Tuesday 15th August – Beddgelert, Wales

According to the weather forecast, today should have been a total wash out but that didn’t eventuate which was a bonus.

Our first port of call today was to go to the picturesque town of Beddgelert. There is a shaggy dog story related to the village but today it is about its quaint appeal.


The shaggy dog story related back to a tale from the 13th century where a dog was wrongly killed by his owner the Prince. In contrition he created this memorial.


Really like it how Eirian and Dewi don’t have lunch but stop for a tea and cake break so we have managed to experience and try out quite a few different types of tea cakes in cute tea shops – very British.


We had a bit of a further wander around the small town before heading off to Llanberis which was our main destination for the day.
Llanberis is where the National Slate museum is along with Electric Mountain.


Electric Mountain is a hydro development between two lakes that is rather substantial and apparently well worth a visit to the power station and turbines. Unfortunately by the time we got there all the tours were booked for the day. Oh well, can’t always get it right.


Next plan was to take a short steam train ride on a very old train that use to be used on the old slate quarry. The ride only took about 25 minutes in total and was a little uncomfortable considering we had to sit on wooden seats in very old carriages with minimal suspension.


It was then off to a demonstration of slate splitting which was informative and made you realize the craftsmanship involved in this task. It also made us very aware of how labour intensive it is.

Slate is not produced in the volume it use to be due to the cost of labour which means it is cheaper to import it from Portugal. Hence, nearly all the slate quarries are closed. It is exactly the same with what happened with the coal mines in Wales. On this particular steam train the coal that it used did come from Wales. We always ask when we do any of these types of tours that involve any use of coal where the coal actually comes from and up until now the answer has always been from Poland. How crazy is that!!! It is just not coal and slate but many other industries have gone the same way in the UK. Makes us wonder how they are going to manage Brexit as it isn’t looking good through our eyes.


Wandered around the rest of the Slate Museum checking out the workshops, waterwheels and history of the place. This was the largest Slate Quarry that use to be in existence in Wales and supported a large population. The guy demonstrating the slate splitting was sixth generation!!

 

 

 

 

 


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