A little over a year ago, I started posting pictures from our April 2008 trip to England. I’m picking up where I left off.
After our adventure through the mountains, we finally arrived at our destination: Caernarfon Castle, in northwest Wales.
We were greeted to this:
Here are my two girls posing for a picture.
Not sure if this is original, but it was still pretty.
What they use if you DON’T heed the previous warning…
Half a dozen random castle pictures:
All in all, a great time was had by all at Caernarfon Castle. Tomorrow, we leave Shrewsbury to finish our vacation with a weekend in London.
I finished up early on the job site, so we decided to go to northern Wales on Thursday afternoon. Our rental car had a GPS in it, so we punched in Caernarfon (pronounced cuh-NAR-vun) Castle and away we went. I briefly looked at the road atlas and thought we would take the “highway” due north, then cut over and take another “highway” heading due west. This seemed to be the quickest and easiest from the map.
Well, after seeing a lot of winding, narrow roads (moreso than typical England), we see this sign…
Then the windingness and narrowness gets worse. Long story, short, the GPS did NOT take us due north then due west, it took us on a bee-line directly northwest – when meant directly through Snowdonia National Park – which is very mountainous.
The bad news was that the driving was white-knuckle all through the narrow mountain roads.
The good news was that we saw stuff like this…
It didn’t feel like it at the time, but in retrospect, it was DEFINITELY worth it.
Across the street from the hotel was this old church and cemetary. The first day I was at work, my wife and daughter walked over there (since I took the car) to have something to do besides swim in the pool. 🙂
This is one of the pictures my wife took. It looks quaint and rustic. Is that a fancy way of saying old and not too beat-up?
This is a picture of the main building of our hotel. Our room is on the top floor – the 2 far left most windows.
The room (technically a junior suite) was huge – even for US standards. It had a ginormous bathroom, huge bedroom area with queen bed AND twin roll away, a large comfortable sitting area, and a small “alcove” with another smaller sitting area. Nice. Very, very nice.
This may sound strange, but this was actually a BUSINESS trip for me. I actually had to do WORK on this trip. We left Cardiff Castle, and began our trip to Shrewsbury – where I would be working for the week.
As we were driving along, I hear some noise coming from the backseat. My wife turns around to see this.
At least she was able to get some sleep. It’s been a long couple of days.
Yeah, I know, it’s been MONTHS since I started posting pictures from last year’s England trip. No excuses – just picking up where I left off…
We last left our intrepid heroes toodling down the blizzardy roads in Wales. Their destination was Cardiff Castle in Wales.
This is the view as you enter the main visitor’s gate. As you can see, the snowing stopped, and the sun came out… for now.
One of the first things you see is this metal dragon sculpture which is the symbols for Wales.
Cardiff is the capital of Wales. Its castle dates back to the days of the Romans where it was a fort and trading post. The keep seen below was constructed around 1140. An original wooden keep was built on that site around after 1081, but was replaced by the stone keep possibly in response to the Welsh uprising following the death of Henry I in 1135.
As you can also see in the picture, the weather has changed again.
The primary use of Cardiff Castle in the 1800s was as a house and residence to the Marquess of Bute. He hired reknowned Gothic Architect William Burges to give the living areas an overhaul.
This is the living quarters when the Marquess of Bute and his family lived.
This is the clock tower which was connected to the living quarters.
We took a tour of the living quarters, and it was quite impressive. However, photos were not allowed to be taken. We only stayed for a few hours since we had a long drive ahead of us. The only thing we didn’t see up close was the Castle Keep. It was cold, and we didn’t want to climb ALL OF THOSE STAIRS. From what the tour guide at the house said, there really wasn’t a lot to see up there anyway.
The blurriness of the photo isn’t entirely the quality of the photographer. It’s also not entirely because it was taken from a moving vehicle. Look closely. It’s snowing rather hard in the middle of April.
Not 15 minutes prior, it was sunny and mostly clear. And the strange thing is that 30 minutes after this photo was taken, it was sunny and mostly clear again. And I thought the weather was wacky in the midwest.