Today we went up into North Wales proper for the first time since moving here. The forecast wasn’t great, but we thought what the heck – and anyway, if you wait around for sunny days before doing anything, you never will.
And, of course, it was grey and wet and rainy. The clouds were sitting on the tops of the hills as we wound our way northwards, but it didn’t matter because we were going somewhere where grey and wet rain actually suits the scenery: Blaenau Ffestiniog.
Well, truthfully, we were going through Blaenau rather than making it our destination, but we stopped long enough for me to get a couple of photos and I’m determined to go back on a not-quite-so-wet day and see if I can get some more pictures that better show the drama of the enormous cliffs and scree above the town.
I also rather liked a charmingly barmy tin workshop and shed that happened to be just opposite where we parked.
Anyway, we went onwards, to the village of Tanygrisiau with its bonkers thin, winding road, ducking underneath the 7ft bugger-all inches railway bridge (that’s the Ffestiniog narrow gauge railway), to take a walk up through the slate quarries to the lake at Cwmorthin.
What with all the rain, there was some pretty spectacular fast-flowing water – not to mention falls – to be seen, though that didn’t deter one trials biker who was determined to get through the stream.
It was windy and wet, the mist was lowering over the hills, and the ruins of the old quarry workers’ cottages were spooky and atmospheric in the cold, grey light.
By now the weather had turned really nasty and the rain was beginning to get a bit too persistent for our liking. So we decided to call it a day and headed to Betws-y-coed for some retail therapy and a pub lunch.
But the slate mines and quarries at Cwmorthin definitely merit another visit. You can get inside the mines and there are all sorts of old workings and bits and pieces to be found in there, apparently. Now that’s definitely something you could do on a rainy day!