August Bank Holiday

Almost as soon as we were over our jet lag we went up to North Wales to visit Uncle Ceri, Auntie Angela, Kate and Rachel. The weather was hit and miss but we still managed to get out for some really fantastic day trips in the area.

We started with a lovely walk in the Snowdonia National Park:


Here are Ceri and Aled:


And a great pic of Angela and Ceri:


I couldn’t resist putting this one in of Ang and the kids — obviously taking this walk very seriously!


The girls took turns riding in our car to spend even more time with Morgy — here he is with Rachie:


…en route to this beautiful lake:


The careful observer may note that Rachie is up to her usual tricks… just about to fill her boots with WATER… AGAIN!


Everyone got pretty soaked so soon we headed back to the house:


…for Uncle Ceri’s favourite: BBQ!


I purposely chose that pic to show off the amazing kitchen/dining room extension that Ceri and Angela worked so hard on last year. They have created such an awesome space — well done guys!!

BBQ in the sun with wine was also quite pleasant!


I’m always keen to see a new part of the country so the next day we headed out onto the Llyn Peninsula to do some exploring. Here is a cute little village called Nefyn on the north coast.


It was a nice walk for everyone along the beach with a few minor delays here and there:


Here is Morgy at the cliff head:


Check out these quaint views of the countryside:


And then we headed to the south side of the peninsula to Abersoch, another popular destination on the Llyn.  To be honest, the place was crawling with people in very posh vehicles so I didn’t enjoy it as much as I enjoyed Nefyn.  Not to be dismayed, we headed to the pub but with three 5-and-unders it wasn’t as relaxing as perhaps first imagined.  I think this picture pretty much sums up parenthood these days:


The next day Aled, Morgy and I headed over to Portmeirion, an “Italianate village” on the coast.


It’s kind of hard to describe.  Wiki says Portmeirion “was designed and built by Sir Clough William-Ellis between 1925 – 1975 in the style of an Italian village.”  Admittedly it was kind of random but Aled and I thought it was a great spot — full marks for quirkiness and creativity!


Around every corner we found some pretty snapshots:


We hopped on a walking tour and the guide let us in on a secret: the architect made a lot of “tricks of the eye”.  For example see the boat down by the estuary… from far away it looks like it is docked…


But if you look closely you can see that it’s built out of stone and concrete and is really just an extension of the sea wall… funny right?


There was a lovely walk around the cliffs — unfortunately the tide was in so we couldn’t enjoy the village’s beach — and then we walked back through some nice forest towards the village and came across this beautiful pond:


So all in all it was a very nice day at Portmeirion, complete with some fantastic gelato.  If you are passing through this area, I would definitely recommend a visit.

On Wednesday, we left the northerners in peace and headed east towards Chester, a city on the border of Wales and England where Aled went to university.  He has been telling me  how beautiful and wonderful Chester is for over a decade now so I was really excited to see it.  Chester was a Roman fort founded in 79 AD and is one of the best preserved walled cities in Britain.  Here is one of the main streets with these lovely black and white buildings:


The weather wasn’t the greatest and by then I think Morgy and I were sick of seeing new places so we walked around some of the city walls…


…quickly saw the Cathedral…


… and then went to a lovely pub on the river for lunch:


And then it was time to head home to Cardiff.  But Dadda was insistent that we make one more stop to see the Llangollen Canal, an impressive feat of 19th century industrial engineering.  Originally built around 1805, it was used to transport limestone — now it is used for summertime canal boating.


Here are Aled and Morgy on the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, the oldest and longest navigable aqueduct in Britain and the highest in the world apparently…


Now I’m not usually that bothered by heights but there was quite a drop off this one…


So this last stop had the desired effect — I have been bitten by the canal boat bug and can’t wait to spend a few weeks one summer puttering around Britain at 4 miles an hour!

Well this post was also supposed to include September but I am too tired now… so I will stop here!  I hope you have enjoyed this little adventure of ours through North Wales!  Thank you to Uncle Ceri, Auntie Angela, Kate and Rachel for having us XOXOXO