Friday, May 15, 2009


This is the view of Snowdonia National Park from the top of Mt. Snowdon:

And this (more or less) is what we saw from the summit of Mt. Snowdon:

Mt. Snowdon is the highest peak in Wales. That sounds impressive, but it's no Mt. Everest, or even Mt. Timpanogos. The hike up and back was just a little over four hours, round trip, and we didn't even start it until after noon. By that time we'd already had a hearty English breakfast at our bed-and-breakfast, made a trip to retrieve my camera from the shop I left it at the night before (yes, my camera-losing tendencies have followed me across the Atlantic), a tour of the Conwy Castle, a half-hour internet session at the Conwy library, a drive along the carriageway (which is two lanes - the expressway is three lanes), and a harrowing, high-speed bus ride through a narrow mountain pass from the parking lot to the base of the trails.

But even if it was short, the hike was challenging - lots of climbing up steep rock surfaces, made slippery by the mist. At points the trail disappeared altogether, and experienced Snowdon hikers told us to just head upwards on anything that looks even remotely trail-like, that it all heads to the same place. This went against anything I ever learned about hiking in the mountains. We had visions of getting lost on Mt. Snowdon, especially in the fog that obscured our view most of the way (what little we could see was beautiful, and we did manage to snap a few good pictures which we can post later). But we successfully made it to the summit, then successfully missed our turn onto the Miners trail on the way down and ended up on the Pyg trail instead. Fortunately, of the six trails that run up Snowdon, the Pyg trail happens to be the one that starts at the same place as the Miners trail, and we made it back to our bed-and-breakfast without incident.

Today we're in Dublin. With limited time to spend here, we took a bus tour to get a feel for the city. In between commentary, they played Irish songs sung by a female singer, and one that played at least three times on the tour had the line, "dirty ol' town" repeated over and over. That's kind of our impression of Dublin. It might be a bright, happening place if you like pub-hopping, but we're looking forward to getting out into the Irish country side tomorrow.

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