The long-awaited honeymoon

It’s been a long time since the wedding and the honeymoon has been a long time in coming, but Zoë and I finally made it away to North Wales for five days. It was the first holiday together ever that didn’t involve being away for a party, social gathering or medical reasons.

The full set can be found here.

My parents were already staying in Harlech with the caravan, so it was an easy drive into North Wales with Zoë pushing up the zeds and missing most of the stunning scenery along the North Wales coast. However we arrived intact in Harlech on Sunday morning. One of the first things we did was to be shown around by my parents who were to leave the same day. The view of the castle from the campsite was quite stunning:

We went on the beach too and generally relaxed until my parents left and then cooked ourselves a fine meal and snuggled in the caravan.

The following day the plan was to go to Portmeirion. We caught the train from Harlech to Minffordd where we then walked the rest of the way to the village. The weather was superb; it was as if the climate of North Wales knew we were on honeymoon! The weather continued to be pretty good all the time we were there.

Zoë was immediately impressed by the architechture and started clicking away like a happy Japanese tourist. It was so wonderful to see her smile!

The village is one of the most incredible places to go and visit. It was used as the set for the famous sixties TV series, The Prisoner, and appears to be a slice of Italian-inspired architechture tucked away on the Welsh coast.

The last picture features a building with a painted on window. This seemed to also be a feature of Portmeirion, along with statues in little follies and ceilings painted to look not out of place in the Sistine chapel.

There was also a concrete boat actually just built at the jetty:

We have a suspicion the architect was a little mad.

After Portmeirion we decided to walk to Porthmadog across the cob, a long man made embankment that carries the road, a cycle path and the FFestiniog railway (more of that later) which, bizaarely, there is a footpath that shares the same route with no fence in between. I guess common sense works quite well in these parts.

We spent a little time looking around Porthmadog and got some chips, because everyone (us included) cannot resist the wafting smell of a chipshop on a hot day. I also took time to check out Cob records and I bought a copy of the last Coldplay LP on, well, LP silly. We miscalculated train times (the Cambrian coast trains seem to run only once every two hours in each direction) so had nearly two hours to kill at Porthmadog town station, which we did indeed do so in a rather fine pub that occupies the old railway building. Whilst we were in there the sky darkened and the heavens opened with rain that blotted out the hills. Still, we were fine with our pints and eventually staggered onto the return train. By the time we reached Harlech the rain had eased.

On Monday we came back by train to do the Ffestinion railway. Zoë was a little sceptical with her “Jenny wants to do her train thing” air, but soon became enthused when she saw the views from the train.

We even found time for a shot of the Honeymooning couple:

At Blaenau Ffestiniog Zoë took the opportunity of a few more photos whilst we waited for the locomotive to run around the train. I too used the opportunity to camera-whore like I usually do.

Our heroine camera-whoring by the locomotive.

On the way back, Zoë filmed the train running around the unique in the UK spiral that allows trains onto the new deviation at DDuallt – it took us a while to work out the correct pronunciation too!

Upon our return to Harlech we went swimming in the sea. Despite the desolate and deserted beach, the water was actually lovely! We had the whole coast to ourselves it seemed. It was Zoë’s first time swimming in over a decade, and the look on her face of sheer joy was a pleasure to see! There are no pictures of the swimming, on account of cameras not liking to be around water, so we didn’t take it with us. We kept swimming until the threat of rain came, and we got back to snuggle in the caravan just in time.

On the last day we stayed in Harlech and did the castle. It’s an imposing place, and it would be nice if they ever restored the place. We took lots of pictures too – we could not believe how much good weather we were getting!

The view from the tops of the towers:

And of course, our camera-whoring heroine again:

We went shopping in the town and Zoë prepared a lovely lunch of sliced vine tomatoes and mozzerella cheese which is a dish we sometimes get from our favourite local Italian restaurant as a starter. We snoozed the afternoon (it was very hot) and then spent the whole evening swimming in the sea again.

Alas, the following day it was time to return home with a caravan in tow, but we had thoroughly enjoyed the belated honeymoon we had been promising ourselves since March! The old Swedish tank performed well with a towing load, and actually did better than my parents’ Honda.

It’s always good to be back home, but at the same time I wish we might have had longer on our honeymoon. Oh well – there’s always next time!