On the recommendation of B’s friend, we took a road trip to North Wales to visit some of the ancient castles dotted along the coast.
Our “base” during our time in North Wales was in Llandudno. We stayed at the Escape B&B, a beautiful small family-run operation.
Escape B&B in Llandudno
View from our room
The location of the B&B was great, and it was a short walk to restaurants, and also within easy walking distance from the old-fashioned pier reminiscent of the pier at Brighton. As we were there in the off-season, it was quite deserted, but I can just imagine it bustling with activity in the summer.
On our second day, we went castle-hopping in the area. Our first stop was Caernarfon Castle, a beautifully preserved ancient castle that is used for the investiture of the Prince of Wales.
A panoramic shot of the castle
After our visit to Caernarfon Castle, we also popped into Harlech Castle, and Conwy Castle, but after the majesty of Caernarfon Castle, these other castles pale in comparison and seemed a little tired and run-down, and am I glad I do not live in medieval times and had to stay in these castles! 😁
Part of the Conwy wall
Despite having visited the UK numerous times, B and I had never been to either Stonehenge or Bath before. Since we were driving from London to North Wales, we decided to take a short detour to Bath and Stonehenge for a weekend.
True to our bad-weather-luck form, it was a rainy and windy day when we visited Stonehenge, but I guess that added to the atmosphere.
The stones stood tall and majestic against the backdrop of green grass and grey skies.
The stone circle from a different angle – this shows a more complete circle.
And from this angle, it just looks like a random collection of stones – what circle?
The audioguide was very informative, and contained little tidbits of information that you can listen to at various points around the stones. I would definitely recommend getting that. If not for the rain that was really bothering me, I would have gone to every single one of the audioguide stations.
But, as it was raining, we soon made a quick exit and headed to lunch – nothing more important than filling our tummies – before taking a stroll around the Bath city centre.
Beautiful stained glass windows in the interior
Strolling along the river.
After walking around, we then proceeded to indulge in a classic English tradition – afternoon tea! And since we were in Bath, we headed straight for the famous Sally Lunn buns. Whilst the buns were yummy, the star of the show was the lemon curd. We loved it so much we even lugged a bottle of it home!
Time for the famous Sally Lunn buns for tea!
After leaving Seville, we did a quick stop-over in Cordoba.
The narrow cobblestoned streets were charming, but the highlight of the town was thr Mezquita, the mosque-cathedral of Cordoba.
First glimpse of the Mezquita.
The Mezquita is a half-mosque, half-church fascinating oddity. The arches in the interior create an optical illusion of a neverending series of arches.
Even though I knew that this is a mosque-cathedral, I was still taken by surprise at how western and church-like the cathedral in the middle of the structure when I came upon it.
Heading towards the cathedral portion of the structure – you can still see the arches at the sides.
The intricate western dome.
To me, the Mezquita sums up what southern Spain is all about, a wonderful blend of Ottoman/Moorish culture and Catholic Spain which shouldn’t work but somehow it does, magically.