Saturday, June 29, 2019

to Llandudno!

The castle dominates Conwy. No surprise there -- it was built to be majestic and threatening.

Looking out my window this morning, I see the castle, and the clouds. We're to get rain today. Storms perhaps. I think Europe will be relieved that this heat wave is about to end. I read that France recorded its highest temperature ever (115f, near Montpellier). No one wants that kind of weather, even as here, in Wales, we've benefited from the warm sunshine!


On my morning walk, where I pick up breakfast foods, the castle towers are never far from view.


(A the bakery I pick up a new favorite: the English Eccles Cakes -- flaky pastry with a fistful of currants inside. They come from Eccles of course -- a town not too far from here.)


(At the waterfront -- boats, birds, and the castle...)


(The castle, as seen from the churchyard, which we cross on most our walks, leading Snowdrop to ask us about our own plans for our remains after we die. She persisted and so we filled her in on the details.)


Finally, breakfast: Eccles cakes, Welsh cakes and plain toast for little Snowdrop, who does not understand why currants warrant so much fuss.


Sparrow, bathed and ready to go!


Our plan for the day is to go to Llandudno. You may think that's easy to pronounce. It's not. The Welsh make a sound out of two L's like no one else: put your tongue at the roof of your mouth and blow. Got it? No? Practice!

I commented to a shop keeper that at least in Scotland, they also give you English names (in addition to the Gaelic ones, for example on the islands), whereas here, it's all Welsh, leading the rest of us to mispronounce everything. She said it's political. Conwy used to be anglicized ("Conway") until Wales decided to throw it back to its native language.

So, off` to Llandudno. By bus, because I had thrown that out as an option and Snowdrop became very excited: "I'd never been on a city bus before!" We live automobile driven lives back home.



Llandudno is a seaside resort, regarded for a long time as the "Queen of the Welsh Watering Places." (Before the word "resort" crept into our vocabulary, these seaside communities were known as watering holes.) It's got plenty of shops, flowers and promenades.



For both kids, this is the first encounter with the sea. Sparrow mostly takes to the blanket. The day is a little cooler and in any case, the Irish Sea here isn't necessarily great for toddler splash and play. He is content to watch from the sidelines.


Snowdrop, on the other hand, cannot resist the salty water. It's not the greatest beach for running to the water -- so many rocks! And the water's cold! But she hardly cares. She wants to splash in the wee waves.


(Sparrow's first taste of the sea...)


(A kind soul took this one, just before I totally soaked my skirts...)


(Finding a smoother jetty slab to dance and prance on...)


...while the boy watches on.


"Mom, come in the water with me!"


Eventually, sand castles.


Lunch: the young parents want to try Johnny Dough's, which has a sister store here, with a placard which probably would not last a long while back home.


(Here they let the kids make their own pizza...)


"Let's see what my sister made for us..."


And after lunch, we take the bus back home to Conwy.


We have a quieter afternoon of reading and playing. The expected rains never really materialize, but still, I think we all like a little catch up time.

Dinner is at Bryn Williams Bistro -- an eatery by the water, two towns east of us (at Porth Eirias). Here's Sparrow, showing his satisfaction at having been fed bits of everyone's fish and bread.


And Snowdrop? She is thrilled that finally, finally, there is pistachio ice cream to be had. She has been dying to try it for ages!


Afterwards, though it's so very late -- way past the kids' bedtime -- we walk along the water's edge.


You could not have a happier girl for it.


(The mommy looks pretty content as well...)


And the views? Just grand!


It's tough to call it quits. Never mind, bits of seashell are tucked away to take back home.


And at Conwy, the castle stands tall and mighty, always visible, always grand...


Goodnight golden towers and golden sands and golden days of summer by the Irish Sea!