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Tag Archives: YHA Llanberis Hostel

UK Trip Day 4: July 17/14

19 Aug

At the end of my UK Trip post for day 3 I said how I used my walk/hike that evening to de-stress from the run around from British Airways…to read that click here.

While yes, this post is about day 4 it really starts on day 3, kinda…

Earlier in the day on Day 3 I called the delivery company that would be bringing my suitcase to see if I could get them to rush it since British Airways was being incredibly unhelpful. The guy there said British Airways told them that due to the place of delivery (Wales) the suitcase couldn’t be delivered any earlier than 2-3 days so the delivery company automatically put it in to a unit destined to deliver using that timeline and they couldn’t expedite it without British Airways say-so. OMG say what?? I explained that I was leaving the delivery address they had on file from British Airways and that the longer they took to deliver to me the farther away I would be from them. They took the address I would be staying at the night of Day 4 and said they would deliver it there. I told them I wouldn’t be there until an unknown time in the evening and requested they leave it at the front desk. I then called that hostel to explain what was going on and asked if they wouldn’t mind taking custody of the suitcase until I checked in, the lady was very nice and said that wouldn’t be a problem.

After my walk/hike I called British Airways to try to get an update, the first call the lady disconnected cause she said it was too windy where I was and she couldn’t hear me, the second call I was told they absolutely would deliver my suitcase that night, but they didn’t say by what time. This meant I was once again trapped in the dining room since it is the only room in the hostel with a view of the driveway, sigh. After dinner, which was a lovely goat cheese and tomato quiche, I sat with my cards, my book, and a diet coke and waited…and waited…and waited…I couldn’t decide what time would be the cut off time for a delivery person when it came to luggage, part of me thought no later than 10pm but then I extended that to 11pm juuuuuust in case. Regardless, it never showed so off to bed I went with a renewed sense of anger towards British Airways because not only did it not show but I stayed up later than I wanted waiting for the suitcase cause they promised it would be delivered that night. Arg!

The morning of Day 4 I got up nice ‘n early cause I had to be on the road hopefully by 9am. I wasn’t lol. This didn’t surprise me but I wasn’t running too late so that’s good. I had my full Welsh breakfast, left my contact info with the hostel so if my suitcase did show up they could let me know and headed off to Beaumaris.

Oh, before heading off I spoke with British Airways to give them a piece of my mind in regards to the lack of delivery even though it was promised. It didn’t get me any results, or even an apology but the venting kinda felt nice lol

So off I went to Beaumaris, which is pronounced how it is spelled in case you were wondering.

Beaumaris is the first place I found on this trip without getting confused or lost, yay! The super kind people at YHA Llanberis Hostel printed me out some google map directions and the road signage was a better than the signage on my way to Llanberis so no wrong turns for me! 🙂

There is a lot more to do in Beaumaris than I realized. My original plan was to go to the Gaol (that’s a prison) and the Court House, they are both Victorian era and have been turned in to museums, I looooove stuff like that! There was also a castle there to explore, a pier to walk along, boat tours, fun little shops and more. I planned to wander Beaumaris on this particular day because I wanted an easy day after climbing Mt Snowdon, as we all know by this point an easy day wasn’t needed since I didn’t get to climb the mountain but that just means I had more energy for exploring. 🙂

I went to Beaumaris Castle, it was built, well, ordered to be built since I doubt he did any of the work lol,  by King Edward 1. To build the castle the English forced an entire town of people to move so they could have unlimited space, rude! 😛 This was the last castle built by King Edward 1 in Wales and it never got finished due to the Welsh being able to get the English out of their country, and lack of money. The style of castle is called concentric and that means there is no central keep, really, there is no centre at all. The castle has a high inner ring of defenses surrounded by a lower outer circuit of walls.

It was absolutely beautiful! The day was sunny and warm, entrance was cheap, and you were left to your own devices so I was able to take as much time as I wanted to explore the nooks and crannies of this castle. 🙂

The entrance, you can see the moat that surrounds the castle.

The entrance, you can see the moat that surrounds the castle.

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You can climb up to the top walkways and walk around the perimeter, you get great views!

You can climb up to the top walkways and walk around the perimeter, you get great views!

One of the stairways to the top, not the widest of things lol

One of the stairways to the top, not the widest of things lol

View through one of the peep holes/archers spots.

View through one of the peep holes/archers spots.

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My only regret about the visit to the castle is that when I was in the gift shop I saw a necklace I reeeeeally wanted, it wasn’t out of my price range but I opted to not buy it because I thought I’d find something I would like even better later on in the trip and I didn’t want to buy my memento item so early without seeing what else was out there. Bad move! Bad bad bad move! I never found anything else I liked nearly as much and I really regret not purchasing it, sigh. I can’t remember the name of the company that made the jewellery so I can’t even look for their website and buy the necklace online. *rolls eyes at self*

Other than that my time at Beaumaris Castle was so enjoyable! 🙂 I highly recommend it to anybody who will be in the area. For information on where it is and hours of operation you can check out this website…

http://cadw.wales.gov.uk/daysout/beaumaris-castle/?lang=en

I’ll put the next part of my Beaumaris Day in a new post since this one got long awfully quickly lol

 

 

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UK Trip Day 2: July 15/14

8 Aug

So there I was, in Manchester, ready to get this vacation going, aaaaaand then the sucky part of my trip started, sigh.

