2003 letter about a trip on a cog railroad to the summit of Mount Snowdon: Caernarfon has a matching castle (another one of Edward Iís), but we didnít intend to visit that one. We picked the town because there were campsites there and we wanted to stay the night. While there, we arranged for our next two daysí activities. We reserved space on the Snowdonia Mountain Railway for Saturday and arranged a trip on the ferry from Holyhead in Wales to Dublin, Ireland for Sunday. There is a big push on to get people to take a day trip to Dublin. Sounded good to usó18 pounds, about 28 dollars, for two, round trip.
The mountain train was a spectacular ride on a cog and pinion railway line. (picture of pinion gear and cog rail in center of wheel rails) In the middle of the tracks is an additional track that is a series of cogs in a straight line. It looks a lot like the inside of a huge watch. The train moves up and down the mountain Ė very slowly. Of course every time a tooth is engaged there is a slight hesitation. So you almost bump along. The scenery was wonderful Ė very wild with nothing but a few little huts near the track for the trains, and a lot of sheep who are spending their summer eating the mountain not even realizing that some farmer is planning to eat some of them soon! The summit is only 3500 ft. high, but it is the highest in England, and we were told that from there you can see four kingdoms Ė England, Wales, Ireland and heaven. (picture at summit complete with begger sheep) We canít argue with that. Nor can we verify that because there were no signs on the summit showing you either the direction in which you are gazing or what is there in the distance. Pretty dumb of them considering what a big tourist operation this is. There are lots and lots of people hiking, as well as a train full of people every half-hour.
While waiting for our train, we were talking to one of the railway employees. We saw that one compartment on the train had been reserved. Ron asked if the reservation was for the queen. The answer came back quickly. No queens he said. This is Wales. We donít have Queens here. We have Princes! But of course it was for a party of five: a teen-ager, his parents, his grandmother (her husband walked up) and great grandma who was coming along at age 98 to see the top of the mountain.
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