Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Conwy & Llandudno - Josiah & Lauren

Us in front of Conwy Castle
Today we spent the first half of the day taking a tour through Conwy Castle.  Our guide was a charming older gentleman named Neil who was very knowledgeable about everything Conwy-related.  The castle fortifications were quite impressive back in the day, including one gate section that had seven different defenses within 4.5 meters!  We also learned about the history of the castle, built by Edward I in order to exert his rule over North Wales.  Conwy was considered quite innovative in its time, such as its indoor plumbing and one of the first known flushing toilets.  It was definitely helpful to have the guide; otherwise we would not have known the significance of the various buildings and structures in the castle and walled town.  For example, most staircases in the castle towers ascend in a clockwise direction, so that a right-handed defender would have the advantage.

The rest of the day we wandered around the town of Conwy.  Many headed towards the tea room to warm up after the cold and damp of the castle.  We split into different groups to check out the shops around the town, only to meet up once more.  Our group seems to have an uncanny knack of locating one another in any size town.  We were at Britain's smallest house, measuring 3.05 by 1.8 meters.
Us at the Smallest House
Yes, people actually did live here.  It was continuously inhabited from the 16th century until around 1900 when the owner had to move out due to hygiene concerns.  It was unfortunately closed for the winter so we couldn't see inside it at all.  One of the drawbacks of sightseeing at this time of year is that many things are closed.

We hiked around the town wall (yes you can walk on the walls), up to the highest point in the area which offered quite amazing views.
Us on top of the tallest tower, looking towards the Irish Sea
After this we continued to explore the town and surrounding areas in smaller groups, eventually gathering back at the hostel we are staying at.  The hostel is just outside the town, at the top of a rather steep hill.  After a long day of walking around the hill seems a lot steeper, let me tell you!  The hostel itself is very nice though.

Just a short bus ride from Conwy, is the resort town of Llandudno.  This wonderfully scenic town has been constructed in a mid-Victorian style.  It truly is the "Queen of the Welsh Resorts."  There is a waterfront promenade as well as a pier stretching out into the bay.  Next to the town is the Great Orme, a gorgeous mountain full of numerous attractions, including a 4,000 year old copper mine.  We didn't make it there, but we could see it from the hostel.  Conwy kept us busy, and some of us may have been too cheap to spring for bus fare.  If we had another day we would have wondered in that direction. We had a great time exploring Conwy.  Tomorrow we head towards Aberystwyth, taking a coach through Snowdonia. 

1 comment:

  1. Nice pictures! You look so happy. Your tour must be so enjoyable. have you stayed at a conwy holiday cottage?