We took the Hovercraft from the Dublin ports to Wales. Boarding was crowded with noisy congeniality. “Learn as you go by observation” and we did. The people in the lead headed for the curved, split staircase, and ran up for the third deck. We were right behind them. The semi-circular tables over lookedthe center of the ship and down to the restaurant area. The booths were backed by broad windows with infinite views.
About two hours later we drove off, looking back at Holyhead Lighthouse.
About an hour’s drive brought us to the extraordinary walled Conwy Castle. The huge 1243 structure overwhelmed both the city and us.
Checking in to a hotel, we hurried off to see this walled city and breath taking Castle Conwy. Even in the fading early September light, we were able to see that one of the abutments used to support the cast iron chains on this suspension bridge, attached to the castle. Extraordinary construction.
The next morning we toured the old, but colorful village. People were buying fruits and vegetables from the open fronted shops and fresh fish from the boats along the quay. Most of the crowd appeared to be local.
That afternoon we drove to Langollen aqueduct and were amazed with what we saw . There was the aqueduct, 180 feet above the river!
There were narrow boats and house barges winding along the surface. The depth of the passage was 5 feet and the width was 7 feet…all one way of course. All of the water craft were built to these specifications. There were off-sets along the way where the barges could be parked. I wanted to climb on one.
After seeing so many beautiful castles, we looked for a different structure with some obvious historical wear. Montgomery Castle, built circa 1071 by Roger de Montgomery, fit this requirement.
During the Civil War it was demolished by order of the Parliament around 1650. We stayed in Montgomery village, and walked through misty rain to see the remaining structure on top of the hill…..marvelous view.
Time was running out and we had to plot our return to Ireland so we headed to Castle Cricieth, not too far from Holyhead and our Hovercraft departure.
This structure was built 1272 by Edward 1st who set about consolidating English rule in Wales. Subsequent conflicts resulted in the castle being sacked. The town expanded in the 19th century with new transportation links. In 1868 It developed as a Victorian seaside resort which is the way we found it. Looking at the picture you can see several houses below on the right….we stayed at the second one….with both a view of the castle and the sea.
The next morning, on our way to Holyhead, we had time to visit the last Castle of this trip and what a sight it was! Castle Caernarfon was built in 1283 also by King Edward 1st.
He wanted it to reflect Constantinople, Rome and the Welsh legend. And I think it does all of that.
Because we would be on the ship shortly, and for several hours, we decided to walk through part of the Castle and did.