I went to collect my suitcase at Manchester Airport and discovered they had lost it. British Airways lost my luggage. Idiots. sigh.

I had to wait in a line to fill out some paperwork, they had lost a lot of people’s luggage *rolls eyes* and was told they’d do their best to have it to me by tomorrow so I gave them the address of the hostel I was staying at in Northern Wales and left. I was told I could buy stuff to replace what was in my bag “within reason” and they would reimburse me for it but like I knew where to go shopping?

I then went to the car rental place where I had prepaid for a car and learned they didn’t have my car, nice huh? Exactly what is the point of prepaying for a rental car if the company isn’t going to have the car ready for you?? I rented through a company called Alamo and will never use them again. 😦  I waited at the desk for almost an hour just to be told they couldn’t find me a car so go sit in the waiting area and they’ll be with me when they are ready. The waiting area is a bunch of uncomfie seats and non-working vending machines so not the most pleasant of places. Once they finally had a car for me I asked about my gps system, I was told when I booked the car I couldn’t reserve that in advance but that they would have plenty at the office and I could rent one on the day. The guy informed me they had run out so no gps for me. I asked if the car had built in gps, he said no but I could upgrade to a car that did have that, I would have had to upgrade to a Mercedes! Like I could afford that, pfft! I then asked for a map and he laughed at me, actually laughed, in my face! He informed me “nobody uses maps anymore”, well, gee, I know that but if you are out of gps systems what the hell am I supposed to use?? He said to go to Hertz (they were next door) and see if they could help me out with a map. I went to Hertz, explained what happened, they said they didn’t have maps but they google mapped for me a route to where I needed to get to and printed it out.

Just to clarify, the company I spent no money with, Hertz, printed me out directions to help me and were very nice. The company I spent a good chunk of money with, Alamo, didn’t have my car, didn’t have a gps system, didn’t have a map and didn’t help me figure out how to get to my hostel. Oh, and they were rude. Nice huh?

Unfortunately, the google directions started with “Turn left on to unnamed road”, brilliant huh? lol I turned left then promptly ended up in a construction zone where traffic was being re-routed and boom! Lost! That quickly, practically a record for me lol I stopped at a shop to ask for directions and the girls there didn’t know how to get to the motorway I needed so I drove a bit more, asked some random people, they gave me confusing to follow directions but in the end they made sense so yay! I found the motorway and was finally on my way to Wales! 🙂

I had called the hostel I was staying  at to ask if shops would still be open around the time I got in to town and they said no, the guy suggested I get off the motorway at Bangor and shop at the 24hr Tesco, think of it like a Superstore, they have everything. Food, clothes, electronics, books, toiletries…literally everything I needed to get through the next couple of days without my luggage. I got a little lost getting back on the motorway but eventually found it.

The border between England and Wales is, well, not there…it’s not like here when you want to go in to the States you have to go through border control, there is is just a little sign saying you’ve entered Wales, no border control, no security, nuthin. It struck me as a little odd but different countries different ways right?

No border patrol, just a welcome sign.

No border patrol, just a welcome sign.

A little quirk of Wales that I soon discovered was the real lack of signage for where you are. I drove through multiple little towns that had no sign saying the name of the town so I had no idea where I was. It left me feeling kinda freaked out and worried that I had driven through the town I was aiming for and didn’t even realize it. Also, once off the motorway the roads are narrow and windy and scary, and I drive through the mountains in Canada during winter! I know scary driving but this, this is totally different! Every time it was a tight squeeze my entire body would shrink in, like that would somehow help me to not hit another car or hit the fences/rock walls/bushes on my left side lol I’m sure other drivers thought I was nuts lol 😛

The town I was staying at was Llanberis (pronounced Clan-bear-is) and I did eventually find it.

Love this town!

Love this town!

I had great directions for once I was in the town for how to find the hostel but the signs within the towns of Wales are no better than the signs for marking the towns of Wales. I had to turn left on a specific road and did I find that road? Nope. Drove the entire way through the town without seeing a sign for it. By this time it was late, around 10pm, I was exhausted, cranky and all I could think was I am so close to my bed for the night and I can’t find a stupid road. When I turned around and went back in to the town from the opposite direction I saw why I didn’t see the road sign I needed, it was tiny, low to the ground, and only facing one direction. One direction! Which means I could only see it  coming from one direction, not the other. Who does that?!?!

Once I turned on that road the street got even tinier, which I didn’t think was possible lol I followed windy roads up and up and up and eventually found the hostel, yay!

My first hostel of the trip

My first hostel of the trip

When I walked in the lady at the desk, she was soooo nice, she said “you must be Heather! I’m so glad you made it before 10:30p!”, that is when the hostel closed and I would have been stuck outside which would’ve been lame so I was also very glad I found them before 10:30p lol. She got me checked in, got me a towel since I forgot to buy one, told me where everything was and disappeared for the night…disappeared to her home I mean, not like, vanished in to thin air, though, how cool would that have been? lol

I showered, lamented a bit over my lack of a hair dryer and passed out.

And that my friends is how my vacation started. 🙂

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