Images from Wales in 2016
In June 2016, I went on holidays in Wales. My trip included nine days.
From Frakfurt to Birmingham
It started at Frankfurt Airport with Lufthansa to Birmingham Airport. At the airport I
hired a car and we wanted to drive to Aberystwyth, which is in my humble view is the
nicest small city in the world. But the car was a larger exemplar, a Peugeot, and
streets in Wales are not designed for large cars. And: sitting on the "wrong side
of the car" scattered my feeling on the size of this car further. So just near the
"border" between England and Wales I came too close to the sharp curbstone
(my own car at home is much smaller), - and the front tire had a flat (Yes, Welsh
curbstones are extremely sharp like a knife). So, the trip started with finding out,
where the spare tire in a Peugot is and how to dismount the tire and to mount a spare
From Birmingham to Aberystwyth
And I learned that spare tires are not real tires but only a cheap replacement.
They weren't even designed for the 50 Miles trip from my curbstone-event-place
to Aberystwyth. But I managed to get there without a second broken tire. And thanks to
my German navigator (yes, he had an excellent UK map, but no: he is not able to calculate
and display speed limits in Miles per hour) I found the way to the Queensbridge Hotel.
Not too complicated, because it is at the coast line, and there is only one street on the
And: yes, we saw Dolphins from the Hotel window. And: yes, it was raining in the night
and in the morning. But after breakfast the rain stopped and, occasionally, the sun came
out. Perfectly settled, as well for nature and the local farmers as for the tourists (of
which we were the only rare species - we didn't meet any other Germans in these nine days).
The next day started with lots of phone calls - and searching for the correct address of
the correct repair shop. Finally: the new tire was completely payed by the car rental
company. And: it was confirmed on the phone that I speak the name of the city correct.
By the way: the breakfast is horrible for the German taste: the coffee is made from dry-iced
power (I had only one occasion where a good italian-style coffee was brewed, that was near
Dounreay in the extreme northern of Scotland (the coffee brewer had served in the Army in the
second World War and had been stationed in Sicilia, where he learned coffee-brewing at its best.
That is how I once profited from Rommel's strange adventures in North Africa. And, of course,
on the french ferry from Boulogne to Folkstone, operated by a french company. English/Welsh
breakfast is ideal for tea trinkers, I guess, but not for me.
Anyway, if you are in Aberystwyth you MUST visit Constitution hill (preferably on a sunny
day, which we didn't have in these three days). And: yes, the sea-gulls at Constitution Hill
eat Pommes and drink coffee and tea. A small cable-driven cabin brings you to the top of the
hill, north of the city of Aberystwyth. And you MUST use the small train that travels
to the mountains and turns around at Devil's Bridge. (The Rheidol train starts at the railway
station, but has an extra small entry aside the station). Both locations (Constition Hill,
Devil's Bridge) played a role in the "Mord in Wales" crime movies, that hopefully
made Wales a little bit more popular in Germany. And: yes, the countryside in Wales is exactly
like shown in these movies, and the people there are as shown.
By the way: at the end-point of Rheidol railway near Devil's bridge the Prince of Wales and
Best Western engines get cleaned and oiled. A must-see for steam engine adicted people.
From Aberystwyth to Tywin/Talylynn
Another must-see for steam-engine fans: the Rheilffordd Talylynn Railway that starts in Tywyn.
From Talylynn to Criccieth
The Ffestiniog Railway runs to a former mine in the mountains and climps the
steep mountains of Mount Snowdon in Wales.
- a wonderful sea shore,
- a nice old castle on the top of the mountain,
- a fish-and-chip shop, where they serve excellent food,
- the nicest cafe in Wales (Caffi Cwrt), and, of couse
- the nearby Ffestiniog Railway with steam engines and a Pullman car
From Criccieth to Caernarfon
Carnarfon is another large castle, to be visited.
From Caernarfon to Holyhead
The next stop on the trip was Holyhead. Here, the ferries from Northern-Ireland
and Ireland come in and are unloaded and loaded again. Unfortunately it rained
most of the time, so Holyhead was not among my favorit places on this trip.
From Holyhead to Birmingham/Frankfurt
Who goes far away on a trip comes back after seeing nice new things. So the
trip back via Birmingham and Frankfurt was a pleasure.
Wales is a must-see for railway tourists and a nice place to stay for all
On the weekend after the trip the voters in the UK decided, with a very small
majority, to leave the EU. The votes in Wales were very different: the people
near the seaside voted more against, the people on the landscape voted majorly
pro leaving. In my humble view the campaign for leaving built more on basic
instincts and prejudice rather than on the intellect. It is a pity that the
nice seaside of Wales, that I enjoyed very much on this trip, is now outside
the EU. And it seems that UK's political leaders do not have that respect any
My father helped to throw many tons of bombs on Coventry, because he was the
navigator in one of those bombers in Worldwar II. I'd rather enjoy trips to
All pictures from that trip were shot with a Fuji Finepix SL1000. Their size has been
reduced to shorten download time.
©2020 by Gerhard Schmidt, Kastanienallee 20, D-64289 Darmstadt,
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