So - after 3 wonderful days in Chester, in which we did a remarkable amount of shopping for people who don't really shop (no - the irony that we own a shop has not passed us by) we headed to the hills to do what we really do love to do.
Knowing that we wouldn't have internet in the depths of Snowdonia where we were staying we checked the weather in advance and, lo, the best day was our first day so we were up bright and early and heading off to climb Snowdon. When I mentioned to a friend recently that we were going to Snowdonia because I'd never climbed Snowdon her response was, "who has"?! Well, she may have a point but - given that I spent a lot of my childhood in the Lake District so have covered Helvellyn and Scafell Pike many times, I've tramped many of the glorious paths of New Zealand and have even trekked to Everest Base Camp - Snowdon is a major hole in my list of achievements.
Snowdon was interesting. We started up the Miner's Track - the beginning of which could have been a walk in a National Trust park - tarmac and gravel anyone?:
and then, as we got higher, it turned into one giant slate and rock staircase. I guess it's the shear number of visitors that make this a necessity but, good lord, it's hard to walk on and very hard on the knees:
As you can see, there were also lots of people up there - which is something I'm definitely not used to. The summit kept appearing and then disappearing into the cloud (you can just about make out the people on the top and one person walking along the ridge - which is wider than it looks!):
but the views were glorious and worth the effort:
In this photo you can make out or path wiggling up:
At the top, of course, you meet the railway line (!) - which wasn't running any trains that day - probably a good thing, there were enough of us up there without a train as well!:
It was also incredibly windy so here I am struggling on all fours up to the trig point which marks the very top:
On the way down my favourite, lovely walking boots gave up the ghost when the sole started coming away from the boot which made the whole process slightly hairier than was strictly necessary:
but I've had them for 20 years and they've done a good few miles so I can't really complain. We stuck them together with strong glue so hopefully I'll still be able to do small, dry walks with them - I also bought some lovely new Berghaus boots but I haven't told the old ones in case they get upset!
The rest of the week passed with steam trains, smaller walks and two trips to Anglesey - here are the highlights:
The cottage with the big picture windows and wicker chairs is ours:
The Aberglaslyn Pass in the wet and with fallen leaves is not to be recommended(!) - slightly hairy in places!:
And, finally, who knew that Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is in Anglesey - we didn't - so we went there: