Conwy Castle
November 21, 2008, 11:12 am
Filed under: Travel, Uncategorized, Writing life | Tags: , , ,

We stopped in at Chester for a couple of nights on our way around the UK – or close to Chester at least. A little spot just inside the Welsh Border close to the town of Mold to be exact. Must admit, it was lovelier than it sounds!

And while we were there, we couldn’t resist a side trip along the North Coastline of Wales to Conwy and home of the fabulous Conwy Castle. Built from 1283 for Edward 1 as part of his defences in order to protect the English in Wales, it’s a stunning ruin now, with its eight towers and massive walls and just so atmospheric – here’s a few of our happy snaps…

We spent a fabulous few hours climbing towers, checking out the view (and in my case, scurrying down again – they’re higher than they look and it’s a loooong way down!) before we repaired to a local fish and chippery for some of the best fish and chips we had while in the UK.

There’s something fascinating to me about castles. I’m not sure if that’s because we don’t have castles in Australia (unless they’re the reproduction kind) or whether it’s just that they’re simply fascinating places because of their history, the times they’ve seen, the people who’ve walked and lived within, and sometimes tried to breach, their walls. I suspect it’s the latter. Even in ruins, their stone walls and massive turrets, their amazing architecture and sheer scale, bring to life another time. They give us a glimpse into the past. And it’s just fascinating.

If you’re looking to visit Wales or around Chester any time soon, do yourself a favour and visit Conwy Castle. You won’t regret it.

Anyone else a fan of castles? Which one’s your favourite and why?

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10 Comments so far
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Haven’t been to Conwy since 1994. Thanks for the reminder of this stunning castle.

Comment by Daniel

My pleasure, Daniel, it was great to have an excuse to trawl through the photos again and remind myself!

Comment by Trish Morey

I haven’t yet been to any castles, but I know from my love of visiting historical homes that for me the whole concept of my feet walking on steps taken by other people, as part of their daily life, a hundred years ago, two hundred, etc., just blows me away. Did they ever imagine, for even just a second, that these buildings would continue to stand hundreds of years later?

Comment by yvonnelindsay

Yvonne, that’s it in one! These buildings are about people. A thousand years of history. A thousand and more stories along the way. Another reason I love Crete and crawling over the stones that were once the great palace of Knossos. The wonderfully engineered palaces of Crete were vibrant metropolises around 1600BC, more than 3000 years ago. It’s mind boggling.

Of course most of the stones weren’t standing when they found them, but the fact the evidence has remained means a richer world for us. We are lucky, aren’t we, with this treasury of riches that previous generations have left us!

Comment by trishmorey

OOOh nice pictures Trish. Love castles so will definitely keep these in mind when i finally do the British Isle trip. I think history hit me most when I visited the Colosseum, Pompeii in Italy and the Acropolis in Athens, as well as Delphi and Olympia. And the village they have found in Santorini that they are excavating. It was covered in a huge shed to keep the elements at bay. Amazing stuff. Hmmm made me nostalgic to look at my photo albums…

BTW Trish – I have nominated your blog for the ‘I LOVE your blog award’. Can see details at:
http://eleni-konstantine.blogspot.com

Comment by Eleni Konstantine

Eleni, isn’t there something amazing about walking in ancient footprints? We visited the Colosseum and Pompeii this trip for the very first time and at Pompeii, it just staggered me to see the obvious signs of life – the wheel ruts worn into the stone roads and the graffiti adorning the walls!

But you never told me you visited Akrotiri on Santorini! We couldn’t visit – the site’s been closed over a year since a tourist was tragically killed in a wall collapse. Do you have pics???

And thanks so much for the nomination, that’s lovely of you! Have to admit though, I’m a bit wary of any “nominations” that I have to pass on. It’s not just my wariness at anything that looks like a chain letter, but also knowing that writers are busy people. The last thing they need is some commitment to nominate another seven or however many blog sites and I just hate to do that to other writers when they’re already under the hammer with deadlines etc (how do you nano galz manage it all?) So I really appreciate the sentiment, but I may just have to pass on that one:-( But thanks anyway, for thinking of me:-)

Comment by trishmorey

Pictures…scratches head — I think so, will look for you…. I didn’t know about the accident. How awful.

And hey, don’t worry about the blog award thing. It’s just letting you know I love of your blog. The whole thing is if you want to participate – or have time to in your case. I think that’s why I liked this one, because it says ‘if you want to, this is what you do’. So no stress, no fuss 😉

Comment by Eleni Konstantine

You’re making me drool, Trish! I’ve never been out of Oz and only three times out of Queensland. But this is a great way to do some e-travelling. Knossus! Did you ever read Mary Renault’s fabulous books about the Theseus legend, The King Must Die and The Bull From The Sea? Fabulous.
A fellow member of our local writers group is a considerable traveller and one day brought in some souvenirs for us to make up spur-of-the-moment stories about. The one I had was two little tesserae from Pompeii. And it’s true how one thinks – who has touched these, walked on these, what would they have heard if they had ears? History alive.
Thanks for the pictures of Conwy Castle. Castles are so evocative of history, even though I believe they were mostly uncomfortable places to live. We watch the Antiques Roadshow and get to see a few. I’m not well enough acquainted with all of them to pick a favourite, though the Alhambra must be close to the one I’d want to see.
Anyway, we have our own little castle, and it’ll last just as long! My husband (with my unskilled aid) built it of solid brick (outside and inside walls)and reinforced it within an inch of its life. My real estate saleswoman sister said “No one builds houses like that anymore!
Thanks for the evocative posting.
Monya

Comment by Monya Clayton

P.S. My brother lives in Adelaide, so it was ONE of our trips out of Queensland. In January 1974, with four kids between three and thirteen… And we’re watching the cricket from Adelaide at the moment, and I was thinking how much the background scenery has changed since I photographed it then.
Monya

Comment by Monya Clayton

Thanks Eleni, I’d love to know if you do find any. I find it a fascinating place and was so sorry we couldn’t visit. And thanks again for thinking of nominating my site – I really appreciate the sentiment!

Monya, how amazing you should mention that – I have Mary Renault’s The Bull from the Sea on my bedside table now and look forward to reading it.

I love the sound of your castle! Your sister is right. Houses are going disposable these days, like biros and shavers. Sounds like a great place to be comfortable and do some armchair traveling. Glad you’ve enjoyed the travelogue! Must go look up Alhambra Castle!

Comment by trishmorey




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