I awoke at 5:55am to what sounded like someone rustling in the room next door. When the sound didn't stop I realised there must be another explanation. It was the wind blowing something on the scaffolding at the front of the building. It had been raining overnight and was just grey and windy now. I headed down to breakfast at "opening" time in anticipation of a weekend crowd.
Last night I tried to do some planning. Although on paper all my destinations are accessible via public transport, sometimes when you get to the detail you realise things might not work out. My ideal plan wasn't going to work so I had to come up with alternatives.
Today, the decision was to visit the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. Getting there would take some time and this was going to be a day trip.
I started by catching the 10:08am train to Llandudno Junction where I then caught the 10:25am Birmingham train to Ruabon. On the way we passed what looked like a massive castle built into the side of the hills. Why had I not seen this place in my research? When I checked tonight I discovered it was actually a manor house built in the 19th century to look like a grand castle. Imposter! Not so interested now.
At Ruabon I caught the number 5 bus to the town of Trevor where it was only a 15min walk to the aquaduct.
I had to admit when I first saw this sign I only noticed the part at the top and did think it was a bit discriminatory to only allow Anglo Welsh parkers. It was only later that I realised Anglo Welsh was the name of the business. Oops!
Next I came across the canals that connect to the aqueduct.
And then the aqueduct itself. I've seen it on TV and it was built in 1805 so that a canal system could cross over the valley of the Dee river. It's 307m long, with 19 arches up to 39m high. It's near Llangollen which is in the mid-north west of Wales.
And of course, barges float across it, high above the river below!
With greats view of the surrounding country.
In the distance was another engineering feat, a viaduct for trains.
I'm not usually very good with heights but surprisingly this didn't bother me. Maybe it's because I was more worried about falling in the canal as people tried to pass each other on the narrow foot bath.
After walking across the aqueduct I was on a mission to get a side on view. The options were limited from the immediate area around the aqueduct.
So I started walking towards the small bridge I had seen from the top. It didn't take long to get there but the large trees in the valley obscured most of the aqueduct. So I tried walking the other direction. I walked almost to the railway viaduct but unfortunately encountered the same problem. I really wanted to get a shot that showed how wide it was, but had to settle on this one.
On my walk to find a view I came across this bright fungus.
And an avid wildlife photographer pointed out to an uncommon duck he had seen. I would never have noticed as it was over the other side of the river but I was able to zoom in and get a decent snap.
In all I spent a couple of hours walking around the site. When it was time to return I caught the 3:10pm bus back to Ruabon, the 3:38pm train to Llandudno Junction and the 7:26pm train to Llandudno. I must admit I think I could easily have fallen asleep on the train. But I didn't and instead got this shot of Conwy Castle which is near Llandudno Junction. I will be exploring it at some stage while I'm staying here.
When I got back to my hotel room the sunlight was just right to illuminate the massive wind farm off the coast.