Exploring North Wales

The last time our family went to Wales, we stayed in a caravan park where it rained everyday and toddler emzae tripped up and hit the corner of her eye on a coffee table, leaving a permanent scar (that I totally rock). This time, I was determined to make some better memories!

We stayed in the seaside resort of Llandudno, which is said to have been an inspiration for Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland". There are plenty of statues and commemorative signs throughout the town on the subject. 

The promenade itself is very picturesque and well-maintained, due to strict rules from the Mostyn Estate which require all hotels to be painted in colours from a specified pastel colour palette, and prohibit fast food and bric-a-brac stalls from operating on the sea front. 

llandudno-at-night
llandudno-at-night

During the evenings, the town was surprisingly quiet with barely any cars to be seen on the wide main roads. There were plenty of restaurants within a short walk from each other, which made it easy to get a meal when you needed one. The bars and pubs were... interesting, with a memorable moment of my week involving 22-year-old me (out with my parents) being ordered out of a pub holding a bingo event voiced by Richard Wilson of One Foot in the Grave fame (or at least someone doing an impression of him) by an unpleasant battleaxe-type for supposedly looking under 18. 

Despite this, we explored new places every day. Highlights for me included the Great Orme, which we saw from both sides (via tram and mini train) and Conwy castle, which although a little scary provided me with fantastic views from the top of the towers. I only wish that there hadn't been so many school kids running around shouting on the paths, making me feel uneasy at the prospect of one of them toppling over and knocking me down into the river below.

the-great-orme-llandudno
conwy-castle-1
conwy-castle-2
conwy-castle-inside
conwy-castle-3
the-great-orme-emzae

We also visited Ffestiniog railway, taking a trip through spectacular scenery on an extremely hot day where I came up with a few melodies for songs. Oh, and I also saw a red panda at the Welsh Mountain zoo.

ffestiniog-1
ffestiniog-2
red-panda-welsh-mountain-zoo

It was fantastic to see a different part of the UK through older eyes, and I was fascinated by the fact that a country so close to England could have signs written in a different language. Perhaps my biggest achievement on the holiday was learning two Welsh phrases: "Siop" (Shop) and "Dim Parcio" (No Parking). If you get the chance to visit, don't turn it down!