Sat 21 Sep - Rhos-on-Sea, Wales

Tramming and promenading...

After a lazy morning, we took the car back to Llandudno which is where we walked to on Thursday from Rhos-on-Sea. There is a gondola as well as a tramway going from the town up to the summit of Great Orme, the hilltop at 207 meters that forms the background and is visible in many photos of Llandudno.

We indadvertedly ended up driving the car to the top of Great Orme while looking for where the gondola took off from. So, we parked the car at the summit, without "Pay and Display" this time since the ticket machine was out of order. Here is the summit complex of Great Orme.

And from another angle with Di in the picture. A bit breezy and cloudy when we first arrived.

A self portrait looking west into Great Orme Country Park over the clouds.

The gondola was temporarily closed due to high winds so we decided to get return tickets on the tram instead, which looked like this.

The tram station at the Great Orme summit.

Some stats on the tramway... It opened in 1902, climbs 1,500 meters and is Britain's longest funicular tramway. They tried to sell it as a "thrilling" ride which we thought may be a slight exaggeration.

The train driver doubled as a ticket collector and salesperson in the ticket office as there was nobody on duty there inside.

All onboard. You may not see it in this picture but the vast majority of the passengers were old and/or with movement problems. It took a long time to load and unload some of them. Plenty of movement apparatuses like zimmer frames on wheels were stored both at the front and the back on the tram.

We felt young and healthy in this crowd. Who are we kidding? We are!

Looking forward into the clouds. This picture is actually taken from the top looking down to where we would go.

But a bit later on we were below the clouds.

The tram system is such that halfway down, the first tram doesn't go any further and you need to change tram. There are two trams on either side of the midpoint and here we are meeting the second tram and the top part. The train driver at this other tram did not look impressed when Hans was leaning out taking this picture... Yes, there were warning signs about that too.

Here but no further. Off we went to change tram. It probably has something to do with the fact that the trams are hauled on cables on big drums and have a length/load limit.

Onto the lower tram, and a bloke that looked so much like Rod Stewart sat down behind Di.

Yes, his Rod mop of hair required a second picture.

Di is holding up our ticket as we approach Llandudno.

Checking out what's doing...

Llandudno from a distance. Looked great.

The tram goes into downtown Llandudno and utilized town streets for some of the trip.

We didn't get off in Llandudno as we had the car parked at the top. We just stayed on and went back up again. Here is looking down halfway up in the lower half.

After completing our tram trip, the weather at the top of Great Orme had cleared considerably. Except for these clouds, which reminded Hans of the opening sequence to the movie "Honeymoon in Vegas". Photo had to be taken...

We then drove down into Llandudno, parked the car and went off in search of lunch to have at the beach. Hans had fish and chips and Di decided on a change (KFC fell into this category), both of us under the watchful eye of one particular fat seagull. Afterwards, a stroll along the promenade.

Llandudno Art Festival was promoted as being on this weekend.

We had seen these guys with the mirror balls when we were here on Thursday so we knew that something was on this weekend.

Apart from the guys above, from what we could see, there was a puppet show for kids, a bloke dressed as a Roman warrior pushing a pram with a toy monkey in it (no, we didn't understand that one either), a fortune teller and young girls performing a dance routine. There must have been more attractions (surely?) but that was all what we saw.

Lladudno today felt like a true summer resort - think a glammed up St Kilda Beach in Melbourne. Plenty of people enjoying the sun (it was warm!), sitting watching the world go by as they lunched, or promenading. Not swimming. Very nice.

Then this... Vespas Galore. We have heard and seen them rolling in while having our lunch and here they were all parked around the War Memorial.

Oh yes, we wandered around and drooled. Most of the Vespas looked very cool.

One more...

Hans could not get enough of this...

Hmm... Yeah, you too, buddy!

Several of the Vespas were decorated in old mod fashion, with lots of front lights and mirrors and even fox tails at the back that must stream out in the wind. Very cool.

This Vespa was even advertsing the Vespa club its owner belonged to being Derby Mods.

After a while, we wandered off to check out the Grand Hotel, from inside this time. Another faded glory institution, but with great views over the pier from the balconies... if you could take the cigarette smoke as the balconies seemed to be designated smoking areas.

The pier was all open and active. Amazing what a difference on a Saturday with warm weather and no wind. All the kids were on rides and ice creams were being eaten.

We ventured back to the car and decided to explore the road along the water around the Great Orme and along Llandudno Bay. It turned out to be a toll road called Marine Parade, charging £2.50 per car, which we paid as we wanted to check it out.

We stopped for a self portrait looking back towards town.

The "zoomed in" headland towards Llandudno. Marine Drive is the road built along the cliff edge you can see here too.

And would you believe it, suddenly along the toll road and with great water views there was a coffee shop. We stopped for a cup of tea taking the opportunity to sit outside as we suspected that it wouldn't be that many days during the year that such a thing would be possible due to winds.

This piece of headland was called Great Ormes Head and looked very exposed although there was also accommodation available just behind and below us, around Goleudy Lighthouse, in what looked like old lighthouse keeper buildings. No vacancies - which we could understand as it looked pretty cool.

Back to base for some downtime before we wandered out to La Dolce Vita, an Italian restaurant (of course) in Rhos-on-Sea, where we had booked a table for dinner at 6.15pm (good thing too - they were busy).

A shared tomato, mozzarella salad for entree, pasta for Di and pizza for Hans were fine and reasonably priced. Di was checking out the Italian wine that we bought which was surprisingly good.

The restaurant was full, but not of tourists which was a welcomed change, and had a nice atmosphere with a mixture of pictures and posters on the walls and Italian and Spanish(!) music. It felt like a true Italian restaurant, even with older gentlemen waiters who had long lost a sense of urgency. They even had freshly ground Parmesan (grounded at your table) and a huge black pepper mill (almost too big for the old waiters) which we have not seen in a long time.

A very nice evening. Full with food and wine, we wandered back to our Sunnydowns Hotel just before 8pm. The sun was setting which provided an opportunity for a late blue hour photo.

After a bit of reading we say good night.

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