From Conwy, Wales, we headed west toward Holyhead, Wales, found a campground near a town called Caernarfon (Google Map
) , only 22
miles from Conwy, which is convenient both to the Snowdonia National Park where Mount Snowdon (11 miles from Caernarfon) is located,
and to Holyhead (28 miles from Caernarfon) where one can take a ferry to Dublin, Ireland. We soon learned that you can take that ferry
for a day trip to Dublin for a very low fee-- the equivalent of $28.00 at the time for the two of us. We decided to do that after
our visit to Mount Snowdon.
We had never been on a cog railroad before. The train has to climb 3500 feet to the summit
and it cannot do that without some specially designed equipment, namely a pinion on an axle with cogs (like teeth) around its perimeter
that fit into little hollows in the rail bed. (See photo on right.) As the pinion turns, the cogs pull the train
up the hill. The effect is constant lurching along both uphill and, especially downhill. It is not a comfortable ride.
it is a beautiful one as our photos show. As you go up and down, the scenery constantly changes. We did not realize that
you also can walk up to the summit, which we would not have done even if we had known about this. We learned that you can do
that by seeing a constant string of hikers walking parrallel to the train bed.
You get off the train at the summit and look around.
Fortunately we had a very clear day and it seemed like you could see forever in all directions. Indeed, there is a saying that
you can see four domains from there--England, Scotland, Ireland, and heaven. Unfortunately we found no signage up there that
shows you what you are looking at. We could not tell in which direction we were looking. You could see bodies of water
in some direction, so Ireland might have been somewhere beyond that, but we could not be sure. There is a restaurant.
And there are begger sheep who have learned that people have food and have become persistent in communicating their firm belief
that you should share some of it with them.
If you like pretty and distant vistas, and have never taken a ride on a cog railroad,
this is a grand thing to do.