Monday 17 September 2018

Another Week in Wales: Day Three

portmeirion, village, estuary, north-wales, travel

Day one: Aberystwyth

Day two: Barmouth

Day three: Porthmadog, via Portmeirion

Have you been keeping up with the series? If you haven't read what happened on day two yet, now's the time to head over and catch up!

Day three was a wetter day than we had become accustomed to, dawning with grey skies and a constant threat of rain. As the Sunray only offers rooms, not food, we walked just a few short yards to the end of the drive and the welcoming warmth of Davy Jones Locker for breakfast.

Although only a small place, the Davy Jones Locker is a wonderful little cafe with good food and a fantastic atmosphere. The place is done up in the sea theme, of course, complete with decorations including fishing nets, lobster pots, model ships and ropes. There are also converted fish tanks set into the walls by the booths, each featuring its own little diorama of seaside fishing paraphernalia. I enjoyed a coffee and scrambled egg on toast, whereas my other half sampled the traditional cooked breakfast.

Full of our breakfast, we were ready to move on to our next destination and start the day properly. Our main activity for the day was one I couldn't wait to introduce my partner to - Portmeirion.

portmeirion, dog-cemetery, statue, travel

Having been a few times in the past, the complete uniqueness of the curious village of Portmeirion has always captured my imagination and remained in my memory. Whether it is the rural Welsh setting, scenic surroundings, Italianate village feel or the many hidden gems lurking around the site waiting to be discovered, something keeps on luring me back.

Doing our best to dodge the rain showers, we took a guided tour of the village. Our guide was incredibly helpful and knowledgeable, telling us all about Portmeirion's origins and history, as well as pointing out noteworthy features of the buildings and architecture we passed. When our tour ended, the rain was coming down quite heavily, so we took refuge in one of the buildings and watched a short film about Portmeirion.

During a gap in the rain, we headed out to explore more of the village, popping into a few shops for food and souvenirs (not to mention the famous Portmeirion tableware!) before taking ourselves up and out of the village on one of the woodland trails. Due to the weather, not many people had chosen to venture out that way, so we had the walk mostly to ourselves. We passed the Japanese lily garden, temple, dog's cemetery and lighthouse before stopping to take in the views across the estuary. It was so calm and peaceful - a truly wonderful spot to stop and reflect for a while in companionable silence.

portmeirion, estuary, north-wales, travel

After drinking in our fill of the village, it was back to the car and a short drive along the coast to Porthmadog, where we would be spending the night.

Yr Hen Fecws was the night's lodgings, a small B&B above a restaurant opposite a children's playground in the middle of town. Not exactly stunning views, but we had probably been spoiled by the previous night's sea view!

After checking in, we headed off in search of dinner. A walk around Porthmadog yielded little in the way of foodie results, but eventually, we found an Indian restaurant/takeaway not far from Yr Hen Fecws.

Passage to India was rather expensive for what it was, and the waiting staff seemed rather inept at their job, faffing about before seating us (despite the majority of the restaurant being empty) and then forgetting to bring our rice out - we had to ask for it in the end! Despite that, the food was good and just what we needed after a long, busy day out.

After dinner, we decided to go for a short walk before turning in as it had turned into a cool, calm evening. We headed along the main road, up the hill and out of the town, following the road down into the small neighbouring harbour town of Borth-y-Gest. With such a still atmosphere, the only sounds were waves breaking on the shoreline and the occasional cry of a seagull. The perfect evening, looking back down the estuary to the lighthouse of Portmeirion in the distance.

As the light was fading fast, we hot-footed it back to Porthmadog and it wasn't long before we settled down for a good night's sleep.

What do you think of Portmeirion? Let me know in the comments below!

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