Monday, August 15, 2016

UK, Part 2: Northern Wales

8/2/16 Castle Conwy

Sheep, rain, magnificent castles – and lots of all three. That’s what I’ll remember most about northern Wales. It’s also a country of the greenest grass and some of the most beautiful landscapes I’ve ever seen. Ironically, I think I have the fewest number of sketches of gorgeous Wales because of all that rain and because much of that landscape was seen through car windows.

8/4/16 Castle Caernarfon
Although we didn’t have a car of our own in Wales (by choice – driving on the “wrong” side of the street was too fraught with peril!), it turned out that Seattle urban sketcher Julie Wieringa and her husband Doug were also planning to visit Wales after the symposium with some overlap in our schedules. They kindly offered to let us tour the Snowdonia National Park area with them one day, including charming small towns like Porthmadog and Blaenau Ffestniog (Wales is also a country of unpronounceable words!). Frustrated by rain, I was “forced” to sketch things like cake and my tea and scones!

At another rainy time Greg and I toured the Trefriew woolen mill, where wool is processed and tweed is still woven on traditional looms.
8/4/16 Castle Beaumaris

On a couple of days the weather improved for us – still somewhat chilly, but at least the rain changed to drizzle and even sporadic periods of sunshine. We took advantage of the improvement to visit three castles – Conwy (very close to Llandudno, where we were staying in a delightful B&B), Beaumaris and Caernarfon.

Before visiting northern Wales, my image of castles tended toward pointy, glittery structures where Disney princesses live. (I stopped watching Game of Thrones after the second season, so those bloody castles have thankfully faded from my memory.) About as far from Disney as I could imagine, the results of King Edwards’ egomaniacal pursuit of dominance were made of formidable, impenetrable stone. Rounded walls (corners in a structure are the most vulnerable areas, so they were avoided) proved to be as challenging to sketch as they were to scale or penetrate! Despite my complaints of rain, seeing and sketching those spectacular castles made our trip to Wales more than worthwhile.
8/2/16 Castle Conwy
8/2/16 Gloddaeth United Church, Llandudno
8/2/16 Fishing for tiny crabs in Conwy
8/4/14 Trefriew Woolen Mills

8/1/16 Rainy-day Jaffa cake in Blaenau Ffestiniog
8/2/16 Tea (and scones, unsketched because I wanted to eat
them warm!) in Conwy.

How about some llaeth y llan for breakfast?
Tina, Julie, Doug and Greg in Porthmadog

Stone walls and sheep -- we saw lots and lots of both in northern Wales.
Sure was happy to have my waterproof Rickshaw
bag in Wales!

1 comment:

  1. I see you did get to sketch quite a few castles while in Wales. Like Ireland when I was there you have to accept that it will rain and hope for the best. It always pays to be on the lookout for covered areas or places to head indoors if needed. Good job on these!


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