The Lost Fort

My Travel and History Blog, Focussing mostly on Roman and Mediaeval Times


15 Feb 2009
  Hazy Welsh Views, With Castles

Few of the photos I took of the Welsh landscape are not veiled by the hazy atmosphere, but judging from the picutures in my guidebook that problem is a persistant one. Does something like a clear Welsh sky actually exist?

Mountains at Dolwyddelan Castle

Of all the castles I visited, Dolwyddelan was the one with the most spectacular location, and the one offering the best climb. A bit like those German hilltop castles, just with fewer tourists and more sheep. The view of the Conwy Vale is breathtaking.

Dolwyddelan Castle, Llywelyn's Keep

While the whopping Norman castles are impressive, Dowyddelan felt more like an actual home. I sat in one of the Keep windows for some time, drinking tea, listening to the wind and looking at the mountains. There were no other tourists, and it felt really peaceful.

Another hazy view from Dolwyddelan Castle

And this is the view from said window. Though it should have been wine to go with the time; they didn't have tea then, poor Welsh princes. ;)

Conwy Bay, view from Anglesey to the mainland

It was a sunny day albeit a stiff breeze (to use a Hamburgian dialect phrase) rippled the water and blew the sails of the boats. It was my last day in Wales before I left for Chester, and I really wanted to stay longer.

Conwy River, seen from the Kings' Tower in Conwy Castle

A busy waterway these days that makes you forget the strait is the burial place of Llys Helig, one of the sunken cities so frequent in Celtic legends. It probably takes a quiet night to hear the bells, though.

The evening sun glittering on the sea at Criccieth Castle

I love the sea in all weathers, but the low sun sparkling on the waves is the prettiest sight. It was my farewell to Wales: the sea, sun, wind, and a castle. Perfect.
 
Comments:
The sky in your photos looks remarkably like the sky in our photos. I liked the photos for Conwy. That one looks as if it has a beautiful setting, although I imagine there would be lots of tourists.
 
Ahhhhh, Dolwyddelan - one of my favourite castles! I agree - it is such an atmospheric place I've always felt 'welcome' whenever I've gone there. It certainly has fantastic views, but I still reckon that 2 other native castles - Dolbadarn and Castell-Y-Bere have better - but I don't think you managed to get to them.

Great pics - brings back some nice memories!
 
Shelley, seems Welsh sky is Welsh sky all the time. *grin*

Lady D, no, unfortunately I didn't manage to see those. A reason to come back, eh? :)
 
Lovely pics as usual, Gabriele. I know where to come when I want castle inspiration!

Do you say "stiff breeze" in German, too? It's a common enough phrase in English so maybe it dates back to Old High German, or something:-)

Your comment on the skies reminds me of when I was working in North Devon and after work I would walk along the cliffs looking out over the Bristol Channel. There was a local saying that went, "If you can't see Wales, it's raining; if you can see Wales, it's going to rain!"
 
Wow - love the view of the water from the tower. I wish we had castles... *sniff*

(Word verif: "Wingslob" - I think I'm insulted....) *g*
 
I think Wales is Just Like That and there are no other states. I have seen summer skies in Wales once or twice, but they didn't last long.

I was also going to remark on the phrase 'stiff breeze'; as Satima says it's perfectly usable in English, but your English is always so good that these moments of question surprise me. So it is only in a spirit of perfectionism that I mention that the phrase: "less tourists and more sheep", in pedantically-correct English, would be 'fewer tourists and more sheep'—less for stuff that cannot be numbered, fewer for things that can. My maxim for this is therefore 'less stuff fewer things!' which sounds like a political slogan but works as a memory trick too...
 
Old Low German probably, Satima. Steife Briese is used in Hamburg and at the coast, not in the High German dialects spoken inland. And the versions of Platt and Frisian have several sound and grammar features in common with English rather than with German.

Thank you Jonathan, both for the compliment and bringing that mistake to my attention. I corrected it.
 
Yes sunny weather does happen in Wales, but it's not a common occurance (in my experience) and doesn't last long. :)
 
Great pics! I'm hoping to get to North Wales sometime soon, with any luck later this year, and am so looking forward to seeing all these great castles!
 
"Does something like a clear Welsh sky actually exist?"
It can happen, but it's not common, and I think it's more likely in winter than summer. In Cumbria, further north, a north-west airflow usually brings clear skies, so the same may apply to Wales.
I was going to say that 'stiff breeze' is used in English as well, but I see lots of other people have beaten me to it.

I second Jonathan's comment about the high standard of your English. A lot of native speakers use 'less' and 'fewer' more or less interchangeably, especially in speech. It wouldn't surprise me if the two eventually become synonymous, language evolution being what it is. The memory trick I use is a sarcastic put-down used by a world-weary journalist against a politician who kept getting it wrong: "I suppose less teachers means fewer education".
 
Ann, I actually did quite well concerning sunny days, but they always came with haze. :)

Alianore, those big castles are FUN. Enjoy your trip - and don't miss out on Dolwyddelan.

Thank you, Carla. I suppose I'll remember your example. :D
 
"The evening sun glittering on the sea at Criccieth Castle"

I love this one.
 
Darryl Markowitz has posted some pictures from L'anse aux Meadows on his blog. He is a professional blacksmith, re-enactor, and semi-professional archaeologist, and helped to develop the living history of the Vikings in North America.

Why not head on over to his blog and see what he has been up to? He just put some pictures of his "lost fort" up. Say hi...grin.

http://warehamforgeblog.blogspot.com/
 
Thank you, Meghan.

Stag, thanks for sharing that link. That one looks like an interesting blog I'll surely check out.
 
