We spent a week from 9th May with our good friends, Merv and Dianne on a holiday based in a cottage in the village of Rowen some 4 miles or so from Conwy North Wales.
This was not to be a hillwalking/canoeing/cycling week but a week being tourists sampling lots of coffee and cakes, which we achieved!
The instructions to get to our cottage assumed we would be coming from Conwy but we approached from the south and being a bloke I thought that in a small village we would have no problems in finding our base. Wrong!
We entered the village passing the local pub which was mentioned in the blurb but then the already narrow lane became narrower and steeper with nowhere to turn around, so we kept going until we met a gate across the road and thankfully a place to turn.
Back down to the pub we took the sensible action and asked for directions and luckily the couple we asked actually owned the cottages where we were staying.
An excellent location with only the noises of the sheep to disturb the silence. We were adopted by the farm cat who it appeared was stone deaf but very vocal and would sit outside the glass door and make no attempt to come in until at almost the last day when he plucked up courage to come in.
The area was criss crossed by footpaths and for the more hardy you could walk up onto the Carneddau.
On Sunday we explored Conwy taking in a section of the castle walls and whilst the girls looked at the shops Merv and I explored the nearby waterside. The obligatory photo of the smallest house in Wales was taken.
Monday saw us visiting Llandudno and The Great Orme. With regard to the latter we took the tram to the top where it was difficult to stand up in the very strong winds, but the views were worthwhile. On returning to the base we then had a walk along the prom of Llandudno which follows the curve of the bay.
On Tuesday we spent the whole day in Bodnant Gardens a beautiful place to visit.
Wednesday saw us circumnavigating Anglesey. Once over the bridge we turned left and stopped off in Aberffraw for a coffee in the community centre and then on via Rhosneigr to look at the South Stacks lighthouse. From there we motored through Holyhead and Amlwch to a lunch stop in the pretty seaside village of Moelfre. We also paid a visit to Red Wharf Bay and then a stop for a leg stretch in Beaumaris before heading back to Rowen.
Thursday was a damp day but we were not downhearted and paid a visit to Llyn Crafnant and the inevitable cafe stop. From there we headed to Betws y Coed where numerous shops were visited although Merv and I did have a walk along the riverside.
On Friday the weather improved again and we were off to see Aber Falls. I took the scenic route up and over the Sychnant Pass. The last time I was at Aber Falls was about two years ago in February when the falls were almost frozen. We had a picnic today but did follow it up with cake and coffee in the cafe in Aber village. Our journey continued via Bethseda and down into the Ogwen valley. We spent some time watching a farmer guiding his sheep dog from across the lake up onto the hill close to Pen yr Ole Wen. Suitably impressed we motored on passing the lovely mountain of Tryfan and into Capel Curig and Plas Y Brenin where some years ago I had an excellent course on the basics of expeditions. We stopped by Llynau Mymbyr to look at Moel Siabod (a hill Cyndi and I climbed BC – (before children) and in the west the Snowdon Horseshoe.
That evening we had a meal in the local pub and joined in the Welsh hymn singing!
Our week finished with a an overnight visit to our son, Rhodri and his partner Gianna in Chester.
An enjoyable week in good company.