Saturday, July 31, 2010

Saturday 31st July 2010 Llandudno and Rhosneigr

Although it was raining when we got up, we decided to go along the coast to Llandudno anyway, and we were glad we did.
The resort itself was very busy, but we hadn't come for that, we came for the scenic drive around the Great Orme. It cost £2.50, but it's worth it for the views, here is the first one looking back at Llandudno pier

About a third of the way round there is a zig-zag road with hairpin bends that leads off to the summit, it's worth the detour.
There are bronze age mines to visit and also a cable car between the town and the summit, and a tramway that runs for a short distance
The road clings to the side of the cliff and gives some great views, lots of people walk round the Orme, but it's miles! far too far for us to attempt
Here we are reaching the end of the drive with Llandudno in the distance, it was a great trip.
We stopped in Bangor to shop at the Morrisons and have lunch there, then, as the sun had come out we went over the Menai Bridge and up the west side of Anglesey to Rhosneigr to "shoot" some of the action there.

There were kits everywhere including these small stunt ones, as well as the "wings" being used by the kite surfers
This couple were in a world of their own and seemed oblivious of the high speed action out in the bay
This kite surfer seemed to spend a lot of his time airborne as he dashed across the surface of the bay
There were also lots of canoes and other surface craft like this one here.

Pat got this rather striking shot of a windsurfer at speed across the bay
And after tea we went out for an evening ride and found a working 18th century windmill called Melin LLynnon.
We must visit that when it's open during the day!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday 30th July 2010 Bad Weather, another visit to the Sea Zoo

It managed to rain continuously all day, so we took advantage of the week long ticket to the sea Zoo and revisited.
This display is a wave machine where every few seconds water cascades into the pool in quite a spectacular fashion

I was using a very high ASA rating of 3200 for these shots as flash isn't permitted in here, but there are some very interesting small tanks
The chap in the previous picture was looking at these rock pool animals, the light is very low in here and Pat's compact did a great job to take this with the available light
These pipe fish are strange, aren't they?
Part of the Sea Zoo is devoted to shipwrecks and they have quite a few items recovered from shipwqrecks like these decorated plates
My favourite part of the Sea Zoo is this corridor made out to simulate the interior of a wrecked ship on the bottom of the sea, the kids passing through were obviously very excited by it from the squeals and cries of delight!
You can look through the timbers of the shipwreck into these tanks, here is a conger eel and spider crabs
This is another view of the shipwreck corridor showing the many smaller tanks buried in the walls
The zoo does extensive conservation work and breeds sea horses and lobsters, this one is about four inches long and four years old, they don't grow very quickly!
The panorama tank was very busy as the wet weather had brought lots of visitors in.
This model in the cafe took my eye, we stopped and had ham and cheese paninis with salad for lunch before doing some shopping on our way back to the caravan.
The weather was so bad that we didn't go out again!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thursday 29th July 2010 A day on the mainland

It seemed a good idea to have a day on the mainland as the weather forecast was for a sunny afternoon (which never happened)
We too the road through Caernarvon and chose the inland route to Portmadoc, turning off just before we got there to visit Criccieth. We found it pretty quiet, which came as a surprise as most of the other places nearby were busy

Stopping on the Castle Hill we just had to have a "Cadwallader's" Ice cream (Rum and Raisin) which was delicious, before moving on
Pwhelli was really busy, and Abersoch was gridlocked, we eventually got through and over the headland where we dropped down to the shore and Pat took this image of the bay, you can see how the mountain tops are obscured by low clouds.

By now it was nearly lunch time and we carried on to Aberdaron where there is this unique bakery in a corrugated iron shed!
Despite its looks he bakes great pies and pasties and we bought a couple and two inch thick slabs of "Bara Brith" a delicious spiced fruit cake.
Cheapest lunch so far a £3.60 for the lot, and deliciously filling too.

We had a stroll into the village and spotted this woven fish statue, which appeared to by made from lengthy twigs. I looked like some form of Wiccan symbolism to me.
This Cafe used to serve meals to pilgrims about to take a boat ride to the monastery on Bardy island, its very pleasant inside and serves great meals
There is a beach here and a cafe which has an overhanging veranda (great to shelter under when it rains)
We rested up during the afternoon then had a short evening ride out to Cemlyn Bay, this isn't a normal beach, its actually a bank of pebbles over forty feet high that encloses a lagoon of fresh water behind it.
Despite the poor weather we had had a good day

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wednesday 28th July Pats Birthday and Plas Newydd

Dull again this morning, but not a problem as were were going to visit the National Trust property Plas Newydd and have lunch in the tea room there, it's Pat's Birthday, and that is what she wanted to do.
We arrived about 11 and a decided to take the courtesy buggy down to the house to spare Pat's joints, the driver was ever so helpful and took us on a tour of the grounds as well.

How about this for a settee? it's actually bales of straw covered in turf, but it really is quite comfortable to sit on and a big draw with visitors, especially the kids!
We always visit the terraced garden when here as there are some lovely flowers
And there was a lot more in bloom than when we came here in the spring, look at these beauties!
Heres a view from the lower level, there is a bower covered in Clematis , they were in seed this time and bloom on our earlier visit
Throughout the garden there are classical Greek Statues busts, and urns, this head of Zeus was in the Bower

And here is a view of the back of the house as we rode back in the buggy
We had a great lunch in the "Whistler Cafe" which is situated at the entrance, Mushroom and Leek Bake in a cheesy sauce, with seasonal vegetables and salad, plus tea for Pat and a Latte for me.
When we got back to site we stopped at the entrance to buy an ice cream and spotted the first colourful butterflies we have seen in a long time on the Buddelia

So out came the cameras of course!
After tea a burst of sunshine tempted us out so we drove down to Beaumaris and along the coast road in the direction of Penmon where I got this view of the clouds hanging over the mountains.
Another great day!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tuesday 27th July 2010 Treardurr Bay, and Cemaes Bay

It rained again during the night and was dull during the morning, but by lunch time it had improved, and we went up the island to Treardurr Bay, and found it quieter than we expected, no doubt the recent wet weather is the cause of that.
As you can see here it has a great beach.

This gull passed repeatedly overhead, and I couldn't resist taking his picture
Treardurr and district are a series of very attractive little bays
Some of the larger ones boast car parks and toilet blocks and its free parking too
Not all the beaches in these bays are sandy, but these kids dont seem bothered about that.
Heres another one, this time with interesting rock pools
After tea we decided to have a short run up the coast taking the very narrow and winding back roads in the general direction of Cemaes Bay, this is a view of "middle Mouse" island from the road just after Bryn Llewelyn
And here is Llanbadrig old church, obviously it has been rebuilt since the first wooden one on the site in the year 441 AD, but that sure is a long time for any church to survive, isn't it?
Then we went down to the shoreline at Cemaes Bay and had a stroll along the promenade, very pleasant in the warm evening sunshine
There were still people in the sea at seven o clock, it was that warm!
Then it was back to the caravan for a cuppa and out usual evening hobbies, another great day.