Tim and I convinced Lisa that a trip to Wales would be just what she needed. So, last weekend, after we decided not to take ‘no’ for an answer from Lisa, the 3 of us set off for Dolgellau, just south of Snowdon. We arrived at the old Hall where we were staying. This huge old house has been converted into apartments and bed & breakfast rooms. Let’s just say, it got my creative juices flowing, because the potential in that house is massive! But the owners have clearly not seen this potential. But it was nice to have a whole apartment to ourselves.
On Saturday morning, we went to explore the beach areas, and in particular Portmerion. But not before we ventured into the Dolgellau town for tea/coffee and cake. The cakes were clearly home baked – they were all irregular in shapes and sizes, which was fantastic, because we knew they weren’t mass produced. And the taste didn’t disappoint either – the incredibly moist carrot cake was the best I had eaten in a very long time!
Next, we went for a 4-mile walk not to far away. It really was lovely and the views were fantastic, although some areas were rather scary. As long as looked at the path, I was okay, but when I looked down ‘Precipice Walk’, I felt a bit queasy.
Portmerion is a fairy tale town which is now exclusively a hotel. When you arrive, after paying your £7.50 per person entrance fee (!!!), you start gaping – you can’t believe you’re in Wales. The architect clearly had a very active imagination, which he used in a very positive manner.
Not quite as wacky as Gaudi, but there do seem to be a few correlations. I wouldn’t recommend eating there. Unfortunately, probably due to the lack of competition, both the service and food was terribly disappointing. If I went again, I would try a meal at the pub just outside Portmerion, because then you’re also given free tickets to go into Portmerion. I would love to go again and see it in the sunshine, as well as when the tide is in. Unfortunately at low tide, you look out over a sandy estuary.
That evening, we went back to the apartment for a rest, nap and DVDs. Let’s just say Lisa and I were very disappointed that Tim didn’t forget the DVD we watched in their DVD player. It was certainly not the highlight of the weekend!
Lisa was nursing her hip, knee and back! She was almost an invalid, but insisted that if she walked as if she had a wooden leg, she felt okay …
Sunday morning we all turned down the very large English breakfast before heading off towards the beach. The weather was beautiful. Mr Sun had made an appearance, although it was still pretty chilly. The guest house owners had given us instructions to find, what they called “a lovely secluded beach with sand and waves”. Now, I must admit that I was a bit sceptic. I really didn’t think that that would be what we found. She did warn us to wear our sunglasses though, because the one section of the beach turned into a nudist beach, and at least if we had sunglasses on, they won’t know where we were looking! Aha, we were all up for a bit of investigating, so we set off, travelling through Barmouth, looking out for the landmarks, which were part of our directions. “Follow through Barmouth, after a few miles you’ll go over a little up-and-down bridge, then you’ll see a church on its own on the side of the road. The church has a bell in the tower. Turn left, cross the train tracks until you get to the car park”
We find it easily and parked up. It was quite windy and the wind was rather chilly. Strangely, usually when I go to the beach I wear as few clothes as possible. This time, I wore as many clothes as possible! My “rugby fleece” might not be very glamerous, but it came in very handy and keep the wind out.
We followed the little decked pathway over the dunes and arrived at a beach exactly as they had described: secluded with sand and waves! It was really lovely. We went for a long walk towards the nudist beach, but couldn’t see anyone courageous enough to brave the weather in the nick. Although, it was getting warmer the later it got. As we were leaving and had turned back towards the car, we did see a scantily clad couple setting up at the beach. We hung around to see whether they were indeed brave enough to bear all in 12C temperatures, not considering the wind chill factor, but Lisa and Tim became impatient, so we will never know!
Lisa up the dune with her ‘wooden leg’
I have never seen dunes covered in vegetation.