Why Wales? Entry #15: South Northern Wales!
What’s interesting to me, is that the last big trip that we went on ended up being one of the best. Along with many of the other trips, we ended up going here, because my friend Justine found out about it from a book she read in middle school. In fact, it was this book which first gave her the desire to go to Wales. She was originally supposed to take this trip with her sister, but when that trip got delayed due to volcanic ash, she took me and Christine. We didn’t have time to read the book, but we loved it just the same.
We hopped on the train and headed for Machynlleth. Unfortunatly, there’s no train that goes straight to Machynlleth, so we had to make a big triangle, and first go to Shrewsbury, England and switch trains. When we got to Machynlleth, which is a very small town in Wales, we stopped at the ATM and got some food in a small market. We bought sandwiches and banana chips. We each got an entire bag of banana chips for a pound, and nom’d on them the entire trip. We then had to take a bus to Corris, which was our final destination.
As we rode on the bus from Machynlleth, we got our first views of the glorious Welsh countryside: the mountains, the hills, and the sheep! There were tons and tons of sheep. I guess it is true what they say, that there are more sheep than people in Wales.
The bus we were on also doubled as a primary school’s school bus, so the bus was filled with kids on their way home from their long day at school. We had to ask the driver where to get off, and he graciously let us off right at the bottom of the hill which brings us to our hostel. One of the school girls was kind enough to lead us in the right direction.
We hiked halfway up a very steep hill to our lovely hostel. The hostel, being the only hostel in this tiny Welsh town was perfect. It had such a homey feel to it, with an entire living room with a fireplace, books and games. It also had a kitchen that we could use, or order a home cooked meal. We were going to get the meal the second day, but we ended up missing it.
We decided since we had a good part of the day left, we could head out and adventure. We headed up the zig-zag path, known as “the zig-zag” to King Arthur’s Labyrinth. King Arthur’s Labyrinth is a family attraction which was built in an old coal mine. After the mine closed down, they decided to make it into an attraction.
We walked down the hill, and entered the labyrinth (with hard hats) and took a boat ride to where the stories would be told. In the darkness of the labyrinth, different stations were set up which illuminated and animated different Welsh myths.
The labyrinth is one part of the Corriss Craft Village, so we planned to go back to shop on the last day.
We headed back down the zig-zag, and walked around the town a bit. This didn’t take long, considering the town is so small. We enjoyed fish and chips at a local pub, and headed back to our hostel and went to bed.
Day two was a day of adventures. We headed out of our hostel, grabbed a bite to eat, and went to hike Cadair Idris. A myth associated with this mountain is that if you sleep on it, you will either wake up as a madman or a poet. We’re already mad enough, so we couldn’t take that chance… 🙂
The hike was actually pretty intense. It started with steep steps, and then continued with only rock formations. At the top, it has been believed that the body of water is covering an extinct volcano, but that idea has been discarded.
We spent some time at the top, put our feet in the water, and relaxed. The mountains surrounding us were really beautiful.
We then descended the mountain, and took the bus back to our hostel. After a long, enjoyable day, we relaxed in the hostel playing games and completing puzzles.