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Victor's and Barbara's Travel Diaries

 Wales 2013
We left our barn-conversion cottage in Shropshire on Saturday 21st September, and drove west to Wales. We passed Welshpool and Llanfyllin, then stopped beside a pretty lake/reservoir called Lake Vrnwy for morning coffee. We drove around the lake, then drove north to Bala and had lunch on a bench beside another lake. It was slightly sunny with a brisk cool wind, and there were many windsurfers scooting around. Here was the first place in which we heard everybody in the street talking in Welsh! We then crossed Snowdonia Park, where it drizzled, and reached the coast at Caernarfon. We stayed at a quiet B&B by the Menai Strait. The next morning we headed straight for magnificent Carnarfon castle, where in 1969 the Prince of Wales swore allegiance to his mother, the Queen.  In the afternoon we drove south to Port Meirrion, just north of Harlech. This is an interesting village with a crazy mixture of architectural styles from the Med to the Orient to the Tyrol, situated in a sheltered estuary.
Caernarfon Castle Port Meirrion
After leaving Port Meirrion we found a gorgeous B&B at Talsarnau, with our window overlooking the estuary, and we could see the spires of Port Meirrion across the water. We drove into the village for a lovely dinner at a pub. The next day we carried on south to Harlech. We toured the castle, which in the dark, cloudy drizzly weather looked very austere compared to Caernarfon!  Then the sun came out as we drove down a magnificent stretch of the Welsh coastline. We took a fortunate turnoff to a National Park beach at Llanfair. We walked along the beach, which has golden sand, with dunes behind, then had lunch at a picnic table. This was so unlike all other UK beaches that we have ever seen, it reminded us of Australian beaches, except for the cooler temperature! We then went on to Barmouth, which is an attractive seaside town, with huge Victorian villas lining the esplanade. I remembered having a holiday here with my Mother, Father and brothers when I was a child. We enjoyed a big ice cream by the fishing harbour here. We then came to Aberdovey, where we found a luxurious hotel in a commanding position overlooking the ocean and a golf course in the dunes. In the evening we dined at an ancient pub in Aberdovey with oak beams and all the trappings. The next day we went into Aberdovey village to explore the pretty sea-front and to soak up the picturesque fishing-village atmosphere.
Llanfair beach Aberdovey
In the morning of Tuesday 24th we drove inland eastwards back to England.