July 25: Tywyn

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAToday started off rainy and cool (upper 60s), but ended up glorious. We hoofed the mile to the road, and then waited almost an hour for the bus to Tywyn. (toe-in). This seaside town does not have the charm of Machynlleth, but it did have a few interesting buildings. The Market Hall (left), once known for its great bargains, is a recent construction (1898) and is still used as a market. On the other hand, the Assembly Room (right) is now a movie theater.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASt. Cadfan’s Church, originally built of wood, was destroyed during Viking raids, and then rebuilt of stone during the mid 12th century. In 1692, the tower collapsed, burying the altar and the 13th century Sanctus Bell, which was recovered in 1811 when the church was fully renovated. Inside the church is the Cadfan Stone; the inscriptions on its four sides are considered some of the oldest written Welsh.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere are two train stations in Tywyn: the commute train, and the Pendre Station, home of the Tal-y-llyn (tal-a-thlin) railway, the world’s first narrow-gauge, steam-engine locomotive; it was designed to carry passengers and slate. This “great little train” is now maintained by steam-engine enthusiasts and is the first railway in the world to be saved and restored for the tourist industry. At one stop, the Cei Tywyn station, a museum houses Britain’s best collection of narrow-gauge artifacts.

Instead of taking this train, we did the Pendre Station Walk, an easy four-mile stroll through the valley. It was quite enjoyable; with the clouds gone and the air warmed to mid 70s, I was able to take off my jacket. This is the weather that Dennis likes–cool and dry, whereas I like it much warmer.

We passed through a “kissing gate”:


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe met several anglers along the Afon Dysynni (avvonn duss-unny), but the fish weren’t biting. It was breezy along the river, and a red sailboat glided along on slightly choppy water. We only saw one swimmer, even though it is mid-summer.

There were few walkers along the path. Passing a family of three, I noticed that all were wearing long-sleeves. Since Dennis often kids me about being a chilly-willy, I felt vindicated in that I was sleeveless.

Entering a wood, we came upon signage describing the Ynysymaengwyn (unniss-mine-gwinn) Manor. We asked a local how to pronounce the name. Once it rolled of her tongue, Dennis said “Well, that’s obvious.” We all laughed.

The manor was used by refugees after WWI and as a camp for the Royal Marines during WWII. In 1948, the estate was given to the Tywyn Council. Since it was in disrepair, it was burnt as a exercise for the local fire department, and then flattened by the army.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMost of the buildings are now in ruins. There remains an eight- or 10-foot high wall with several arched entrances. Inside, is a mowed field about the size of an acre with picnic tables strewn about. We did not explore all the pathways and gardens, but we did pass the dovecote, a building for domestic pigeons (see below). Looking at the building makes me wonder how many birds were kept here.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen I was in Spain, I enjoyed Principe Cookies. I have found a new love, a chocolate ginger biscuit by Border. The box describes the cookie as “The perfect balance of crisp crunchy ginger biscuit and devilishly dark chocolate…If our Dark Chocolate Gingers banged your gong, you can vote for them at …” Guess I will do this, once I have WiFi access.


About The Author

Jane V. Blanchard

I am an award-winning author of the "Woman On Her Way" book series, writing about my travel adventures. For more information on the books, please visit janevblanchard.com. I started the "Woman On Her Way" travel blog in 2013 to share my experiences as I explored 13 countries with my husband, traveling by ship, foot, bike, bus, train, and plane. Dennis and I continue to make memories and hope you will enjoy following along.

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