Monday, October 5, 2009

Biwmares, Wales - June 2004

In 2004, I took my first trip overseas to participate in a study abroad course on Tolkein. Pretty wicked, right? I blogged about the trip that summer but I was still using a film camera and was unable to use any of the pictures in the blog. (I didn't develop any of the film until I got back into the US.) Anyway, we took a number of weekend excursions to various sites near Bangor (our home base). On 11 June, we visited Biwmares, Caernarfon, and Llanfair P.G.

Biwmares Castle was the first "old-school" castle I had ever visited and it had a moat. A friggin' moat. Awesome. The entire group was so stoked about the moat. Stoked, I tell you. Moat, moat, moat. We took our first group picture outside of the castle.

We crossed the moat (eeeee!!!) and went inside the castle to explore. I don't know what it is about ruins involving plant life growing in stone but I really like the way they look. I took tons of pictures of just brick. Here is one of the better ones.

The inside of the castle was really fun to walk through. We spent quite a bit of time getting lost and confused in various passageways. At some point I stumbled across a neat little chapel. There was a pathway on the top of the outside wall but there was a sign and chain barring the stairs leading up to the path. The sign said "Do Not Cross." Psssht. This was my first castle experience. I climbed over the sign to get to the stairs and up to the top of the castle wall. Several members of our group followed suit and none of us even got in trouble. The view from the top of the wall was excellent - I wish I had a better picture to show you. I was probably crouched. Standing upright would have made my trespassing more noticeable to those below.

Those are mountains in the background. The castle sits along the Menai Strait. (That's the body of water at the foot of the mountains there.) I think I may have to go back some day just to get a better photo. ;) A digital one, maybe.

We got to walk around a bit after finishing up at the castle. I wandered out onto the beach to feel the sand on my feet and watch seabirds plummet into the water for fish. It made me a little homesick for about 5 seconds. I still miss the beach at home.

The English spelling for Biwmares is "Beaumaris." It's really a beautiful little city with clean streets and picturesque Georgian buildings. It is the chief port on the island of Anglesey and really is a place I'd like to visit again. Some day...

More info on Castell Biwmares

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