Welcome to Wales

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.

  1. There are 3 million citizens and 11 million sheep. Need we say more?
  2. Their flag has a dragon on it.
  3. The Welsh language sounds like it came straight out of Lord of the Rings.
  4. It was the first time that people would hear our last name and think it was cool: “Ah Williams—a good Welsh name.”

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Early Monday morning we hopped on a three-hour ferry from Dublin to Wales.

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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.

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Oh, and we were the only people under 70, which made for a nice peaceful ride.

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We passed the time by eating toast and tea.

IMG_7844Taking selfies.

IMG_7840And enjoying the sea air on deck. IMG_7833The deck, after all, was made for triplets. 
IMG_7848And at this point, we were ready to get off the boat. Thankfully, land was in sight!

IMG_7832This was the view when we left Ireland.

IMG_7846“And now for a dramatically different landscape,” dad deadpanned as we caught the first glimpse of Wales.

IMG_7852IMG_7855We took our first Welsh train to our final destination of Conwy.
IMG_7859But first Anna wanted to show off her ultra light packing job. IMG_7868Once 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.

IMG_7865 Even their ginger kitty came out to meet the Americans. IMG_7867And 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. 
IMG_7870After settling in, the Welsh family walked us into town. IMG_7876 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.

IMG_7887They said “only Americans and the Japanese like castles.” We played our part and kept snapping away.

IMG_7878The bay view wasn’t too shabby.
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IMG_7900We 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. IMG_7905We discovered Anna’s namesake house. IMG_7907Then, though it was too late to visit the castle, we hiked up the walls which enclose the town.
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Nope, still not tired of the castle.

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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. IMG_7919

IMG_7924 IMG_7927 IMG_7929 IMG_7934We rested in the town courtyard (note the knight in the background) before heading home for supper. 
IMG_7949IMG_7950This is their starting-to-get-hangry-and-need-fish-and-chips walk. IMG_7952And so, on our first night in Wales we feasted!

This entry was published on July 5, 2014 at 8:39 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

6 thoughts on “Welcome to Wales

  1. john t. williams on said:

    Fantastic. Usually we say half the fun of a trip is in the anticipation …. I enjoyed thinking about the Ireland/Wales trip beforehand, and the trip itself, but now I have to take percentage shares from the anticipation and trip (itself) stages and re-allocate to the enjoyment of post-trip stage.ca

  2. Mary Beth on said:

    Great blogs (both of your travel blogs)! Love reading them. Did Anna really travel 2 weeks with only a knapsack? Does Wales not have street crossings for pedestrians? Was the James Joyce carving on the ship a real wood carving?

    • Yes, MB, Anna really managed with that little bag..and rubbed it in our face every time we were lugging around a suitcase.
      Wales does have cross lights they just take forever.

  3. In agreement with John about post-trip reveries. I learn things each time I read the Williams’ blogs…like the three-hour ferry ride…I had no idea! The castle in the middle of town…delightful! What I especially like is that these are the thoughts of people like us and photos not taken by the tourism bureau so I think that I get a real feel for what it’s like to be there. Keep ’em coming!

  4. Carol Fulkerson on said:

    Great pics of the stonework in Conwy. Thanks for sharing.

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