Sunday, February 5, 2023

Summer Days in Barmouth, Wales

In 2002, my daughter said she wanted to plan the family's summer vacation. We said fine, go ahead. She chose Barmouth, Wales. Where? The town is in the county of Gwynedd, northwestern Wales, facing the Bae of Ceredigion. Well, it proved to be a brilliant choice. It feels remote from the crowds and hustle of England. We loved the geology, terrain, rugged landscape, view of the sea, and, to a lesser extent, the food. 

We flew into Heathrow and rented a right hand drive Fiat. The shifter was on the column to the left of the driver. Hmmm, shift with left hand? At least the position of the gasoline, brake, and clutch pedals are in the familiar sequence! We took the motorways north and then west across the mountains and down to the coast. I drove slowly and the locals flashed by on narrow country lanes. They probably said "Yanks" under their breath - or maybe out loud.

Barmouth and the estuary of the Afon Mawddach and Cardigan Bay.

William Wordsworth visited Barmouth in the 1800s: "With a fine sea view in front, the mountains behind, the glorious estuary running eight miles [13 km] inland, and Cadair Idris within compass of a day's walk, Barmouth can always hold its own against any rival." (from Wikipedia)

Railroad causeway across Cardigan Bay.

Barmouth blossomed when the railroad built a causeway and brought city dwellers to the town for their summer vacations. The causeway is now a splendid walking or biking path.

Slate roofs with a few modern exceptions

Almost all the construction in Wales consists of sturdy stone walls and massive slate roofs. Wales is a land of slate and shale. Quarrymen have mined and cut slate from the rugged mountains for at least 1800 years. Wales produced slate for British homes during the building boom as cities exploded during the Industrial Age. 

In the sunshine, Porkington Terrace.

The waterfront in summer is cheerful and sunny. People sit at cafes and bars on the Quay, soaking in the sun in anticipation of the gloomy winter. 

Room with a view

Barmouth was fun. This is one of the many places I want to see again. But when? There are thousand destinations yet to see in my remaining years.

These photographs are on Fuji Reala colour negative film film from my Fuji GW690II medium format camera. It has a 5-element 90mm ƒ/3.5 lens.


Mike said...

Looks very peaceful and civilized, and very nice pictures of it all. That Fuji was the perfect choice for the place and the light.

Suzassippi said...

This place is beautiful--no wonder you want to go back. The photographs are very captivating. said...

Thank you all. Barmouth with its rugged terrain and green hills was a beautiful place. The winter may be long and gloomy. I am not sure what the inhabitants do economically in winter, but summer is certainly popular.