as Prince of Wales in 1969. It was the first time I’ve seen it in colour; presumably I originally watched it on a black and white tv (way back then).

Drove into Snowdonia National Park and stopped for a bite at Beddgellert, a village with a legend about a dog named Gellert, whose master was Prince LLewelyn. The village was picturesque with a lot of people walking their dogs. If you don’t want sad dog stories, don’t look up the story of Gellert. It’s way worse a cry story than Greyfriars Bobby or Hachiko. The village felt a lot like Banff.

Stopped at a site with an explanation about why the red dragon is on the Welsh flag.

An ancient king was trying to build a castle but it kept getting destroyed during the night. A young boy told the king to dig the ground under the castle. It revealed a red dragon and white dragon fighting. When the red defeated the white, the king was able to build his castle. The young boy was named Merlin and grew up to be the wizard who advised King Arthur.

There’s lots of other interpretations, but this is what the Welsh like as the story.

We drove on to look at the south side of Mount Snowdon.

The view down the valley:

We then went to the National Slate Museum near the world’s largest slate quarry– but no longer active. Along the way, we saw some mountain goats along the slate slag. The were just dots, so we never took any photos. The slate industry was of overwhelming economic significance in this area.

The hole made by quarrying has left a deep hole now filled with water.

The museum is in the former foundry area which equipped the quarry.

We watched a slate splitting demonstration. The size of slate has names.

We took one final look at Mount Snowdon.

For dinner we returned to Garddfon, a pub, restaurant and hotel that we thought was one of the best recommendations from our guide, Alwyn.

We both had Welsh lamb, after seeing so many of them, and wanting to support the local economy; it seemed like a good choice. It was a delicious choice.

Then it was back to the hotel to get ready to go to Edinburgh in the morning.

The sign on the road to the hotel.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s