|Clwydian Range from Cileaire, Wales|
|The national flower of Wales|
On Saturdays I often rented a car with Muriel and a few friends and would spend the day driving through the beautiful mountains and valleys of North Wales. We would picnic at some scenic spot.
From Mold the road rises gently to the Twlch (the top) which overlooks the lovely Vale of Clwyd. This is a land of green valleys and stonewalls ringing tiny farms. Most areas of the countryside are good only for grazing and pastures for sheep and cattle. The Clwydian Hills are the highest point between Mold and the Snowdonia Range.
We pass through the small village of Ruthin (pronounced Rithin), which boasts a castle, now transformed into a tourist hotel.
Farther on is the town of Denbigh, also with the ruins of a castle. Charles I was born here. Another interesting site here is the cottage where Stanley, the explorer who found Livingstone in Africa, once lived.
|Swallow Falls near Betws-y-coed|
We continue on to Capel Curig and then to Llanberis Pass. Here the dark hills are barren on either side. We can hear the sound of bleating sheep and the rush of streams falling from the hills. Stone walls follow the line of the road. It is a sad and lonely place, especially in the rain. At the top of the pass two small inns stand near each other. We are grateful for a cup of tea and the sandwiches we have brought along. When we leave, the sun comes out and a great valley sweeps down before us, and the brown hills are outlined against the sky.
Llanberis lies at the foot of Mount Snowdon. At 3,500 feet, it is the second highest peak in Great Britain. One side is very rugged and steep. It is said that Hillary of Mount Everest fame practiced on this side. Many climbers use the other more gentle slope. A small cog railway steams to the top during tourist season. The view is fantastic when the weather is bright, but the top of Mount Snowdon is often hidden by clouds, even in fine weather below.
|Conway, above the estuary|
Mold is only ten or fifteen miles from the coast. We can always tell when there is a storm at sea when the gulls come sweeping in from the coast.