I arrived at Wales about five on Sunday. I was so tired from the journey, and I dozed off a few times on the train. I got my second wind when I arrived at my Bed and Breakfast. After settling in, I went on a small introductory walk that I found in my guidebook. I ended up eating along the harbor. There was a band playing covers by Pink Floyd and it was the last day of a river festival in Conwy.
I gratefully laid my head to bed around nine. Around two, I awoke and was up until six something before I drifted in and out until about 9:30 when I decided I had better get up and not waste my time in Conwy in bed!
The first order of business was to see the Conwy Castle. It was built during the reign of Edward I. He had many castles built simultaneously in Northern Wales. Basically Edward I had this manifest destiny like belief that he should own what was west of him. The Northern Wales folks were not too happy, but, with the help of Southern Wales (they were upset with the Northern folks whose borders kept inching there way South), Edward I defeated the Northern Wales. (At this point in times I don’t think the places were called Wales (North or South). After the defeat, there was an uprising and Edward I came back to suppress it. This time he built the castles to show his strength and presence.
Conwy Castle was built as a military castle, and it was built to survive an attack, which none came. It has several murder halls, which are basically open spaces were archers can pick people off one-by-one. It’s built so any army would have to enter one-by-one making the soldiers easy to pick off. There are also three double walls. If invaders made it past one murder hall there is a second. The steps leading up into the castle are narrow and clockwise. Again, intruders would have to come up one-by-one and there is advantage to being up top. Plus, the top has better light. The castle only had 30 soldiers.
I kind of chuckled when we got to the chapel. Edward I had his own special room to view mass from a room above. His queen, Eleanor, had a viewing space for her and her ladies. It was very interesting.
Oh, they kept their horses in the castle. That way if the town was attacked, they had the horses in the castle. Worse case scenario they could also use the horses for food.
Today, I went to Plas Mawr, which is a Tudor period home built during the reign of Elizabeth I. It’s set up to show you how life was during the Elizabethan times. The family who owned the home was well to do. There was a great audio tour that explained how the house was run. It was cool.
I took the bus to Caernarfon to see the castle there. This castle was different from the Conwy Castle in that it was built to be a palace, military fortress, and government seat for Wales. I should mention that when Edward I was building his castles, he built them every 20 miles. This castle was left unfinished. It was the place that Prince Charles was invested as Prince of Wales in 1969.
In Caernarfon, I learned the reason there were no further revolts against Edward I after the initial revolt (which happened at Caernarfon) was because Edward I had all Wales leaders killed. He also created lords and barons and lowered taxes because he needed to turn his attention to Scotland. This Castle too had 30 soldiers.
In Caernarfon there is the Segontium Roman Fort which dates back to A.D. 77. It is the western most Roman fort. All that is left the foundation, but it was still cool to see. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I know if I hadn’t gone, I would always wonder what I missed. There were 30 legions in the Roman Empire and three were in Britain.
I have been spending my nights on the harbor. There have been families both nights who come down and catch crabs. They put them back when they are done because the crabs are so small. They use bait and basically reel them in. Last night there was a family of four (a boy, a girl, and two twin younger girls). Now the middle child Alphia was having problems. I felt so bad for her because she was in tears because she couldn’t catch anything. I figured her being the middle child was worst because the oldest was a boy and the youngest twins. I had to say a brief prayer for her. It was either providence or timing because she started catching crabs. She was so cute, and I thought that would so have been me, but once she caught on there was nothing stopping her and that is like me too. LOL
It is so peaceful here! The people are very nice. I feel loved as people have referred to me as luv and dear. It’s more than I get at home. So, if you want to make me smile, call me luv or dear. I have spent a lot of time just walking around and enjoying the water and the green rolling hills.
I love the Bed and Breakfast I am staying at. The house is around 150 years old and the owners are very nice. With the original owner, the room I am staying in was the dining area. Our breakfast room was the sitting room and the room above me was the drawing room. I love picturing the house as it was used many years ago under much more formal times. Here is a link the rooms. I am in room 1.
This is my last night in Wales. Next stop is Scotland!
I chatted with Alison the owner a few minutes ago. It was a great, inspiring conversation. Remember friends, life is for living, not existing. And, you don’t live to work, you work to live.