Tag Archives: Northern Wales

UK Trip Day 7: July 20/14

21 Sep

Just a quick recap for Day 6 of vacation, after the cliff jumping I got a taxi ride back to the B&B had a quick shower and went to the attached cafe for lunch where I devoured fish n chips, Mmm! πŸ™‚ I didn’t have anything else planned for the rest of that day, I wanted to wait and see how I felt. I was told there was an interesting lighthouse that people liked to go to, you can climb all the way to the top but I just wasn’t feelin it, ya know? Normally I’d have been all over that lighthouse excursion but after lunch I went back to my room and napped lol Yes, that is right, I napped. I was exhausted! I think not just from the cliff jumping but the whole week, I think it caught up to me and knowing that I had my own room (no more hostels, woot!), and knowing that starting the next day I’d be surrounded by family, my body decided forget climbing a hill and then a bunch of steps, it was time for sleeeeeep.

Some might say I wasted that afternoon and evening, but I don’t feel I did. I worried a bit that evening I’d regret not having done something once I no longer had the chance but nope, I still don’t regret it. I made endless cups of tea in my room, took my time packing and getting organized, had that lovely nap, watched some tv, read some of my book, went on facebook cause that was one of the only places in Wales I’d had internet and well, that’s pretty much it, shrug. Heck, I even went to bed early! *gasp*

July 20th aka Day 7

I wasn’t sure how long it would take to drive to Manchester from Holyhead Wales so I decided I should probably leave around 9am. My rental car was due back hmm…noon or 12:30pm, somewhere around there and I was worried what would happen if I was late. I went to the cafe for breakfast and when the lady took my order she commented that she noticed the day prior I hadn’t eaten the bacon or sausage, I apologized and told her I forgot to mention to her I don’t eat pork. She seemed so worried I wouldn’t have enough to eat so with my full Welsh breakfast she didn’t bother with the pork but instead I got an extra egg and some fried mushrooms, yum! I dallied a bit over breakfast, had an extra cup of tea, basically did whatever I could to stay longer. I really didn’t want to leave.

I didn’t want to leave The Beach Hut B&B (seriously, nicest people ever!). I didn’t want to leave Wales (I fell in love with that country). I didn’t want to leave that section of my vacation (I learned I looooove going on vacation alone, who’d of thunk it? lol). I just didn’t want to leave, sigh. But leave I did, and only a tad behind schedule. πŸ™‚

Thanks to the wifi at The Beach Hut I looked up directions to the Manchester airport the night before and wrote down quite possibly the most detailed directions anybody in the history of the world has ever written lol Oh, and Dave being the awesome man that he is, when I was partway down one of the flights of stairs with my stupid heavy suitcase he saw and came rushing up the stairs to take it from me! When I said not to worry he made a comment, I don’t have the exact quote or anything, but it was something like of course he would help and I should have come and got him because of course he’d have brought it down all the stairs and not just the final flight of them. Love that man! πŸ™‚

I said bye, told them I had a great stay and I loved the place, loaded up the car and *sniffle* left Holyhead. 😦

I was so sad to be leaving I took pictures while driving, *rolls eyes at self*

I was so sad to be leaving I took pictures while driving, *rolls eyes at self*

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Driving back towards Manchester I was much more confident on the highways, heck, even on the little roads and within city limits. At the beginning of the trip, when I was leaving Manchester and on my way to Llanberis I wasn’t sure of the speed limits anywhere so I am sure I was going slower than I needed to. On this leg of the drive not only was I more comfy driving on the left side of the road, and more comfy with the style of driving over there, I was also more used to the road sign placement so I actually noticed signs in enough time to read them properly which meant I knew the speed limit, yay! This meant I got to Manchester waaaaaaaay earlier than I predicted lol

Returning the rental car was thankfully a lot easier than the ordeal I went through picking it up – if you don’t know what ordeal I am referring to feel free to clickΒ hereΒ to read all about it. I had to fill out a form when I dropped the car off, there were all these questions asking about how happy I was with the service etc. I chose to fill out the form truthfully, and then when I was giving it back to the lady at the returns section of the lot I mentioned I had a horrible experience at pick up and now that I’ve told the truth on my form I was probably going to get charged for something (damage to the car that I didn’t do etc) because the powers that be within the company would be unhappy with the review I gave. She said no, she was the one who assessed returning vehicles and she promised she wouldn’t charge me for anything just because I wrote the truth on the form. I wasn’t sure if I trusted her, which is horrible to say, but it is true, shrug. I never did get random charges by them on my credit card and I even got an email asking me to fill out a longer online survey because they heard I had an unpleasant experience. I filled out the form and their response was that next time I rent a car from them I can get a discount. I won’t ever be renting a car from them again, but the offer is nice.

All this time I’ve been talking about the car, I don’t think I ever put a picture up of it, here ya go…

The little Kia that got me through Northern Wales

The little Kia that got me through Northern Wales

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It really was a cute little car, great for the tiny roads. It handled well and was comfy, go Kia! πŸ™‚

I had time to kill waiting for family to pick me up, originally it was going to be Sue, who when I was younger I used to call Aunt Sue even though she is my cousin cause she was an adult and I wasn’t and it is polite to have a prefix in front of an older than you family members name but now that I am all grown up I just call her Sue…actually…most of the time I found ways to get around calling her her name cause I felt a little odd calling her Sue but she’s not my Aunt so I can’t call her Aunt Sue anymore and well, it was kinda awkward lol By the end of the trip I got it sorted out though lol So anyways! She was going to pick me up but then I got a phone call from her son Liam saying he was picking me up, along with Samantha (his sister), and Bryan (Sam’s son)…still with me? πŸ˜‰

