Monday, August 14, 2006

Holiday Photos #10

So, here we are in Conwy, Wales. I showed a photo of a sign from Conwy in my last holiday post, but now we've left southern England behind permanently.

You are looking down from a bridge to the railroad station. We went to a lot of railroad stations, most of them really old, large, and impressive like Paddington or Waverly or Gard du Nord. A few medium sized. This was the only small one we went stopped at, although there were some that were even smaller, literally simple wooden platforms with a sign. The trains we were on only stopped at one like that a time or two, I think you had to request a stop at the smallest stations. But anyhoo, this was our introduction to Conwy and it was a Keystone Cops scene with us dragging our suitcases up and down and back and forth, trying to find the B&B were we had made reservations. What made matters so complicated was not only the hilliness and the train tracks (which you were no allowed to cross except by bridge) but - take a look at the far end of the rails in the photo. That beautiful archway is part of the ancient wall that surrounds the center of the city, the city having spilled out and beyond the wall in current times. (and just to the left of that, you can see bits of the castle.) So, if you didn't know where you were going, like we didn't (although later we'd walked the small town so many times we were practically locals!) you literally kept running into a stone wall. Ultimately, after a long brisk afternoon walk, we found our B&B, on the tippy top of a very, very steep hill. It was worth it however, very nice place and a gorgeous view.

Here's a view of the castle from standing out at the end of a pier.

The harbor was being renovated but it was still picturesque. I took a lot of photos of the boats and posted some of them on my studio blog about a week ago. Here's the direct link if you missed them. This was the star of the scene, a pirate ship! If you click on the image to enlarge it, you might be able to see the jolly roger flag flying atop the front mast.

Here's another view of the harbor, and William, from atop the city wall. This ancient wall wasn't what I'd call "up to code". Bits of it were crumbled away. Other parts looked like they might make a creaking sound and topple down at any moment. I suppose they weren't really going to, but it looked like they would. You could walk on them almost completely around the entire city (a small section was blocked off for renovation - perhaps that bit really was threatening to collapse!) and we did so despite me suffering a huge attack of vertigo. I would have been fine by myself, it was watching William walk around that made me nervous. You can't really tell in this picture but those lower dips in the stone "railing" (there's a name for it, I can't remember it) were only about as high as his knees. I don't know what I thought, he'd fling himself over suddenly? It wasn't logical, but it was intensely visceral and real to me while we were up there.

Here we were looking down from one of the archways at one of the streets, the castle in the background. See how small the street is? And if you understand that those are all compact sized cars, then you really understand how narrow it is. It wasn't a one way. The cars to the left are driving away from us and the cars on the right are just parked. Unlike the U.S., it seemed to be legal to park your car pointed in either direction on either side of the street.

One of the fun things about the wall was being able to wander around and "spy" on people from above. You could see down into backyards and courtyards. See the chimney pots? I loved the chimney pots. When I'm done with this post, I'm going to head on over to my Laume's Studio and post some more photos of the chimney pots up close, and other more artsy images.

We have a family tradition with these sort of displays. William willingly posed with just about every "mannequin" we passed by.

Of course turn around is fair play. If he was willing to pose with fake people in public, he insisted on dressing me up with this silly helmet and sword. I think the price tag swinging near my glasses gives it a nice Romanesque Minnie Pearl effect, don't you?


Blogger Jan said...

More fun photos. Castles galore. Thanks for sharing.

8:14 PM  

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