Some day I’m going to find myself 10 km down the road and realize that I’ve forgotten my bicycle. I tried to lose my dishwashing soap, my laundry detergent, and my bicycle lock. One someone at the campground brought me when I was done doing dishes, one I found when I took a shower in the morning, and the last I backtracked for after leaving this morning.
Everything I don’t like about castles should have been true about Penhryn Castle. Construction began in the 19th century. It’s very touristy. The entrance fee was exorbitant. However, because it was so new most of the original decorations and furnishings are still there, giving it a good historic feel. While touristy, you could wander almost anywhere you wanted. They had the actual original floorplans to look at.
I spent enough time at Penhryn to mean I likely wouldn’t get to Caernarfon (Castle #3 for the day) before it closed. My plan had been to cycle there, visit the castle, and then add another 30 km to the day. Fortunately there was a hostel there, and a couple of campgrounds. So Beaumaris next, on Anglesea.
Construction on Beaumaris Castle began in 1297. Before construction was complete, Charles I refocused his efforts on Scotland, and ran out of money to finish the castle. Beaumaris is defined as the Perfect Castle that was never completed, the fourth castle built by his master architect. They picked a flat site (and burned out the villagers) so they could build a perfect symmetrical castle on the site they wanted. So Beaumaris was a ruin starting out, and hasn’t changed much since then. And it’s amazing. Mind-blowing.
Two castles better than any of the others this trip, in the same day. From there I only needed to get to Caernarfon, which I can visit in the morning before moving forward. Designed by the same master mason as Beaumaris (and Cowyn). Another castle will (hopefully) be where I stop tomorrow.
So again I can say that I’m headed up into the mountains of Wales tomorrow. One of my hostelmates is climbing to the peak tomorrow, and reports that the weather should continue to be good. A German couple in the hostel are also cyclists, and have cycled the same route I will take tomorrow, and say that the roads, traffic, and gradient aren’t bad.
There also happens to be a castle along the way.