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Narrowboats, London, and Wales - Part 13 (Caernarfon)

I only killed the engine a couple of time before we arrived in Caernarfon, always in a roundabout. I don’t think I ever got the car out of 5th gear.

Caernarfon was to be our base for exploring Northern Wales. I chose it because it appeared to be centrally located (nothing is very far away in that area) and because of the castle. We were to be in Wales for five nights, four full days. We had hoped to accomplish the following:
1. Visit castles

  1. Visit gardens

  2. Ride a train drawn by a steam locomotive

  3. Ride the cog wheel train to the top of Mt. Snowdon

  4. Catch a wild Welsh brown trout in the River Dee

  5. Take a cooking class

Nothing on the plan was locked in except that I was scheduled to go fishing with Trevor, a local fly fisherman and fly tyer, on our second full day in Wales. The plan was that my wife would take the car and explore on her own that day. We had used a similar strategy when I fished in Scotland and it had worked out great.

We had not been able to line up a cooking class so that part of the plan had already fallen by the wayside. We were a bit disappointed about that as cooking classes have become an important part of travel plans. We have taken them in Prague, Budapest, Madrid, and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The historic part of Caernarfon is a walled town that is connected to and was built at the same time as the great castle. We had reservations at the Victoria House B&B which is within the walls, and adjacent to the wall, such that our room had access to the wall. Which is why I chose it. We found the B&B and unloaded our stuff. Parking in an ancient wall town is problematic! Our hostess had solved the problem by issuing her guests with placards that allowed them to park in any of the local public parking areas “near” the B&B. She described locations of the parking areas and offered to show them to me. I agreed, but asked her to drive. She showed me the areas legal for me to park and we found a spot for the car.

Parking and parking lots in the UK tend to be pretty “interesting” to Americans. We are used to finding acres of parking around big box stores, super markets, and shopping centers. Not in the UK! The parking lots are small and the slots are narrow. You might be able to fit Caernarfon castle and walled town into the parking area at our local Wal-Mart. Later, as we were driving back to return the car, I remembered the retractable mirrors. In small towns, most of the towns in Northern Wales, when people park on the street, they park partway on the sidewalk. The two lane road effectively becomes one lane.

The Victoria House B&B is quite nice. The hostess, Jan, is very pleasant and welcoming. We were shown our suite and given a bottle of wine. When we explained our plans, Jan offered to take Karen riding while I went fishing. Karen declined.
We went looking for dinner. The Black Boy Inn, the name place in Caernarfon was jammed. We found another pub, had dinner and returned to the B&B. We got ourselves organized and finally retired to bed with our Kindle and iPad. Trevor was to pick us up in the morning and show around Wales.

Some pictures are at:

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