Chester 2010 – Day 5

The weather is a little cooler today with more cloud cover, leading to longer cloudy intervals, but it is quite warm enough for our purposes.

We have started the day in what has come to seem the routine way: a walk up the road to the station, crossing the canal on the way, breakfast on the station at Caféxpress, and then a wait on platform 3 for the Holyhead train.

Men at work on Chester station
Men at work on Chester station


Today we disembark at Y Fali (Y Fali). I cannot say what this small town or village is like as we had very little time to spend there.

We didn't have time to see much of Y Fali
We didn’t have time to see much of Y Fali

When we walked to the nearby bus stop, we saw that the bus was timed at 11:12 and it was now 11:19. We were lucky: the bus was late. It took us into Holyhead where we stopped at the pleasantly old­fashioned Gateway for tea and hot chocolate. (Guess who had which.)

The Gateway: pleasantly old-fashioned
The Gateway: pleasantly old-fashioned

We took a bus, hoping to go further round the island but though the bus became very full, it only took us as far as the commercial sector where people got out to shop at the supermarkets. The bus took us back to town, leaving us no better off.

Holyhead Market Hall
Holyhead Market Hall

Finally, we got a bus out. This one took us back to Y Fali where we changed and were taken to Llangefni where we had lunch.

Llangefni clock tower
Llangefni clock tower

We chanced upon Llangefni, not having heard of it before, but it is apparently the county town of Anglesey, which obviously confers a certain importance upon it.

Amlwch police station
Amlwch police station

As there didn’t seem to be much to see in Llangefni, Tigger proposed a ride to the north coast of Anglesey. We chose Amlwch, in the mistaken impression that it was at the seaside. We realized our mistake only on arriving there.

Amlwch park
Amlwch park

Amlwch has a rather fine police station and a pleasant little park (dogs not allowed) but is in other ways an unremarkable town (but perhaps not to those who live there), so we were soon on our way again.

The weather had been cloudy for most of the day but now, belatedly, the sun reappeared. We found a bus that would carry us to Holyhead where we could take the train back to Chester. With the evening sunshine lighting the countryside we could relax and enjoy the scenery. The bus delivered us at Holyhead with about 20 minutes to wait for the Birmingham train that would take us to Chester.

Amlwch: unremarkable but perhaps not to those who live there
Amlwch: unremarkable but perhaps not to those who live there

The low evening sunlight showed the landscape to best advantage. On one side fields stretched, speckled with sheep, cows or horses, to meet the hills, green and rocky, while on the other side the sea, now distant and now almost beside the track, sparkled in the evening sun, bordered by far coasts or hills, grey-blue with distance. Overhead, heaped clouds made cliffs, mountain and snow fields in the sky.

We rumbled over the Menai Bridge, guarded at either end by massive stone lions, and then slid smoothly over the Conwy river, which like a broad stream of liquid light, dotted with boats whose colourful hulls and sails shone in the sunlight.

Holyhead's rather handsome curving station
Holyhead’s rather handsome curving station

How many people visit Llangefni or Amlwch, other than for purposes of work, I wonder? Not many, probably. That is not to demean them, just to say that they are probably not on the conventional tourist track. They have an interest of their own in that sense.

Anglesey has that island feel to it. It is hard to characterize it. Perhaps it is the fact that the sea is never far away whichever way you turn, a certain air of self-containment or a feeling of a world slightly apart that the installation of a bridge to the mainland reduces but does not dispel.

Catching the sunset at Chester station
Catching the sunset at Chester station

As we leave the train at Chester and look around us, Tigger jokingly asks why notices are written in only one language. We have spent the day in Wales where bilingual signs are the norm but that is not the only evidence that we are back in England. Even the air seems different somehow.

Walking back down the now familiar road to the hotel, we scan the canal towpath but our friend the heron is not to be seen.

Copyright © 2010 SilverTiger, https://tigergrowl.wordpress.com, All rights reserved.

About SilverTiger

I live in Islington with my partner, "Tigger". I blog about our life and our travels, using my own photos for illustration.
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