Friday, September 22, 2017

Friday 22 September - Bodnant Gardens

The weather forecast was not too encouraging today but we decided to take the bus from Llandudno Junction to Bodnant.  The walk across the bridge from Conwy was leisurely and we watched a mussel fisherman shoveling his catch into baskets on the pontoon where the mussels are purified.
Mussel cleaning pontoon

It started fine but gradually there was on and off again misty rain which provided different views of the magnificent gardens which have been in National Trust hands since 1949.  The variety of trees and plants is amazing and the small patches of different colors and forms is wonderful.  We walked through the more formal parts and had a drink at the mill close to the stream in the valley.  From there we walked up the valley and made our way back to the entrance area, in easy stages.  We had a little time to wait for the next bus back and had soup and a door step wedge of bread. 

We were fascinated by the layers of this tree

Red hot poker

Natural green roof

THis cat was on the lookout for food at the small cafe

This robin was also on the lookout for food

The bus goes on to Eglwysbach a few miles down the road.  We took it on its way out to Eglwysbach and stayed on for the return to Llandidno Junction.  A man got on with an enormous Newfoundland dog.  He put on a bib to take care of the slobber and the dog laid down with all four legs stretched out. The bus stopped quickly and the dog rolled along a few feet.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Thursday 21 September - Travel to Conwy

There is a problem with the wi-fi in the room at Conwy but this connection close to the office is working well.  The train journey from Shrewsbury went well in the rain. It was a through train from Cardiff to Holyhead with a reversal at Chester.  Conwy is a request stop but the conductor had things well organized.

The hotel is an old coaching inn tight in the centre of this small UNESCO world heritage town.  The rain had stopped before we arrived  and we had a good walk around the town and an adjacent natural woodland area.

Lucky dogs

Castle Hotel

Conwy with the tide in

A natural green (red) roof in the woodland

I asked at the Tourist Office what were "Caws".  Turns out this is the Welsh for "Cheese".

View from the hotel

Lamb for dinner

Tide's out

Looking across the harbor towards Degasnwy

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Wednesday 20 September - Kingsman II and The Magic Flute

Have been packing today.
This afternoon we went to see the movie Kingsmen II (great fun) and this evening we saw the Magic Flute by Mozart live from the Royal Opera Covent Garden London. It was superb, especially the Queen of the Night, It was broadcast to over 1000 theatres in 31 countries. Mary had a large plastic glass of Sauvignon Blanc from the theatre bar which lasted her through the first act.  In the interval we had a chocice cream on a stick.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Tuesday 19 September - Walk along the River Severn

Our neighbour's guard cat has just completed a patrol
A screenshot from today's Shropshire Star.  This is a drone picture of the Quarry Gardens

Early fall morning in the Quarry

We used up a two for the price of one voucher for the Carvery lunch at the Coach and Horses today. The meal was good, especially the roast potatoes but the beef could have been better,

This afternoon we went for a walk along the downstream section of the river Severn.
It is surprising to see a flock of sheep so close to the center of town

Mud, mud, glorious mud

There is a good crop of berries this year
At the alley leading up the hill into town we saw a kingfisher fishing from the quay.  It is rare to see these birds with their iridescent plumage but especially so this close to town. The bird was diving right into the water, not just on the surface.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Monday 18 September - Machynlleth and Talerddig Bakery - Mystery Solved

We took the train from Shrewsbury to Machynlleth this morning, about an hour and a quarter.  I knew the train would be busy so I made seat reservations which happened to be in coach D.  The two car train came in with coaches A and C.  I pointed out to the conductor that we had reservations in coach D which did not exist - he just shrugged.  We found two seats right next to a large party of noisy schoolkids from Birmingham.

The ride down was very pleasant and there was little chance of rain.  At Talerddig I pointed out to Mary that when we had visited Montgomery we had eaten bread from the Talerddig Bakery. Talerddig is at the summit of the steep railway grade from Machynlleth and there was only ever a signal box there and that has now gone. I often wondered where the bakery was.

Machynlleth station is in poor shape, the railway is obviously not looking after it.  We walked into the town which has a population of only 2000 although it seems much larger than that.  The tower is a fine landmark in the center and there are several good looking buildings.  There are a large number of pubs and a lot of charity shops which suggests that Machynlleth is fighting for survival and suffers from unemployment.

Interesting building made from thin slates

Mystery solved.  The Talerddig Bakery is actually in Machynlleth

Built in 1628

This attractive clock had four faces, each one had a different time and each one was wrong

Site of the first Welsh parliament - dates from the 1400s

Quite an ornate front for a mere shed

Art for the front garden

The Skinners Arms
 We picked up a snack from a bakery and walked down to the bridge over the river Dyfi
River Dyfi
On the way back we had reservations in coach F.  The two car train turned up with coaches A and C. I wonder how Arriva Trains Wales can get away with providing passengers with seats in non-existent carriages.

Click here to see all pictures taken at Machynlleth