I thought I would share with you a little more on our trip to Wales. A couple of things Wales has in abundance: stone and sheep. The crumbling old farm building pictured above, was only a minute's walk from our front door and in this corner of North Wales, sharing your garden with sheep is not uncommon.
I must give a timely shout out to our faithful VW old "new" Beetle, that somehow continues to serve the needs of two six foot plus males, an adult female and a week's worth of luggage in transporting us here. Not for us the gas guzzling people carriers or cars on steroids as I think of them. No, when we holiday, we'd rather squeeze almost everything we own into a two door car shaped like an insect and sit with our knees raised up to our ears!
Before anyone points out the titular spelling error, there will be reference to one of the Mersey Beat pioneers coming up, but I digress. It transpires that the bug is very adept at making small items disappear. On the third morning of our holiday in Wales, we managed to lose the sacred front door key, after forgetting rule number 1, which was to leave it in the key safe upon leaving the property. Luckily, our son had stayed behind for a couple of hours (inexplicably he didn't fancy accompanying me to an old graveyard) and was able to let us back into the property.
Back to reality, a frantic couple of hours passed as we hunted high and low - the pressure and our heart rates increasing ever so slightly when, in the midst of this search, the owner emailed to check if everything was OK. Finally, after retracing our steps around the graveyard and after the forty third check of the car's interior, Gareth found the key lodged between the driver's seat and the seatbelt. Phew!
Here are some village views and glimpses of the hills surrounding our valley. Everywhere you look, the land is divided by stone walls and many of the older buildings are made from what is known as "rubble stone."
However, perhaps the most impressive local stone building was Conwy Castle, a mere 15 minute drive away and an exceptionally well preserved medieval castle fortress. Built by architect Master James of St George at the bidding of Edward I in a staggering 4 years between 1283 and 1287, the cost of the build was an eye watering £15,000. Here's our first glimpse, as photographed through the windscreen.
The 13th century castle walls encapsulate the town and accordingly, you are never more than a few steps away from a view of the castle walls.
I'm really not good with heights and as the entry fee principally invites access to the castle's numerous towers, it would be entirely wasted on me. Instead, we opted to separate. The two boys elected to walk the castle walls around the town, as I stalked them through the streets with my camera. For the record, I did try. I got as far as the top of the first level of rusty iron access steps before spotting this rather nervous looking dove sheltering in the castle wall. A kindred spirit? As the steps felt a little creaky and wobbly and had gaps between them (another big negative for me), I swiftly descended to the safety of the street.
As I did so, I spotted this crucifixion statue outside St Michael's Catholic Church, just as the afternoon sun passed over, rewarding me with this glorious sunburst.
This marble tablet, depicting the two Marys and created by G. Rinvolucri, is one of twelve adorning the town walls.
Dating back to the mid twentieth century, Rinvolucri was an Italian architect who came to Wales originally as a prisoner of war. He lived and worked in the Conwy area and designed several Roman Catholic churches in the area. The aforementioned church was built in the inter-war period as it is not shown on the 1913 Ordnance Survey. None of the sculptures is signed or dated, but all have dedications.
The work is Grade II listed for its special interest as a fine mid 20th century devotional sculpture forming the focus of the group of distinctive tablets, all of exceptional quality, on the medieval town walls.