08.18.2019 - 09.01.2019
The scenery changes as we head to Deganwy, Wales. Instead of miles of stone walls and green pastures studded with sheep we start to see a few rolling hills and inlets of water which suddenly leads us to a shoreline harboring sailboats and motor boats...which rhymes with moats....which belong to the main attraction: Caernarfon Castle.
Caernarfon is architecturally one of the most impressive of all of the castles in Wales and was built with the intention of being a seat of power. This castle and medieval town is located on the North Wales Coastline at the southern end of the Menai Strait between north Wales and Anglesey. Because of the agriculturally rich land and the Menai Strait to allow for easy access between the North and Western Welsh coast, this was the perfect place to build a castle. Caernarvon was built on the shoreline ...supplies came by sea due to the skill of the Welsh in convoy ambush over land .
Caernarfon Castle is a top attraction in North Wales, and one of the most impressive castles found in the whole of the UK. What makes it so impressive? The entire fishing town of Caernarfon is within the castle’s walls, and it has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The highest percentage of Welsh speakers live in this town.
The design of this castle is a little unusual when compared to other castles in the region. Imagine the structure as a figure eight; at the middle of the castle, the walls narrow into each other, forming two large and symmetrical courtyards. Surrounding the central courtyards are thick, reinforced walls on all sides. The walls extend back from the bay, and wrap around the old town of Caernarfon, meaning the whole place is securely held within the stone castle
King Edward l had hundreds of tradesman and craftsman work on the castle. The timber shipped from Liverpool and Anglesley and laborers coming from London. At that time, the 1200’s, the cost was approximately £22,000 to build it...AND...it was completed within 5 years!
One of Caernarfon Castle’s appealing characteristics is its 12 octagonal towers. The style of the towers is different to the others in the area built by Edward I and were much harder to build. It is thought the design was chosen to evoke Constantinople, what is now Istanbul in Turkey, and even used multicoloured stone to mirror the Byzantine city. The towers are large; the Eagle Tower measures 10m across at the base.
Caernarfon Castle can only be entered through one of two gatehouses, the King’s Gate which faces the town and the Queen’s Gate, which faces the sea. The Queen’s Gate was mostly used for unloading supplies from ships. But the King’s Gate is something else. It was built with holes and slots, for pouring boiling oil and water over people trying to enter and shooting arrows from. In its glory days, the gatehouse would have contained more than four doors and five different portcullises.
We walk through the quaint small town and enjoy the scenic views and happenings of the day.
Something for everyone!
Lucky for us...a market to stroll through as well!
On the way to our hotel we visit Deganwy and chose a leisurely stroll back to our hotel.
A surprise community garden enroute....
Back at the hotel a refreshing Aperol Spritzer...delish!
..... and guess what we had for dessert...that’s right...Sticky Toffee Pudding! ...my fav!