Anglesey, Snowdonia and North Wales

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Beaumaris Castle, begun in 1295, was the last and largest of the castles to be built by King Edward I in Wales. In the opinion of some, it is possibly the most sophisticated example of medieval military architecture in Britain. Jean Sue took this photo of the castle, which is strategically located by the Strait of Menai, separating Anglesey from mainland Wales.

To reach this beach on Red Wharf Bay, also on Anglesey, Bob drove down a 35-degree grade on a one-track lane; he took a mere 25-degree grade one-track lane on the way back up. Our hotel in Wales was on the other side of the bay.

Here's our side of Red Wharf Bay. When the tide goes out, most boats bottom, as Jean Sue's photo shows. The Welsh name of the bay is Traeth Coch, which means Red Beach. A battle with the Vikings took place here in 1170. So fierce was the struggle that the sands were soaked with blood, leaving a red hue.

Ray had recommended a trip to Bodnant Gardens during our stay in North Wales, and we weren't disappointed by his recommendation. As Jean Sue's photo shows, the view from the formal gardens tends to the gorgeous.

Bob was particularly intrigued the Sphinx set by a staircase at Bodnant Gardens.

A highlight of our trip in North Wales was a roundtrip on the Snowdon Mountain Railway. Here, the steam engine (built by the Swiss in 1906 for use on this cog railway) and car that took us to the summit prepare to haul the next trip to the top.

Jean Sue claims this was just a "grab" shot, but her photo of the sheep and lamb amid rocks and grasses of Snowdon perfectly captures the feel of the mountain.

Sheep abounded during our journal up and down Snowdon. A few structures like this are still used during shearing season.

The view from Snowdon, looking toward a nearby mountain. Snowdon is the highest point in England and Wales., at 3,494 feet. In all of the U.K., it's topped only by Scotland's Ben Nevis.

Instead of taking the train, you can hike Snowdon's summit on a well maintained and reasonably easily graded trail. Many take the train to the top, then walk down back to the village of Llanberis, where the depot is located.

Gorgeous views abound during the one-hour trip up the mountain.

Sun and clouds created the light for this image taken from the one-car train.

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All photographs and text Robert L Libkind and Jean Sue Libkind