Tuesday, 30 April 2013

April Happy Things

The arrival of Spring!

Camping in North Wales

Our first Broads trip - despite living in Norfolk for 14 years!

Street Children are definitely not a happy thing, but I ran a Charity event at work for the Railway Children and raised lots of money for this more than worthy cause.

Beautiful Swan

Flowers from my Husband

Birthday Dinner

Cake Decorating

My new found love of breadmaking

Homemade Tortillas

Anglesey Abbey

Birthday presents on a boat!


How the Welsh deal with their Snow - pile it up high!

Sunsets over the sea

March Happy Things

Hexie Patchwork Kit for my lovely Mum for  Mothers Day

Ceramic Painting

Our new dresser

My own hexies - I love making these

A new tent! Lots of camping will happen this year.

The beautiful Rosie eyeing up her favourite toy

Bakewell Tart

New Shoes!

Mexican Food

Pretty Paper Pads

Homemade Strawberry Sorbet

Pretty Colours

The last of our autumnal blackberries

Camping in North Wales

Monday, 29 April 2013

Day Six

Our final day of our Holiday started in Caernarfon - we headed straight for the Castle. It's an absolute beast of a fortification. It's really quite intimidating and dominates Caernarfon. We walked around the Castle and along the bank of the Menai Straights and there was barely a sole around. To be fair it was very early in the day, but by the time we got back to the centre some Coaches had arrived and there was lots and lots of people. We aimed for the old town for more meandering and enjoyed the eclectic buildings all jostled together - so pretty.

We then went down the coast towards Llithfaen to visit the Welsh Language Centre at Nant Gwrtheyrn. The Road down to the Centre was somewhat steep! Nant Gwrtheyrn was abandoned in the 1970s following the closure of the quarries. In it's heyday over 2000 men worked there quarrying the Granite. A trust was formed, by Dr Carl Clowes, the local GP and others and eventually they bought the village and set about renovating the old buildings and developed a centre to teach Welsh. Inside one of the buildings was the most amazing knitted village complete with fields of crops and animals. We went inside one of the Quarryman's Cottage which was built in 1878 and Meinirs Tree - all about the tragic love story of Rhys and Meinir.

So, seeing it was our last day, there was only one place that I wanted to spend our last afternoon. So it was back off to Anglesey. We headed towards Amwlch and went first to The Copper Kingdom to learn about the areas industrial heritage. We then went for a very long walk around the worlds biggest copper mine at Parys Mountain. It is the most other worldly landscape that I've ever been to.  The lack of vegetation, although understandably because of the toxicity, was unnerving. But the colours, of the colours! Pinks, Yellows, Greens, Greys, Browns and Blues. It was such an amazing place to walk around. We even got to see an incredibly fast Hare bolt away from us.

There was only one thing I wanted to go after this mammoth walk and that was to walk a little more so we could see the sunset over the sea again. We headed for Rhoscolyn and walked across the bay, round lots of houses and across several fields to get to the jagged cliffs with twenty minutes to spare. We were greeted by this beautiful little one;

We nestled in the rocks to get out of the wind and were treated to the most beautiful display. I don't think I'll ever get bored of seeing the sun set over the sea - it feels like such a treat. Our last stop was Menai Bridge to pick up some dinner which we ate in the Car overlooking the Straights which sparkled in from the lights and the Bridge. We both slept so well that night, all the walking zonked us out. Boy do I love Anglesey.

Day Five

Our fifth day away was bright and full of Sunshine and our first stop was Inigo Jones, a Slate Works.  They were  founded in 1861 primarily to make school writing Slates but now they make all manner of things with what I believe is one of the very best natural materials in the world. They do a self guided tour and you get to see all the elements and processes of working with Slate. But the very best bit was the Carving Studio where we spent a while having a go at hand carving the pieces of Slate we'd been given. I will confess my piece had a dubious outcome, but it was incredibly fun.

We then followed the Welsh Highland Railway route, stopping off at the phenomenal views of Rhyd Ddu - such a peaceful place complete with quietly waiting train passengers and a man asleep under a Tree.

We continued along to Beddgelert - it's another place that has stolen my heart. It's in a Valley and the views are amazing - completely surrounded by Snow capped Mountains. Breathtaking. The village is beautiful and had a rather popular Ice Cream Parlour - I've never seen so many flavours. We had a wander around the Village, pottered in and out of the shops and went to Tourist Information Office and bought a Learn Welsh CD to listen to in the Car. We then made for the River and took the walk towards Gelerts Grave. According to legend, the stone monument in the field marks the resting place of 'Gelert', the faithful hound of the medieval Welsh Prince Llewelyn the Great. The story, as written on the tombstone reads:

"In the 13th century Llewelyn, prince of North Wales, had a palace at Beddgelert. One day he went hunting without Gelert, "The Faithful Hound", who was unaccountably absent. On Llewelyn's return the truant, stained and smeared with blood, joyfully sprang to meet his master. The prince alarmed hastened to find his son, and saw the infant's cot empty, the bedclothes and floor covered with blood. The frantic father plunged his sword into the hound's side, thinking it had killed his heir. The dog's dying yell was answered by a child's cry. Llewelyn searched and discovered his boy unharmed, but near by lay the body of a mighty wolf which Gelert had slain. The prince filled with remorse is said never to have smiled again. He buried Gelert here".

After a quick lunch we went to the Llechwedd Slate Caverns and got on a little yellow Train complete with hard hats and taken half a mile into the Mine.  Our guide told us all about how Slate was mined 150 years ago - I just can't imagine how tough it must have been to work by just candlelight; the noise and sheer danger. We also had a walk around the Village with the Old Quarry Office, The Pub and the Victorian Sweetshop. There were lots of lovely Slate items for sale and we bought three Canape Trays which are absolutely lovely.

It was getting late in the day but still a little early for dinner but it was still light. I love the first few weeks after the clocks go forward as it just seems you have so much more time to do stuff in the evening. We made a stop at Dolwyddelan Castle. It's an absolutely massive Keep and really thick walls - it completely dominates the landscape, so very imposing.

After our walk around the Castle our tummies were starting to rumble so we started to make our way to Betws-y-Coed but spied these and just had to stop to take a photo. I've never seen anything like it.

We had a wander through Betws-y-Coed and eventually chose to eat at The Grill Room. The Boy had a Trio of locally made Sausages; Pork and Apple, Dragon and Lamb and Leek. I am completely fascinated as to what Dragon actually was! I went for the Lamb and it was divine.

We ended up back at the campsite around 9pm and whilst the Boy was boiling water, oh so slowly because it was so cold, I thought it was funny to turn down his sleeping bag and put a Chocolate on his pillow. It was almost like being a fancy hotel just very cold and half way up a Mountain!