Never before have I thought of myself as a rabid fan of steam travel..........but I LOVED the hour and a half we spent chuffing up into the mountains aboard one of the steam trains of the Welsh Highland Railway!
The station at Porthmadog has just re-opened after extensive renovations and they have done a beautiful job on it.
You might notice the sign behind me .......... It crops up all over the place and does not, as I first thought, indicate a special exit for my family members! Allan is the Welsh word for exit!
Once we were under way, I just couldn't get enough of hanging out of the windows and watching the engine puffing away and hearing the clickety-clack of the wheels along the narrow track.
Never mind that the weather got colder and quite gloomy and the visibility was poor. It was such an adventure!
The old carriages are immaculately restored, the engine we had was from South Africa, and at the halfway point we met the one coming the other way, and watched while they filled its tank with water ......... and someone brought the drivers their tea! Time stood still and no-one was in a hurry!
We were the only passengers to alight at Snowdon Ranger......... and no, we didn't choose it because it was the one station we could pronounce! We're here because there's a hostel (and no other signs of civilization whatsoever!) where we'll stay for three nights in the hope that one of the days will be a good one for hiking.
Snowdonia is the biggest National Park in Wales and home to the highest mountain in Wales and England, Mt Snowdon, 1085m 3560ft. The train we took runs from Pothmadog to Caernarfon via Beddgelert.
The brown triangle on the map is Mt Snowdon, however we couldn't actually see it as we came up in the train. Here's a view of the unpronounceable lake, Llyn Cwellyn, beside which our hostel stands, and where we cooled our heels (literally in my case!) while waiting for the door to open.
The forecast isn't good for Saturday, so Sunday will most likely be the day for our conquest of Snowdon!