Peter has roots in Wales. His father grew up there and he spent time there as a child. We took a side trip to Northeast Wales and stayed in the tiny village of Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog, a stones throw from Llangollen where his grandmother lived.
Below, the valley, it was stunning – let’s leave it at that.
We stayed in a sweet couple’s historic home (three cheers for Air BnB).
On our first day we drove (he drove, I gawked and hung on and begged to stop and photograph each sheep and each vista) through more quaint villages that skirt the Ceiriog Valley.
It’s not everyday you see a stout working horse commuting:
Or a farmer moving sheep around:
This area is know for a landscape suited to grazing and people having a strong sense of Welsh identity. I had the good fortune of walking past two men, sitting in chairs outside a cafe in Llangollen, speaking in Welsh.
Over one lane wide roads we went:
This area was a notable crossroads of sorts for sheep drovers. Sheep seem to still be the main livestock.
Climbing up an impossible steep grade you exit the valley and drop down to the River Dee to the town of Llangollen. Seeing the home of his grandmother was such a treat as was the streets he ran about as a boy.
Once into Llangollen we poked around the narrow side streets (which I found more interesting than the main drag) and found the fish and chips spot Pete’s sister recommended. Man it was good!
Peruse the town’s website for a wonderful aerial photo and some history.
Note the 1838 est. date on this bakery’s sign:
Entertaining details abound:
The river is a pretty vantage point to look back at the town.
Pardon the blurry zoom of this iPhone photo. The remains of the Castell Dinas Bran sits on a hill above town.
We’re cat people. And this big, solid Tom took advantage of our attention. Peter’s sister informed me it is a notorious love-sponge.
After a trip through town we headed back to the little village and had an outstanding supper.
The next day, a helluva hike. More on that next.