To Snowdonia and the North

We try not to be wasteful. Be it food, or belongings, or most especially, days off. So when Derek has a Friday off, we have to use it! For some reason a hiking trip sounded fun for this three-day weekend, so we planned to hike the PYG track (pronounced pig) up to the top of Mount Snowdon, the highest peak in Wales. You can take a train to the peak, which frankly, about three-fourths of the way up sounded like it would have been a much better decision than walking, but I’m happy we hiked.IMG_2197IMG_2212IMG_2215IMG_2220IMG_2209Such a brave girl! We had her out of the becco carrier for the first quarter of the hike. It was lucky there were so many stairs because she would volunteer to walk/climb every time there was a good set. IMG_2207That only lasted so long though. Eventually we put her on Derek’s back, where she slept the second hour of the hike.
The PYG track can be separated into thirds – an hour (give or take) per third. The first section has some elevation change (like the stairs) but wasn’t crazy. The second section is really manageable, which great views of two lakes, and the third section was certainly still do-able, but was quite a bit more work and more scrambling up rocks.
We had really nice weather right up until we were at the summit. Check out this fog.IMG_2234Once we did climb all the way up our view was only a few feet in any direction. Here we are at the very top, literally in the clouds.
IMG_2239Do you see the dark splotches on the front of Daughter’s jacket? That’s all sweat from being pressed against Derek’s back. Yummy!
Here you can see the very top in a moment of almost-clarity.
IMG_2248It took us about two and a half hours to get up to the top and just over two to get down, but we took a much-needed thirty minute break at the top in the visitor’s center/train station.IMG_2258On the way down each time we would stop walking for more than ten seconds my legs would start shaking so we kept pushing the pace to get back to our car.  Daughter wasn’t super enthusiastic about her parents dragging her up and down a mountain by the time we had been hiking for over three hours. I think that’s fair of her.IMG_2265When Derek and I lived in Utah during University we would frequently drive down to several of the National Parks in Southern Utah to go hiking. This was the first real hike I think we’ve done since moving to Chicago in 2010, so it was nostalgic and felt almost like a date. A really strenuous exhausting date.IMG_2280We did see quite a few Welsh sheep (even a black one!) on our way down. It was so picturesque and seemed perfectly Welsh. It was also nice to have something other than rocks to point out to Daughter. Baa baa!
IMG_2288That night we stayed in the seaside town of Llandudno. The next morning was quite rainy, but we still walked along the seaside and saw a bit of the town.
IMG_2293We also stopped and saw Conwy and Conwy castle.
IMG_2338IMG_2342Conwy Castle CollageThe castle (and city) is famous for the suspension bridge (above) and the medieval city walls. It also has the smallest house in Great Britain. Random, right? IMG_2328I guess this was a weekend of superlatives – the tallest mountain in Wales and the smallest house in Britain. On our way home we may also have added the shortest trip to IKEA. For us anyway. Which means it just had to be under something like 4 hours and we were only there for maybe 45 minutes. That’s practically a miracle in IKEA time.
(We got Daughter a play kitchen for her birthday. She is going to love it!)


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