Admittedly, at first Wales just seemed like the convenient choice. London is more glamorous and Scotland seems more exotic. Come on, those accents? You never really hear about Americans vacationing in Wales. But now we’re sure glad we did.
- There are 3 million citizens and 11 million sheep. Need we say more?
- Their flag has a dragon on it.
- The Welsh language sounds like it came straight out of Lord of the Rings.
- It was the first time that people would hear our last name and think it was cool: “Ah Williams—a good Welsh name.”
Early Monday morning we hopped on a three-hour ferry from Dublin to Wales.
The ferry had a casino-meets-James Joyce-feel. Slot machines in one corner, and a carving of the Irish author’s face on the wall.
Oh, and we were the only people under 70, which made for a nice peaceful ride.
We passed the time by eating toast and tea.
We took our first Welsh train to our final destination of Conwy.
But first Anna wanted to show off her ultra light packing job. Once in Conwy, we were picked up by the family who owns the apartment we were renting. They gave us a tour of the house, brought us milk for our tea and then chatted in the kitchen with us for a good hour. The perfect Welsh welcome.
Even their ginger kitty came out to meet the Americans. And we truly felt at home when we peaked out the window and saw a hipster that looked straight outta Brooklyn hanging out in front of the local fish and chips shop.
After settling in, the Welsh family walked us into town. The Welsh were so used to a 1200’s castle in the middle of their town that they were truly perplexed as to why we kept cooing over it and snapping pictures.
We had a bit of trouble crossing the streets. There was no pretending to be locals when we’d wait for 10 minutes at each street corner than dash across in panic. Every day dad would claim that one of us almost got run over. We discovered Anna’s namesake house. Then, though it was too late to visit the castle, we hiked up the walls which enclose the town.
Nope, still not tired of the castle.
In addition to maps, ice cream and walking on walls, the Williams family loves reading tombstones. Just our luck, the town had a little church graveyard.
We rested in the town courtyard (note the knight in the background) before heading home for supper.
This is their starting-to-get-hangry-and-need-fish-and-chips walk. And so, on our first night in Wales we feasted!