Thu 19 Sep - Rhos-on-Sea, Wales

Gold Coast of Wales... that where we headed today.

We intended to walk to Llandudno (pronounced Cladidno) and unwittingly went over part of a headland on the way known as Little Orme. We crossed a section where the hiking boots would have come in handy, yet we were only in sneakers, so some poor planning by us was managed by going slow to ensure we did not slip on wet grass and mud. This is how the walk panned out...

Apparently, Wales now have a path along all of its seafront. It is called the Wales Coast Path and a lot of its trail is made up of already existing paths such as North Wales Path. This meant that some signposts could get really busy.

No driving, as we started off by just walking a single block or so to Marine Parade. We suspect there is ferocious weather at times here on the northern coast of Wales. Just check out the big rocks and the concrete barriers to go with them. It was breezy enough for us today as it was.

There were openings through the rocks every so often, presumably for putting in or taking out watercraft.

Inside the concrete barrier, which is sort of built for rolling waves.

Then we saw this... Strange...

Old man and the sea... With apologies to Ernest Hemingway...

We then got off suburban roads and into the remnants of an old quarry and its surroundings. Up the hill to the left is Little Orme.

A nice and somewhat sheltered bay where apparently seals come to rest at times. Not today. High tide at the moment and they are probably out "fishing".

Di preferred the picture above and Hans preferred this one so we included both.

Now, to continue the Wales Coast Trail towards Llandudno, a bit of hiking was involved. Little Orme was in the way. First up this grassy hill...

On the hill, with the old quarry in the background.

The path took us through some muddy and slippery passages before we were down on a sidewalk again. No problem if you have proper hiking boots. Oh well, we managed and liked the detour and views.

Then we saw this... Llandudno, which we entered from the east. Yep, a decent westerly gale was blowing and we walked right into it. Mime impersonations every time we got a gust.

Despite the wind we felt this place had some similarities with the French Riviera with its rocky beach.

Being at the waterfront in the British Isles is not quite the same as in Australia. There was a pool along the pebbly beach, which we could understand because the current must be ferocious in the sea, but it was not very deep, for wading only. It looked like the use of it was free, but today the pool was emptied of water and appeared to have been like that for a while. The summer season here is July and August, so perhaps this a just a 2 months a year attraction...

Looking back at first the wading pool and then at Little Orme behind.

Looking westwards along the beach towards Llandudno. Pebbles and a broad concrete promenade, with very little sand.

We were very impressed with the high standard of waterfront guest houses. The vast majority of the buildings looked freshly painted and very tidy in a variety of maritime colours. We checked out some accommodation prices and photos and were happy with our choice of residence.

Di one foot on the beach, one foot away from the beach...

We felt like lunch as it was just after 1pm, so we ventured inland one block to look for somewhere to eat. We found what looked like a good deal at this place with an extensive local menu.

Hans salmon dish was very nice, see the next photo, but Di's lamb pot, which was heavily advertised as "home made" was poor quality, with a hamburger bun served as "bread".

We also felt a bit ripped off being charged £3.60 for tea for 2 but getting only 1 small pot of ordinary tea and 1 pot of hot water. Di did comment on this to the staff, but no discount.

After lunch, we ventured out along the beach again and as soon as we rounded the corner we were back into the gale.

On the Llandudno promenade, next to a war memorial was this piece of art, which we think was supposed to be a poppy, but the seagulls clearly had their own plans for it.

Next to Llandudno Pier at the western end of town and the beach, you get protection from the wind by the Great Orme, another large headland. We found a map overview of the town centre. We came from the right / east of the map along the Promenade.
Hold on, what's this? A sandy beach? Yes, a small part of the beach in Llandudno is on sand. Well, at low tide at least. Llandudno is apparently Wales' premier beach holiday destination.
Of course we needed to walk out on the Llandudno Pier. The shops are conveniently positioned on the left / western side of the pier, presumably to provide extra shelter for the punters from the western winds. In the sunshine it almost was warm...almost...

The shop owners do know their clientele. We felt young in this crowd as most of the visitors were senior citizens, probably here to visit timed deliberately after the summer season and school holidays finished. The knit wear shop had lots of cardigans in pastel colors...not for Di.

And this music shop - CDs only - specialized in the very best of the 30's, 40's, 50's and a later addition 60's. Di only knew 1 tune being played as we passed, and it felt nice to feel very young.

The shop was called Golden Oldies, and no Hans was not on the merchandise. Here he's young too!

In fact Di felt so young that she investigated the children's amusements (all closed up for the season) but on her knees was still taller than "mini Stig".

The pier had a really nice feel and lots of great wooden benches sponsored by visitors who loved this town. We liked the town and pier too but no bench from us.

Looking back towards town and the Grand Hotel looks elegant - but not so much up close. Peeling paint and some dodgy looking rusted balconies meant we were glad we weren't staying there.

The full pier looking back from the end. Great Orme rises on the right and has both an old cable Tramway and Cable Car. We will try out both another day, as on a windy day there was no way Di was getting into a cable car, although Hans was keen on testing "swingability".

The end of the pier is getting some maintenance post summer. The workers were suspended in a cage over the side by a crane on top and the wind appeared to have blown off one of the worker's hard hat. It was floating away when we saw it.

The main pier building was still open, and contained an amusement arcade similar to Blackpool's, but we avoided temptation.

Great Orme and the Great...Hans.

A road appeared to run along the edge further westwards around the Great Orme, and we may have to drive this as it looked very cool.

The windy conditions gave Di a headache and by 3pm we were looking for a way home, having walked nearly 10km.

We opted for a local bus, thinking the cost would be minimal. Ha! £6.40 for 2 of us to travel about 4 miles. That's more than A$11 and seemed expensive. More walking or driving rather than bus in future.

While waiting for the bus we noticed from this sign that The Tour of Britain Doyle race was here yesterday. We think the logo is very cool.

We got off the bus about 1 block from home, easy, and we were back for a lazy hour or so before some chores needed our attention - Laundry.

Rhos-on-Sea has a DIY laundromat open quite late so we packed up our dirty washing, took lots of £1 coins and headed into town. A large wash cost £5, not cheap but at least it worked well and our clothes are fresh again. Drying cost an extra £3.

While waiting, we opted for an early, cheap Chinese dinner from another takeaway almost next door to the laundromat. Another huge menu and pretty cheap. Spicy spare ribs for Di and chicken curry for Hans. Not bad, again not brilliant.

Dinner inside the Laundromat, standing up, classy...

By 7pm, with washing all done and dinner eaten, we were back at our hotel to watch 3 episodes back to back of Big Bang Theory, then some research for tomorrow and blogging.

Good night.


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