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Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Ramblers trip to Wales - May 2014 - Part Three - Llanberis

Thursday the 22nd of May
This was to be my last day in Wales as we returned to Galloway on Friday morning.
Again I'm first up and after breakfast I watched this heron looking for breakfast. I did see him/her dip, but there was no classic stretch of the neck to swallow. 
They have the patience though and I've no doubt he/she dined.

This was the building at the back next to our house.

Once we were all ready, we headed back to Llanberis for a walk round Llyn Padarn.
There was a fair amount of activity on the water as we parked up at Padarn Country Park.

Snowdon summit was under cloud.

We were here to do the Llanberis Lake Walk
A friendly dog and an abandoned tunnel on the old L&NWR line between Caernarfon and Llanberis.

The info board and plaque at Craig Yr Undeb (Rock of the Union). At the back of the rock we saw school children learning rock climbing.

Our walking musician decided against wild swimming with her clothes on.
We crossed the Pont Pen y Llyn, a bridge built in 1826.

We passed many colourful gardens.
Bottom left above was thought to be some form of press ?

Self catering cottages, Gunnera and a converted chapel.

Someone spotted a cafe ! It's the Padarn Cafe.
It has some great reviews on Trip Advisor

It's a lovely place and good to see that it's a non profit making cafe that employs lovely people with learning disabilities. Pots of tea with no tea bags initially made us laugh, but what a delightful experience. Great fare and great value for money too.

There's something visual to photograph around every corner.

This is the top entrance to Cae Mabon, an eco retreat centre described on the website as a 'Welsh Shangri La'. 
 If any of my friends after clicking on the link are considering a retreat, please let me know..........I may well join you ! 

The hardest climb of the day isn't really hard. It takes us up to Allt Wen (Hill White) viewpoint. Beautiful views.

These fellas take no notice of our passing !

Though we don't know it yet we'll visit this complex.

We made our way down to Gilfach Ddu
The remnants of the slate quarries dominate the hillside.

I photograph the Lake Railway train. (Spot the photograph of a photograph)
Remember this girls ?

It's turned a little showery, so how about a quick look in the Slate Museum.
One of the first things we did inside was to visit their small cinema and watch the presentation of 'To Steal A Mountain'. It tells the story of the quarry’s development in pictures, words and music. Very educational and entertaining.

After the film we split up and explored.
What a fantastic place to visit.

As a youngster and well into the eighties and nineties I worked in heavy industry in foundries, steelworks and docks.
There was so much here to bring back memories. 

The Foundry

The big water wheel was turning.

As an apprentice weighing machine mechanic in Auchtermuchty I remember tempering steel in fires like those on the right. I also remember getting a finger blister from a slipping vice handle like the one top left.

The board top right took me back to the rope haulage system I worked down the Cults Limestone Mine.

Below: Hugh Richard Jones first manager of the National Slate Museum 1969.  
There's a nostalgic look back by his son Elwyn Jones on this Museum Wales Webpage.

 My fellow walker Miss Goodnight, the one in the mini skirt, sent me this. This leads to a kids playground at the rear end of the museum. Lovely ! 

Eventually we all dragged our way out to lunch watching the trains birds and tourists.

Back on the move we rounded the south eastern end of the lake.

We had intended to visit Dolbadarn Castle, but having spent so long at the museum we were out of time.
We were now making our way back to the cars.

There's feathery activity in and out of the lake.

Here's a couple of pictures from an earlier visit. Probably 26 years ago and not the 30 years I originally thought. (Note the hair has still some colour !)

The Snowdon Star sits quietly waiting for the summer season.
We were soon back at the cars and on the road.

Once back at Caernarfon we readied ourselves for our dinner at the Black Boy.
Thanks again to Miss Goodnight for this picture.
A very enjoyable night in the company of great pals.
Friday morning after breakfast me and the teacher hit the road back to Galloway.

That was a great trip, thanks to A'O'K and Shorty for their excellent organisation. 


  1. Your photos are wonderful, the first of the Herons look like a Japanese painting, simple, classic. Please enter them in a contest--they are good! I would buy a print, I would! We have the Great Blue Herons here in Colorado, they love to raid the Koi ponds.

  2. i have to agree with above comment--and she is wonderful---yes love the garden art in the post and what a cool building next to where you stayed!

  3. looks like a wonderful and interesting day you all had!
    that small cottage looks about the size of mine....

  4. Great Photographs Jim. There always seems to be much more to do down in the Lakes or Wales which is why I like going there, apart from the hills. Makes you realise what a ghost town the Scottish Highlands now are after the clearances as they must have been similarly populated with loads of thriving small industries going on as well in many of the more suitable glens, like making cannon balls and extracting limestone or granite from the surroundings before they were replaced by sheep.

  5. Just caught up on the previous post as well Jim, what a FABulous trip! So much history and interesting places. Not to mention to die-for scenery!
    Are you so organised you were able to just lay your hand on the old pics?!
    Gosh Jim, you've still GOT hair, never mind about the colour!
    :) enjoy your weekend!


Thanks for all your comments. I may not get to reply to them all, but you may be sure they'll be appreciated.

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