Your trip is like a dream! A close friend of mine's paternal family is from Wales and every now and then my friend visits relatives. It's my secret wish to go with her one day. Thanks for sharing your lovely trip. d:)
 
Thank you, Debra. I love sharing my photos. :)
 
I love the Welsh countryside. The one time I was there, the clouds hovered in a drizzle the first day and the second was bright sunshine while looking at a huge black oak tree with a house inside. I went part of the way inside except for going up the narrow spiral staircase inside for fear of getting stuck.
 
A tree with a house inside? Someone wanted to play Lothlorien, it seems. :)

The staircases in the Welsh castles were not too bad, but I've found some really tight ones in Socttish castles.
 
I like Barmouth most as a view in Wales.
 
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The Lost Fort is a travel and history blog based on my journeys in Germany, the UK, Scandinavia, and central / eastern Europe. It includes virtual town and castle tours with a focus on history, museum visits, hiking tours, and essays on Roman and Mediaeval history, illustrated with my own photos.


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I'm a blogger from Germany with a MA in Literature and History which doesn't pay my bills, so I use it to research blogposts instead. I'm interested in everything Roman and Mediaeval, avid reader and sometimes writer, opera enthusiast, traveller with a liking for foreign languages and odd rocks, photographer, and tea aficionado. And an old-fashioned blogger who still hasn't got an Instagram account.
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Alexander of Argyll
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Riga
The History of Mediaeval Riga

Tallinn
The History of Mediaeval Tallinn


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The Geminid Dynasty
Troublesome Cousins - Jogaila and Vytautas

The Northern Crusades

The Wars in Lithuania
The Siege of Vilnius 1390


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Royal Dynasties

The Jagiełłonian Kings
Władysław Jagiełło and the Polish-Lithuanian Union

The Northern Crusades

The Conquest of Pomerania / Prussia
The Conquest of Danzig


Bohemia

Royal Dynasties

The Bohemian Kings of House Luxembourg
King Sigismund and the Hussite Wars


Roman History

The Romans at War

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The German Limes
The Cavalry Fort Aalen
Limes Fort Osterburken
Limes Fort Saalburg

The Hadrian's Wall
Introduction
The Fort at Segedunum / Wallsend

Border Life
Exercise Halls
Mile Castles and Watch Towers
Soldiers' Living Quarters
Cavalry Barracks

Campaigns and Battles

Maps
The Romans in Germania

The Pre-Varus Invasion in Germania
Roman Camp Hedemünden
New Finds in 2008

The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest
Museum Park at Kalkriese

The Battle at the Harzhorn
Introduction

The Batavian Rebellion
A Short Introduction

Miscellaneous Events

The Legend of Alaric's Burial

Roman Militaria

Armour
Early Imperial Helmets
Late Roman Helmets
The Negau B Helmet

Weapons
Weapon Finds at Hedemünden
The pilum
Daggers
Swords

Other Equipment
Roman Saddles


Roman Life and Religion

Religion and Public Life

Religion
Curse Tablets and Good Luck Charms
Isis Worship
Memorial Stones
The Mithras Cult

Public Life
Roman Transport: Barges
Roman Transport: Amphorae and Barrels
Roman Water Supply

Architecture
Roman Public Baths

Domestic Life

Roman villae
Villa Urbana Longuich
Villa Rustica Wachenheim

Everyday Life
Bathing Habits
Children's Toys
Face Pots


Other Times

Neolithicum to Iron Age

Germany

Development of Civilisation
European Bread Museum, Ebergötzen
The Hutewald Project in the Solling
Open Air Museum Oerlinghausen

Neolithic Remains
Stone Burials of the Funnelbeaker Culture
The Necropolis of Oldendorf

Bronze Age / Iron Age
The Nydam Ship

Scotland

Neolithic Orkney
The Neolithic Landscape of Orkney
Ring of Brodgar
Skara Brae
Life in Skara Brae

Bronze Age / Iron Age
Clava Cairns
The Brochs of Gurness and Midhowe - Their Function in Iron Age Society

Scandinavia

Bronze / Iron Age
The Ship Setting of Gnisvärd / Gotland


Post-Mediaeval History

Explorers and Discoveries

Explorers
Fram Expedition to the North Pole
Fram Expedition to the South Pole

Discoveries
Otto von Guericke and the Magdeburg Hemispheres
Raising a Wreck, Now and Then (Vasa Museum in Stockholm)


Miscellanea

History in Literature and Music

History and Literature

The Weimar Classicism
The Weimar Classicism - Introduction

Theodor Fontane
Short Biography of Theodor Fontane
Fontane Ballads, translated by me
Archibald Douglas
Gorm Grymme
Sir Walter Scott in Abbotsford
The Tragedy of Afghanistan

History in Opera

Belcanto and Historicism
Maria Padilla - Mistress Royal
The Siege of Calais in Donizetti's Opera

Not so Serious History

Romans
Building Hadrian's Wall
Playmobil Romans

Mediaeval Times
Kings Having a Bad Hair Day
The Case of the Vanished Wine Cask

Other
Rules for Writing Scottish Romances


Geology

Geological Landscapes

The Baltic Sea
Geology of the Curonian Spit
Chalk Cliffs on Rugia
Flint Fields on Rugia

The Harz
Bode Valley and Rosstrappe Cliff
The 'Hübichenstein' Rock
Karst Formations in the Southern Harz
The Lonau Falls
The Rhume Springs
Sandstone Formations: Daneil's Cave
Sandstone Formations: Devil's Wall
Sandstone Formations: The Klus Rock

Meissner / Kaufunger Wald
Blue Dome near Eschwege
Diabase and Basalt Formations
Karst Formations
Salt Springs at the Werra

Solling-Vogler
Raised Bog Mecklenbruch
Hannover Cliffs

The Shores of Scotland
Staffa

Fossils and Other Odd Rocks

Fossilized Ammonites
The Loket Meteorite


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