Liam ended up calling me from the car cause they were lost and needed me to give them directions to where I was waiting (I was at the car rental office) which I thought was hilarious cause I have absolutely nooooo sense of direction, however! I had my freakishly detailed handwritten notes I had made for how to get to the car rental place from Holyhead so I read off to him the section of the notes that were pertinent to him and eventually he found me, well, they found me. πŸ™‚

It was great seeing family, and it seemed almost magical how for a week I’d been travelling on my own and sorting things out by myself and all of a sudden I was in a car with people who had my back, aaaaaand who understood much better than I how everything worked lol Finally! People who could answer all my random questions about all the odd little things I’d been noticing but had nobody to comment to about them lol Oh, and even better, someone to drive who knew (roughly) where they were going. What a relief!

To be continued…dun dun dun… πŸ˜‰

UK Trip Day 4: July 17/14 Part 2

20 Aug

After exploring the castle I followed the oh so nicely placed maps that are all over the town to help out us silly tourists and popped in to the Gaol (prison). This was my first and main reason for going to Beaumaris, I studied prisons, prison systems, the judicial system etc in University and find it all amazingly interesting. Yes I know, I am a geek, whatev. πŸ˜›

The entrance.

The entrance.

I am ticked at myself because I have almost no pictures of the gaol, the reason for this is because I was so absorbed in what I was seeing and learning I completely forgot about my camera lol They provide you with a headset so you learn all about what you are seeing and it was recorded in an interesting way. Instead of a narrator saying something along the lines of “Room A was a blah blah blah” the entire thing was recorded from the point of view of one of the prisoners, there were only 2 prisoners executed there while the prison was in use and the recording was done from the point of view of one of those men, sorry but I can’t recall his name right now. At first it bugged me because of the style, I didn’t really want to be hearing some guy, who is pretending to be some other guy, talk about his memories of this room or that room but by the end it grew on me.

There is an outdoor part to the tour that was closed while I was there due to it being mating season for the birds. Yup, you read that right. Some birds decided to take over one of the outside ares of the gaol and because it is mating season the people in charge opted to close off that area to humans so the birds weren’t disturbed. I found that a little odd, but I like that they take care of the wild animals like that.

Some random things I learned during the tour:

– they believed in work as punishment so depending which time period it was, and what your crime was, and what your level of punishment was you could find yourself (a) taking apart pieces of rope in a room with other people that you were not allowed to speak with (b) having a piece of machinery in your cell that you have to rotate a certain amount of times per day (c) walk on a machine that is like an old school stairmaster – this last one was outside (in an area where birds were not mating so I got to see it) this punishment was reserved for men only and they worked in teams, there would be a couple teams and they would rotate 15 minutes stepping at a time. There were other punishments, these are just the ones that stuck in my head the most lol

This is the machine in the cell, the person would turn that handle over and over and over every day.

This is the machine in the cell, the person would turn that handle over and over and over every day – and it did nothing!

Their stairmaster

Their stairmaster

– if a woman had a baby they were still expected to work so the babies were put in cribs in a room above the women’s workroom and there was a slit in the floor/ceiling so the women could poke a stick through the slit to rock the cradles.

The crib

The crib, if you look close you can see the slit in the floor underneath it.

– if a prisoner died while in the prison the prison had to pay for the burial so if someone was very sick and likely to die they would get released so they didn’t die while on the prison books

– the drunkard’s cell was placed as far away from the guy running the prison as possible so he wouldn’t be disturbed. The bed in that room had a bit of a higher edge to it so the person wouldn’t fall out lol

The drunkard's cell

The drunkard’s cell

– work was divided based on gender, some women would work in the laundry room (pictured below), others worked with the food (cooking, serving, cleaning up) or taking apart cotton or ropes etc. Men did more of the manual labour, like the stairmaster, the turning of the handle on the machine, building new sections of the prison etc. Gotta say, generally I don’t like things being divided based on gender but I totally prefer the sound of the women’s jobs lol

Laundry room - female prisoners worked here.

Laundry room – female prisoners worked here.

– the prison kept very detailed records of inmates weight and physical condition, because most people who were in there were poor, despite the labour they had to do on a daily basis most ended up maintaining or gaining weight because of the better diet they had while in prison

One of the hallways.

One of the hallways.

Another hall.

Another hall.

Upstairs hall.

Upstairs hall.

One of the stairwells, most weren't so fancy looking.

One of the stairwells, most weren’t so fancy looking.

A quick fyi if you are going there, the gift shop is practically non-existent and nothing in there is a memento type item of the gaol, not even a postcard with a picture of the gaol on it! The people working at the front were very friendly and helpful. πŸ™‚ If you are going to go to both the gaol and the court house you can buy a combo ticket at either location that gets you a discount, yay discounts! But even without that the entrance fees are not that much, in my humble and cash strapped opinion.

To get additional information about the gaol check out

http://www.attractionsnorthwales.co.uk/attractions/beaumaris-gaol-and-courtroom

It isn’t a great website, someone really needs to make a website dedicated to the gaol cause you can find barely anything about it online, or at least I couldn’t. They are not open Fridays, oh! and the above website says there are live performances July-September based on the history of the gaol, I was there in that time frame and there were no live performances, a bit disappointing since I was looking forward to that but it is still a fascinating place with or without a show. πŸ™‚

Eesh, looks like my day at Beaumaris is going to take up more than two posts! Crazeeeee! See ya in part 3! πŸ™‚

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