Snowdonia, Wales – Day 7

This was a day to explore on our own or to take the optional Welsh Experience.  Barbara and I selected to take the optional trip.  This was a wonderful day trip that included a steam train ride on the Ffestiniog Railway frm the coast of Porthmadog into the mountains at Blaenau Ffestiniog.  The oldest independent railway in the world, the narrow gauge Ffestiniog Railway as built in 1832 to carry slate, and has been carrying passengers since 1864.  The route took us through some of Snowdonia’s spectacular scenery – as part of the Snowdonia National Park.

and there was a marina right next to the railway station. 


An engine was going the other way –

And our engine just connected up.
Then it was time to start our trip.
 Such drama with all the steam smoke.
The following are a number of images from the trip.
We crossed over a marsh –

and passed the maintenance yard –  a slate company –















After we had a grand train ride, we drove off on the coach to Portmeirion.  This is a tourist village in Gwynedd, North Wales. It was designed and built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975 in the style of an Italian village of Portafino, and is now owned by a charitable trust.

The village is located in the community of Penrhyndeudraeth, on the estuary of River Swyryd, 2 miles south east of Porthmadog.

Portmeirion has served as the location for numerous films and television shows, and was “The Village” in the 1960s television show The Prisoner.
Here are a number of images of this colorful village





And then we went inside for a lunch of chicken and vegetables – which was very flavorful and tender.

And Barbara as we walked out of the arch – 
We now drove on towards our next stop – a Slate factory, but there were views on the route.

We stopped for this view

but on the other side of the road – we got an added bonus – off to the left in the first shot is a mountain goat.

and – another one lower down.

The slate factory where we saw a movie and watched a demonstration on how slate slabs are created – by hand.



And the mountainside where they used explosives to bring down the pieces of slate.

and the paths they used to bring down the pieces or bring up the explosives.
It was a great day with lots of views of Wales.  

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Ironbridge and Caernarfon – Day 6

We left our hotel and headed off to Wales. Some sights along the way.




Our first stop is Ironbridge.  This is where the industrial revolution began.  The method used to smelt iron was revised to use coke making it cheaper.
It is a village on the River Severn, at the heart of the Ironbridge Gorge in Shropshire, England.  Ironbridge developed beside, and takes its name from the famous Iron Bridge, a 100 ft cast iron bridge that was built across the river in 1779.
Of course, I am on this trip so the bridge is covered with scaffolding and the road was closed – starting today.


 The toll house for the bridge.



 A lot of people got a pork pie to take on the coach.

A fitting car for here.

 A road map.
Now it was back on the coach to go to Llangollen.


 We stopped in this store to find out about the Love Spoons.

 


The sign above the store – is the name of the store in Welsh.
And finally to Caernarfon – and our next hotel.
 
We dropped our bags and went on a short walking tour of the city.  We had plans for dinner so it had to be short.
 An example of a sign – Welsh is a difficult language.
We walked down to the castle – 




Here is the square –


And we made reservations for tomorrow night at this restaurant.

But for tonight we have a host dinner with a family from this town.  We met a simply delightful couple – Angela and Mike Beverley.  We enjoyed a wonderful dinner and Angela’s homemade wine.  We were surprised when we saw that they had pictures of American Presidents hanging in their house.  Some good discussion regarding both of our countries.  A lovely evening that made our trip.