Crete Pilgrimage 2016 - Day 37

Wales - Porthmadog and the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway


We stayed overnight in Porthmadog so that we could travel to Ffestiniog on the old narrow gauge railway. We discovered that most people stay elsewhere and travel to Porthmadog in the morning for the train. Breakfast places that opened before 9.30am were rare, but we found one that did good coffee. We then walked to the railway station and examined the old steam train. After the train returned to Porthmadog, we drove north to Caernafon and walked around the outside of the old castle before stopping at a pub that looked out over the harbour for a pint and a bite.

The Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway

At 9.30 we boarded our Third Class carriage (they only have third class) and headed off across the Britannia Terrace and up into the hills. It was a great trip, perhaps a bit over-hyped but we were pleased to have ticked off another world famous train trip. The train crosses the edge of the harbour, along the Britannia Terrace, before climbing into the hills towards the old slate mining town of Blaneau Ffestiniog. After a quick stop, at which most of the passengers got off for lunch, we headed back down the hill. Part way along the journey the track climbs a steep part by using a circular section. Here you can look down onto the track below.

Porthmadog harbour in the morning light
The railway station with our train
Coal and water for the engine
This engine is "David Lloyd George"
We were in third class, but it was comfortable enough
Our train is ready to go
This engine is for the service to Bangor
We headed off, along the Britannia Terrace...
passing the geese..
the tidal marshes...
and the cemetery,
and the slate quarry
before getting to the Minfford workshops.
Then we started to climb.
Our engine now has to do some hard work
Passing through the suburbs
through the level crossing
and into the forrested hills.
We caught up with a mob of sheep on the line
and chased them for miles
until they pulled over at Campbell's Platform
That's our train line down there
we have just gone around a compete circle
We are nearing the end of the line at Blaenau Ffestiniog
Lots got off for lunch
But we stayed on the train and headed back downhill
Back around the circle
past the bluebells
and the white crocuses
We passed the uphill train
past the railway workshops
Along the Britannia Terrace
past the geese
and back to Porthmadog

Caernafon Castle

We drove north from Porthmadog to reach the north coast of Wales at Caernafon. Our hotel was near the castle so we walked around the castle walls. It was too late in the day to spend time in the castle itself - especially at the price they were charging for entry.

BWales has produced a few notables: Sir Hugh Owen
David Lloyd George
The seaward wall of the Castle
The Castle Tower
The Castle from across the harbour
Annoying the crabs at low tide
Colourful houses on the hillside
One of the local pubs - The Anglesey
And the view from the pub where we had dinner

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Last updated: 12/06/2017