Posted by: ilanasmith | February 1, 2007

Thar She Blows!

My grandfather’s family is from Wales (by way of Argentina…it’s a long story), so I had to go to Wales.  My grandmother’s maiden name is Conway, so while in Wales, I had to go to Conwy.
Travelling in the depths of winter is both good and bad.  The worst part is that the day is so short, so I didn’t realise that my first Welsh B&B backed onto the Irish freaking Sea until the next morning.  The best part is that everyone else thinks you’d be mad to go touristing at that time of year, and at Conwy Castle, I got myself a personal guide.
Conwy Castle pretty much rocks.  It’s in surprisingly good nick for being seven and a quarter centuries old, and the layers and layers of defence are just fascinating.  Also, I got to see Edward Longshanks’ loo.
From Conwy, I travelled around and along the coast, past Caernarfon (where they make the Princes of Wales Princes of Wales) to Portmerion.  Portmerion is this freak-ass little town that was created by a landscape gardener to, as far as I can tell, prove a point.  It’s like a small, boring Disneyland.
From there I cut inland, to the highlight of my trip.  Llanwrytyd Wells is a tiny nothing town that has made itself famous by putting on weird events.  They invented Bog Snorkelling, and hold an annual Man Versus Horse Marathon.  They also have a bike race with beer at every stop – they call it a ‘wobble’.  I arrived in Llanwrytyd Wells (that’s pronounced ‘clan-oo-tid’ where the first sound has a bit of that hocking thing going on) late in the day, and ended up staying at a place attached to pub. The great thing about staying at a place attached to a pub is that it is attached to a pub.  The worst thing about staying at a place attached to a pub is that it is attached to a pub.
I got pretty drunk with a bunch of random Welsh dudes.
Yep, that was the highlight of my trip.
The next day, I headed down to Cardiff, and geeked out about all the Torchwood sites at Cardiff Bay.  I finished off my trip by stopping by Bath which is very pretty, though their famous Circus had a depressing lack of lions, tigers or bears.


  1. The trip sounds fabulous.  I love Bath — you have Roman ruins, where you can walk across the same stones people did thousands of years ago. Plus you have "the crescent" where so many of those fabulously bad Regency romance novels take place where governesses (or at least gentile poor) marry more dukes than could ever have been in England.  What a great place. 
    And I want to go to Scotland, and not just to hear the lovely accents. 

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