Thursday, 2 May 2013

Savouring a sunny afternoon in Snowdonia.

With another sunny morning giving promise of a beautiful day, I put work on hold to spend time in the garden. The pots needed a good tidy; the creative juices needed to flow. Taking refuge in a garden chair after a couple of hours work, I looked around in satisfaction.

OH returned home. 
'Let's go out,' I suggested, 'with the top down [car], while the sun is shining. I will take the day off.'
He didn't need any encouragement so I put the cap on the creative juice bottle while we decided which direction to take.  Should it be east into Cheshire; south into Shropshire; north to the coast; or west into Snowdonia.
It was no contest. Snowdonia won.
'The views from the A5 are different as the seasons change,' OH reminded me. 'The last time we went down there, the snow was three feet high over the hedges.' (That was only a few weeks previously.)

What a glorious day! The roads were quiet as we headed down the A483. Turning onto the A5 Holyhead Historic Route at Chirk we gradually headed towards the mountains. I was amazed at how many sheep there were but my OH explained that as spring was late they were still grazing on the lower slopes. The late spring also meant that the trees were late coming into leaf. Peering over walls and hedges, I could see babbling brooks and streams as they tumbled over stones before rushing round a bend and disappearing from view. Here and there, sheep paddled in the water.

Most of the snow had melted but I could see patches of white nestling in folds of the mountains. Small lambs everywhere either kept close to their mothers as they foraged for food or lay in the sun as they slept. One or two, becoming playful, hopped and jumped about, full of the joys of being alive.

Once again we pulled into the re-furbished Waterloo Hotel at Betws-y-Coed for a snack lunch of  Bacon, Perl Wen (soft cheese) and Cranberry on Rosemary Focaccia. Delicious! All washed down with a chilled thirst-quenching drink.

Heading towards Capel Curig on the A5, we revelled in the ever-changing view of brooding  mountains, buds bursting on mostly bare trees, lakes and the spring sunshine. Turning at Capel Curig we were soon driving through the Llanberis Pass, heading towards the Bangor on the coast. Mighty Mount Snowdon dominated the sky. 

I was so relaxed that I fell asleep in the sunshine, missing the fantastic views of the slate quarry at Llanberis. Reaching Bangor, we shunned the busy A55 coast road in favour of heading south east on the A5 back to our little corner of North Wales. This took us through the old village of Bethesda. On the right were the slate quarries; the face of the mountain scarred black. 

This stretch of the A5 is so beautiful and peaceful. I couldn't help thinking how it must have been in the days when  a stage-coach, drawn by a team of horses, was the main means of travel from London to Holyhead from where travellers would have caught the boat to Ireland. At various points along the roadside are signs reminding the traveller of today that they are on a historic route.

Just past Bala, we turned off the A5 to go across country on the A5104 towards Wrexham. The sun was still shining as we arrived home. After such a hard winter and heavy,late, snowfalls the change in the weather is welcome. After all it is the month of May. (It is also my youngest grandson's sixth birthday.) 

Refreshed, I might let the creative juices out of the bottle tomorrow!

Rosalie x