Friday, 10 April 2009

The town with the longest name, up Mt Snowdon

Another cooked breakfast...the boys then went out to feed some toast to the chooks, and when they were feeding them, poor Arthur (now outnumbered) went a bit crazy and started butting a tree. Cameron was very impressed!

We left and headed for Mount Snowdon, the biggest mountain in (?). On the way we stopped at a small town called Llanfairwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogoch, which means "St Mary's Church in the Hollow of the White Hazel near a Rapid Whirlpool and the Church of St Tysilio near the Red Cave". Our Lonely Planet Guidebook says "(The Name) was dreamt up in the 19th century to get tourists in. And it worked."

It was really just a small village with a petrol station and a visitors centre/gift shop, where you could buy everything from magnets to t-shirts with the name on it. We managed to get 2 pins for the boys pin boards with the name of the town on it!

We made our way to Llanberis in the Snowdonia National Park, where we caught the train up Mt Snowdon. The narrow-gauage train is a rack-and-pinion railway.

At this time of year it only runs 3/4 of the way up (today they had snow at the summit), and we were contemplating heading up to the top on foot, or catch the train up,then walk back down. We decided to catch the train up,and see what we would do from there.

Once we were at the 3/4 way, the weather changed before our eyes (the temperature dropped to near freezing in a matter of moments).

It was obvious that, even with the simple walking trails, we were not adequately equipped to be out on the mountain, and instead caught the train back down.

We walked through town, and back along the lakeshore. We found a playground, where the kids had a great time and quickly made a band of friends. We stayed there a while - Nicole and Phil enjoying the sun and the kids dashing around playing.

We drove through the mountains (over Llamberis Pass) and then on to the coastal town of Llandudno, where we would spend the next 3 days relaxing in Victorian era splendour.

After checking into the hotel, we took the boys down to the beach. So many stones to throw into the ocean! When the tide was out, the sand strip was revealed. It was really interesting to see how far people had been able to throw (or skip) rocks out at high tide, because they were left scattered on the sand at low tide!

The boys had their shoes off and paddled, but with the cold water, the grey skies and all the rocks, the kids decided that was not such a good idea!

We tramped off to the town's big ASDA (kids clothes and some other requisites, and then returned (via the beach!) to dinner.

We were assigned the top two rooms of the hotel - interestingly, there was a fire door on the landing below that we could lock, and then the whole top floor (two bedrooms, a hall space and a bathroom)was for us - it was a perfect layout, except being in the attic, Phil was forever bumping his head or stooping to avoid all of the angles and low roof beams!

The owners have obviously made a big effort to modernise the guest house, and (in his words) "we can then charge a tenner more than they charge the old mingers down the other end of the promenade!"

Camerons view: (Cameron wrote a diary for school, and he has given me permission to post his thoughts in the blog)
Today we fed the chickens after breakfast then the goat had a spastic attack and started butting trees.

Next we went to a town called !

We then went on a train to the top of the mountain.

When we got to the hotel we went to the beach and found 2 ENORMOUS shells.

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