Brecon Beacons, Hay-on-Wye & Dinas Bran

Day 2 was unforgettable. We drove through the Brecon Beacons mountain range, named after the (ancient) practice of lighting signal fires (beacons) on mountains to warn of attacks by invaders, and ended up in Hay-on-Wye, the world famous second hand book capital of Britain.  Literally there were second hand bookstores everywhere, and everyone had a sale! I didn’t have room to carry around books, but I did bond with a few of my fellow passengers.

On top of having books, it also had a beautiful river that I stopped at, in order to continue practicing my stone throwing skills.

Our next stop was the Pontcysyllte Aquaduct, which is the world’s largest cast iron aquaduct. It had the most amazing views, and was wide enough for us to walk across.

Wales 2 (22)

Next up was Castell Dinas Bran, a medieval castle standing high on a hill above the town of Llangollen.  And when they say on a hill they mean it.  About half way up I got discouraged, and our guide motivated me the rest of the way.  I’m not sure I would have made it without her, and it was definitely worth it.  She also encouraged me to climb the ruins, like the rest of the group.

For mythology fans out there, it’s said that this is where fairy king Gwyn ap Nudd holds his court.

Our final stop of the day was at a rural Welsh farmhouse in Corwen, where we all pitched in to get dinner ready, whether it was chopping the wood for the barbecue or preparing food.  It was delicious, and I especially loved roasting the marshmallows over the fire pit at the end of the evening.

Most of this trip was spent driving across the country, which is bigger than it may appear.  But all the scenery is beautiful so I didn’t mind.  But I had learned not to take pictures through glass windows, so there are generally less photos to see.


Brecon Beacons

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
Castell Dinas Bran