Sunday, 12 July 2009

Weekend in Llangollen

Saturday 11th July
Well here we are in Eisteddfod land. We did not plan to be here for the International Eisteddfod and when we discovered it was on we nearly decided to give Llangollen a miss, but we are glad we didn't. It certainly felt like a bit of a flog getting here. The first hurdle was going over the Poncysyllte Aqueduct. Since I had had no problem steering over Chirk Aqueduct I imagined it would be the same only longer.........not so. Unlike the Chirk there is absolutely no barrier at all on the non-towpath side. Since this was on our left going over and that is the side to stand when steering I had to rapidly hand over to Geoff. I didn't expect to feel like that, after all we had been over it before on Hotel Boat Heather 5 years ago. I think it must have been that we were now in charge of the boat which we weren't then. On the other side there is an extremely sharp turn and the canal now gets much narrower and in places very shallow. There are two stretches where it is one way working and Geoff had to walk on ahead before I started off. However it was good fun, albeit it seemed as though we were struggling uphill all the time. We were well into the hills by now. Unfortunately the weather wasn't brilliant and the mist was hanging around.

The last one way stretch leads directly into the inline moorings where there are now electricity meters and the charge is £6 a night. (Electricity included) You have to go up and see the man in a hut who will give you a ticket for up to 48 hours. This is either for the towpath moorings or in the small marina a few minutes further on by the turning point. We elected for the marina as it is much lighter there. Contrary to our expectations there was plenty of room. I carefully reversed(without using the bowthrusters into a vacant berth, only to find when we were nearly in that the electricity connection was u/s in that berth!!!! So I had to go out and do the whole thing again.....

Once we were settled I took myself off to get if I could get tickets for the evening's concert which was the finals of the Pavarotti Trophy for choirs. I am glad we went but it was not quite what we expected. The first half was some Eastern European dancers who were superb but went on too long. The second half was the 5 choirs, 3 of them American. The music selection was somewhat esoteric to say the least. However we had a bit of a sing song whilst we waited for the judges to decide the winner.
Eisteddfodd Stage
The flower arrangement on the stage were fantastic.
The Marina and the turning point is as far as we can go, only the horse drawn trip boats venture further up the canal. However Geoff and Barnaby walked to the end to the Horseshoe Falls below.

The end of the Llangollen, another head of Navigation chalked up

If we had had another day Geoff would have liked to walk up to Castell Dinas Bran, or the remains thereof.
Sunday however was taken up by church in the morning where The Archbishop of Wales was preaching and the new Bishop of St Asaph was making his first visit to St Collen Church. Needless to say the church was very full and we sang all the hymns alternate verses in Welsh and English. After some shopping we went for our Sunday Lunch in one of the local hotels who were offering a carvery. It was a reasonable lunch but a very strange place, sort of antimacassar and old lace!!! Before hand we had a drink in the Cornmill pub which has beautiful views over the river.
You can also do the steam train ride up to the falls but since we had done that on our last visit we decided to give it a miss.
We are now sitting on Petroc waiting for the fireworks to start which mark the end of this years International Eisteddfod.

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