Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Caernarfon Castle and onward!
North Wales is studded with castles built by Edward I. Conwy is one, and the next one over is Caernarfon. The morning after the wedding, in lieu of a "wedding brunch", Boy and I took our families on a daytrip to Caernarfon. We started the day off with a walk along Conwy's town walls, on which there were various birds, many of whom wanted me dead. Then we rode in a local bus up to Caernarfon. We had lunch in a cute little local pub and spent a few hours running amok in the castle.
Caernarforn was built not long after Conwy, but in a completely different style from Edward I's other border castles. Having recently been on crusade, Edward I incorporated some eastern building designs and techniques into his newest castle, such as varying stone colors for a striped effect.
We took the bus back to Conwy in the evening for our final dinner at the Castle Hotel. You guys, seriously? The food . . . TO DIE FOR. On the final night I had a cheese and onion tart, a rocket, Parmesan and pesto salad, and another round of the fantastic passion fruit desert I'd had the first night. I also got involved in an order of cauliflower cheese. Its one thing for the food at a hotel to be spectacular, but its something completely different for it to be spectacular for meat eaters and vegetarians . Both of our families: STILL TALKING ABOUT THE FOOD, a month later.
The next morning boy and I headed out to Edinburgh. We took a cab just over the bridge to Llandudno Junction and got on a train for Crewe. At Crewe we were supposed to meet up with a high speed train for Edinburgh. Easy! Except just as the supposedly high speed train pulled into Crewe we were told that it wasn't actually going to Edinburgh. Something about it not being a high speed train after all and therefore being unable to take the tracks the rest of the way to Scotland. We were told to take a train to Manchester Piccadilly and switch to an Edinburgh train there. At Manchester Piccadilly, I found the train to Edinburgh listed on the board then before I could even read the platform the listing was straight up removed. Not listed as cancelled or delayed, REMOVED. Way to make me think I'm nuts, Manchester Piccadilly! Anyhow, I determined the train was in fact cancelled and I noticed a train headed for York. Now I knew that most trains from London to Edinburgh stop in York anyways, and those trains run pretty darn frequently. I also knew that York's train station has a temporary luggage hold. And since it was around about lunch time, Boy and I decided FUCK THIS! we were gonna get off at York and spend a few hours in one of our favorite cities. My only regret while planning our wedding trip was that I wouldn't have a day to spend in York, so as clusterfuckity as the whole train fiasco was, WHATEVER. Cause we went to York.
We had lunch at the Golden Fleece, an awesome little pub and inn where we'd stayed for a few nights on a prior trip. Then we did some extremely fruitful shopping (Paul Smith for Boy, the York Antique Center for me!). I had it in the back of my head that I'd like an antique ring, something to wear on my right hand, as a honeymoon souvenir. Boy and I found a gorgeous little ring at the antique center . . . 18k gold, perfectly intact hallmarks marking it as dated 1901 from Birmingham, set with two sapphires and a small diamond, and ACTUALLY MY SIZE. (My size being FOUR, i.e., NOTHING is ever my ring size!) SQUEE!!!
After we'd finished up in York we got on a train for Edinburgh (FINALLY!) but, so as not to be outdone in clusterfuckityness, the train we boarded was more or less full. So we wound up riding 2 1/2 hours sitting on our luggage just outside the bathroom door. BUT WHATEVER, we were on honeymoon. :)