After Conwy Castle, next stop was Caernarfon Castle. I walked 15min back to Llandudno Junction before catching the 12:54pm train to Bangor. It had started spotting rain a little so I whipped out my jacket. It didn't last long though.
Arriva are the train company in Wales and I've noticed that the wi-fi on their trains is always reliable and all of their trains have a catering trolley.
At Bangor I took the 5C bus from the train station to Caernarfon as the train doesn't go there. There was some beautiful scenery on the way, some of which I managed to capture on the way back.
I arrived at Caernarfon at 1:15pm. It was only a few minute's walk to the castle but I stopped for some lunch on the way.
The castle looks small from this angle but this is the view at one end.
Like Conwy, the castle is largely ruin with a large open area in the middle. And once again, you could access most areas and towers.
However, compared with Conwy Castle, there were a larger number of enclosed rooms and passage ways which gave you a greater sense of what it might have been like to live in one of these places.
Both Caernarfon and Conwy castles had treacherous spiral staircases with very narrow steps and only rope to hold on to. They were definitely the most dangerous I've come across this trip.
Of course, I had to climb them though.
I noticed numerous outcrops of wildflowers embeded in the barren castle rock. A testiment to resilience.
This gull seemed to think he was king of the castle.
A number of the towers housed exhibitions. This one traced all of the Princes of Wales.
I didn't realise, but the weekend coincided with Castell02, which was an art project consisting of exhibitions and installations around parts of the castle. It was a showcase of 16 artists and their work produced in response to Caernarfon, the castle, its stories and people. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to get to see all of them.
This was part of an installation in the well tower. It consisted of a series of crocheted water buckets joined with crocheted water coming out of the well. The hands were cast from people currently associated with the castle - workers and artisans. Unfortunately it was too dark to get a good shot of the entire installation and I think it's probably better close up. It was lovely talking to the artist - she was so excited about the exhibition.
Another involved a guy playing very dreamlike washes of electric guitar in one of the other towers. I'm sure the installation had more to it than just that, but I thought that ambient sound made a perfect soundtrack to wandering around the castle. I think it would be great to have it all the time and was a huge contrast from the constant "pomp and ceremony" soundtrack they played at Warwick Castle.
You can read more about the exhibition at http://www.stamp.cymru/en/project/castell-en/.
After spending another 3 hours exploring the innards of the castle it was time to move on and I wanted to get a better picture of the outside. On the water side you could see the town wall.
Getting a good picture of the entire side of the castle proved more difficult than expected. I started by crossing over the river but then I figured my wide angled lens would have worked just as well on the castle side. I was wrong and the only pictures I could get included cars in the car park. By the time I realised that the other side of the river would have been the best option it was too late to go back.
In order to get back to Llandudno at a reasonable time I had to make my way back to the bus. I caught the 5C bus at 4:42pm back to Bangor. This bus route was really cool because there was a screen and voice announcement for every bus stop which made it super easy to work out where I was and when to request a stop.
There I had a little wait before catching the 5:58pm train to Llandudno Junction. This time I managed to get some shots of the scenery on the way.
The land on the other side of the water is Anglesey, an island on the north west tip of Wales.
As I was framing some shots on the train the man in the seat in front spoke to me hazarding a guess at the shutter speed and ISO I was going to need. As it turned out I was managing slightly lower ISO but he was close. Turns out he was a professional landscape photographer and we had a nice chat about travel photography. It was a nice interruption. He have me some tips for photographing around Llandudno too.
Finally I caught the 6:24pm bus back to Llandudno.
The public transport went really well today. Everything worked easy and I felt confident and not too worried about missing a connection. I had helped that I'd done my homework thoroughly before heading out.