Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Farewell to Conwy and hello to England's most famous resort town

It is goodbye to Andrew and Jill at Bryn Derwen after another great brekky. Maybe we will see them when they visit Australia again!

We have left Conwy Castle until today as we knew we would like to spend quite a few hours there. The whole time we have been here, we have been amazed at the traffic travelling down the one way streets - especially through the town gates of the castle. Andrew's dad was telling us that the highway used to come right through Conwy and that the town was gradually dying because of the congestion with the traffic often queued well over the bridge and back as far as the motorway at times. With the bypass Conwy was given a new lease of life and the streets were revamped to provide a nicer walking experience more in keeping with the medieval setting.

After paying our entry fee, for the modest sum of £1.50 each we join guide Neil along with a young American couple for a very detailed guided tour of the castle remains. Neil is an absolute wealth of knowledge and oh so looks the part with his heavy Aran jumper and his walk stick that he only uses to point out the areas of interest. His narrative is not only very informative, it is friendly and interesting as well. We learn how to determine what type of building structures have been within any castle by 'reading' the ruins - Neil style!

We take a wander through the streets of Conwy looking at all the souvenir shops and local providores and stopped at Coffi Conwy for the loveliest lunch of Welsh Rarebit - well done guys! The UK's smallest house is on the quay front in Conwy. Forget about swinging a cat - you couldn't swing a kitten in this one! Llewelyn, founder of the Conwy Abbey in 1184 AD continues to stand guard near the original site and now the town square.

And finally, there is evidence that spring has sprung as the trees and flowers burst forth in a fragrant display of beauty. Ah - don't you just love Mother Nature.

Much to Mick's consternation we have booked a B&B in Blackpool for 4 nights. Neil at Conwy Castle describes Blackpool as the 'Poor man's Monte Carlo'. Mick however has another less flattering term. Blackpool has more accommodation available than the whole of Portugal - some 1,600 accommodation houses! For a city of around 140,000 people this is a staggering figure and goes to show that for some Brits (and of course Continental tourists) the place still holds some appeal (so there!)

We arrive just after 4 pm and are met very warmly at the door by our host Tony at the New Kent Hotel. Turns out we are the only ones in for the next few nights and so will have the run of the house. Michael is keen to check out the extensive TV channels and I am keen to flog self-proclaimed family champion Tony at Scrabble! Yay, a real live player whose face I can watch while I play - but I am still ever grateful for the online Scrabble community at http://www.isc.ro/ who allow me to continually feed my addiction while we are travelling. Michael goes for a stroll and takes a magical Blackpool sunset photo, don't you agree?

Now we are off to find some fish n chips for dinner!

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