September 2015 weeklong drive through northern and central Wales (with stops in England on the way there and back)


Visited Stonehenge on the way from Heathrow Airport to Bath, England
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The "Abbey Green" in Bath, where we stayed our first two nights - the tree in the middle of the green is over 500 years old
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Bath is named for the ancient Roman baths, a stone's throw from our B&B
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There is also a lovely Abbey church, for which the Abbey Green is named
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On our way from Bath to Wales we stopped at a hedge maze (and butterfly garden) in England's scenic Wye Valley
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Wales is known for its majestic castles, like Beaumaris (interior pictured here)
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Beaumaris Castle - interior
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Harlech Castle - exterior
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Harlech Castle - interior
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Criccieth Castle, as seen from the seaside resort restaurant where we had lunch
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There are other ancient ruins there as well, such as this church at Ynys Llanddwyn (a small isthmus on Anglesey, a large island off of Wales' northwest coast, where we stayed on our first night in Wales)
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Our second night in Wales was spent with Tom & Jen Deakin and their family - they live in the town of Llanidoes, in central Wales, which boasts one of the last timber-frame markets in the U.K.
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Central Wales used to be the slate capital of the world - we took an underground tour of the Llechwedd slate caverns
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A lovely place that took us forever to get to - the Pistyll Rhaeadr waterfall
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Driving can take longer than expected due to roads that look like this TWO-WAY ROAD...
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...and privately-owned toll bridges that close at 5 pm
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Driving around the countryside afforded some treasured views, like ancient houses...
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...and everywhere, sheep (Wales is home to 3 million people and 9 million sheep)
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Why is Marie so happy?
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She has her scones with clotted cream and cappuccino!
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I was delighted to visit Portmeirion, a brightly-colored Italianate-style resort nestled on the coast adjacent to the Snowden Mountains
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Portmeirion was the filming location for the cult classic TV series The Prisoner, about a secret agent who is abducted to a place ("The Village") run by people with advanced technology who are intent on extracting his deepest secret
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In addition to the fabulous gardens, statuary & architecture, there is a beach, woodland walks, and this dog cemetery
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On our way back to the airport, we stopped in Shrewsbury, England, which is criss-crossed by narrow alleyways
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Our favorite sign, also in Shrewsbury
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