(Into) Scotland Day #2: Anglesey to Ayr
September 6, 2014 § 1 Comment
And our adventure continues…
Day Two of our UK travels found us putting on some mileage as we zoomed from one A-Place to another: from Wales, through England, and (finally) into Scotland. Next time, we are definitely going to focus on a significantly smaller area to explore… though this time, we wanted to have a general taste of Scotland, and had to get up there from (and back to) Nottingham, so we allotted two days for more extensive stretches of driving. Here is the first one.
We started our day with another sizzling shower in our countryside B&B (with alpacas outside of the window…) to combat the bitter northern cold, and then rolled the car down the hill to have a morning stroll in Cemaes, a tiny little group of scattered houses with its own bay and miniature harbor (both of which seem to be a mandatory part of any settlement in Wales):
Then we drove to the eastern edge of Anglesey, the entire time admiring the trio of colors that we would come to know well by the end of the trip. Yellow, green, and blue:
To keep faithful to our loose Coastal Cliffs and Lighthouses tour, the first destination of the day was Penmon, on the southeastern corner of the island. There is a little parking at the end of the road, so we left the car there, next to an old abbey and pigeon house, and had a short trek over the hill:
On the other side of the hill, we were greeted with one of my Top Three favorite lighthouses of the trip: the Trwyn Du Lighthouse.:
There is something magical and nostalgically alluring about sea-washed towers, even more so when they are striped black-and-white. And even better if they are on some secluded, cliffy edge of a landmass, surrounded by an intricate web of walking trails that can bring you down the length of whichever coastline you decide to follow.
After that, it was time for a lunch stop in Menai Bridge. Despite the alluring name and history of Beaumaris, we passed it up, as it seemed like some sort of tourist mecca and sailing spot for locals, and was overflowing with people. In contrast, Menai Bridge was quiet, lovely, authentic, and delicious. We were looking for seafood or meat, but as travel life has it: one shall not find what one is looking for, until one finds what one was not looking for (personal citation, thank you very much). So, instead we found a cozy little cafe and grabbed a seat in the corner. If there are sunflowers and silly cat faces to keep you company, you know you’ve found a good place:
For desert, a generous slice of bara brith, a traditional Welsh ‘fruit cake’ that is more bread-y than cake-y and is popular with teatime. Tummies full again, we took a short stroll along the water, and had our first encounter with how much difference low and high tides make around the entire UK’s coastline:
And then it was time to zoom, zoom, zoom, out of Wales (sadness!), and very quickly through England (shudder), and into Scotland (yay!). We had our first castle detour, and then checked into a Couchsurfer’s abode in Aye. There, we had our first cuppa (tea) and learned about the mystical fairy (and dragon) aspect of the Isle of Arran: our destination for the next morning. Scotland, we made it! :]
PS: Wales, we will be back!