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Didn’t We Have A Lovely Day, The Day We Drove To Bangor.

Posted by on May 3, 2012

After a solid sleep in a rickety bed in Talybont-on-Usk, we awoke to a hearty breakfast, packed and set off for a day of driving to the north of Wales.

We had advice not to take the motorway (thanks Mike and Trip Advisor) and so headed into the hills for the scenic tour (motorways the world over are great for getting from point A to point B but you get no sense of the country using them we have found).


We headed for Devils Bridge via Rhayader and walked down into a gorge to view the strangest bit of building I have seen so far. Three bridges, one built atop the other across a narrow ravine. Some lovely folklore surrounds these but the scenery was rugged, river rushed through steep walls and it was a spectacular break from driving.


We then headed to Dolgellau and a tea room called T H Roberts, in the old Parliament House building, or what was left of it. People around us were talking the lilting, guttural, gibberish with occasional English words chucked in which turned out to be Welsh. Jo had Welsh Rarebit which was a leek, cheese and mustard toastie and I had turkey, Brie and cranberry on a tasted ciabatta – yummy and quite light.

After lunch we evaded out onto the road again but instead of heading for the motorway, we headed further up the mountain range to Cafe Glendwr & Glaslyn Ice Cream in Beddgelert. Walsh Welsh icecream was dreamy, made in the shop and it came highly recommended.


Fortified and reaching our dairy quota for the week, we headed up into the Snowdonia National park, and the Pass of Aber-Glaslyn. The scenery was breathtaking, snow-capped mountains, debris fields of slate, huge boulders, even a picturesque copper mine. Although the roads were wiggly and edged with sharp stone walls, bordered by sheer cliffs and mostly wide enough for one car it was really lovely driving (if a little tough on the cars gear box).


Coming down from the mountains we pointed plastic patsy at Bangor, a seaside township in northern Wales so could walk on the pier to stretch our legs. Such a relic from a bygone era, piers are in many seaside towns and sometimes they are lined with stalls, shops and amusements.


It was late in the afternoon when we pointed plastic patsy at Conwy, our digs for the next 2 nights. We arrived on the outside of the town walls. This is one of the few walled townships with its walls still largely intact.


After settling in we headed out to Watsons Bistro we had booked for dinner. I had spiced parsnip soup for a starter which was warming and delicious, then both Jo and I had lamb, cooked til meltingly tender, on a bed pickled red cabbage, garnished with leek and lentils and a pot of dreamy garlic potatoes. Jo had toffee pudding for dessert. All in all an outstanding meal.


After dinner, it was still light (this perpetual twilight does my head in, light at 8pm is nuts really, sun finally goes down after 9pm) so we walked half of the town walls – you climb up to the crenellations and then walk along the boundary of the town, brilliant views and so much history. If the stones could talk they would reveal amazing tales I am sure.


Tuckered out, we were asleep before our heads hit the pillows. Brilliant day.

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