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Walking to Mordor -- Isengard to Minas Tirith - Helen's journal and online home
In which an old dog attempts to learn new tricks.
Walking to Mordor -- Isengard to Minas Tirith

Miles travelled since last update: 6 (3 around Caernarfon, 3 locally)
Miles travelled so far: 192 (1856 from Bag End)
Miles still to go: 386

Percentage complete: 33%

Point reached on journey: Merry and the Rohirrim have reached a place where the stream begins to cut a ravine on the left. In places the path climbs away along the valleyside.

Where I really went...

Apart from a few odd miles here and there walking into town and walking Brith, the main mileage has been two walks. One I've already posted about but the other was last Friday around Caernarfon. And I have pictures!

G had to go and meet a potential student for the part-time BA Education course that runs in our local college so as it was supposed to turn out to be a decent day I went along too. While G went off for his meeting, I had an hour to spend in Caernarfon. An hour is too little time to visit the castle and anyway I've seen it plenty of times already, so instead I crossed the river via the footbridge and went to explore what was on the other side. Here's the view from half way across the bridge.

Castle tower and ice cream van
Ancient and modern. I don't know what the people who built and first inhabited Caernarfon Castle would think of all the tourists who flock here each summer.

Castle tower and ice cream van

And looking the other way from the same spot we can see the Anglesey Pub and town walls. Celtic music was emanating from the pub and it seemed very popular.

Caernarfon, the Anglesey Pub and town walls

If I had to nominate a town for the Most Welsh Town in Wales award, I think I would choose Caernarfon. Not only do you hear people speaking it in the street and see Welsh in most of the shop names, but the teenage youths hanging out in the skateboard park that I found were also speaking Welsh to one another.

Back down on the narrow coast road, I walked on in beautiful sunshine.

Spot the castle! Looking back you can just see the towers of Caernarfon Castle peeping above the hills -- which of course meant that when it was in use, sentries on the towers could see right out across the Menai Straits.

Spot the castle!

The Menai Straits are quite narrow and further north at Bangor you will find the famous Thomas Telford suspension bridge. The low-lying land beyond the stretch of water is Ynys Môn aka Anglesey in English.

Menai Straits from near Caernarfon

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10 comments or Leave a comment
From: cmcmck Date: September 2nd, 2014 12:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Looks like you had a nice day for that sort of thing.

We were in Udine a a while back which is the centre of the Forlan speaking area of Italy in Friuli. It was great to notice that it was the young there who were speaking Forlan.
puddleshark From: puddleshark Date: September 2nd, 2014 04:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love the ice cream van supplying the besieging hordes...

Lovely photos.
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: September 7th, 2014 04:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I was sorely tempted by the ice cream van, but didn't want to undo the good work of all the exercise.
kishenehn From: kishenehn Date: September 2nd, 2014 05:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
You're really making me want to visit Wales someday, you know. :)
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: September 7th, 2014 04:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
I hope you do make it one day. It is a very nice little country.
khiemtran From: khiemtran Date: September 3rd, 2014 10:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Great photos! I leave quite near the adjacent suburbs of "Menai" and "Bangor". I guess someone must have been missing Wales when they named them.
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: September 7th, 2014 04:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
It gets very confusing to find random bits of our former colonies named after familiar British towns. The original settlers could have been more original.
birdsedge From: birdsedge Date: September 7th, 2014 01:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love Caernarfon. The Milford venue (Trigonos in Nantlle) is only a few miles away so I usually manage to get in Caernarfon for at least a morning. An expensive trip to the wool shop and a less expensive trip to the remainder book shop where I inevitabgly end up falling for a stack of those inexpensive-but-pretty notebooks with the good quality paper. A coffee at the deeply dark place on corner edge of the square, plus a mooch to the water-side complete the deal. Some years we go in a group to do the obligatory castle tour where I do feel obliged to stick up for the English by reminding the guide that the 'English' monarchs who royally honked off the Welsh were actually... (mostly) French.

In fact, I depart for Nantlle and Milford next Saturday, so hopefully I'll get a Caernarfon side-trip.
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: September 7th, 2014 04:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Indeed the castle builders and people-oppressors were mostly French. And the Welsh may have done a better job of opposing them if they hadn't been squabbling amongst themselves all the time as well as trying to get in with the ruling Normans.
birdsedge From: birdsedge Date: September 7th, 2014 05:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Up in Yorkshire we have a few issues with the Normans as well. You only need to look in the Doomsday Book and see how many places in Yorkshire were returned as 'waste' to realise that our ancestors didn't have an entirely happy time of it. Basically Willy the Con seemed to give most of this area to Ilbert de Lacy for services rendered, but not without trashing some of it first. (Or maybe Ilbert trashed it on his behalf and then kept what was left.)
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