Driving Through Gwynedd

Stone Fences

The sun was starting to set beautifully over the stone walled farmlands on the outskirts of Snowdonia. I assumed they had the same ‘make work’ famine wall situation as Ireland had experienced.

Some of the walls, though beautiful, were entirely nonsensical and un-useful, piled for no other reason than to receive food rations.

Snowdonia Stone Walls

Now when I see the walls, knowing their history, I think only of the back breaking man hours it took to pile them. Heavy labour done by starving men for rations of food to feed their families.

The Welsh countryside through Gwynedd county was spectacular. Vibrantly green and spotted with stone cottages and sheep. Picturesque, gorgeous country.

Treeless Mountains

We were exhausted.

We drove as far into Snowdonia along the A470 as we could, passing the village of Beddgelert in the dark before pulling over for a nap (that turned into an overnight).

Rolling Green

We slept like the dead for almost 9 hours – our longest sleep yet. Our trip was almost over and we could feel it in our achy, cranky bones.


We had been gone from home nearly a month now, and though we were not desperate or even excited to return to Canada, we were looking forward to sleeping in our own bed!

We barely heard a car pass all night, the road did not get a lot of traffic. When we awoke it was quite early. The air was cool, the dew was fresh and the fog hung low.

Foggy Green

We were going to stop in the next town, Dolgellau (translated: meadow of groves) to find something to eat, but it was early enough that nothing was open.

We stopped for a bit regardless, to take a walk and snap some photos.

View of Dolgellau

Surprisingly the small, quiet town of Dolgellau is home to one of Europe’s largest and most renowned music festivals ‘Sesiwn Fawr‘.

According to Wikipedia, it attracts more than 5,000 people every year.

Old Welsh Church

Until 2002 it was held in the streets of the town, but the event grew too large and had to be relocated to the outskirts.

We didn’t stay in Dolgellau for long, our hunger pushed us on.

Ancient Stone House

After some time driving, we stopped briefly so I could take a few snaps of the misty landscape, as it was difficult to capture in transit.

My husband, who enjoys being a bit goofy, took off dancing onto the highway as soon as we pulled over.

Woohoo Wales

I had taken a few photos before noticing the awful garbage left behind. Needles. Obviously we were not the first to stop here.

After his dance, my husband came to give me a hug – coincidentally at the one time in many hours a vehicle happened to pass.

Perhaps excited by our embrace, all persons in the passing car hung their arms and heads out open windows to yell, laugh and whistle at us, horn honking, saying something we could not interpret but understood to be of ‘poking fun’ intention.

Low Gear Now

A little brash! We have never had that reaction to a boring marital hug. It occurred to me that there weren’t many people – let alone tourists in this region of Wales – it is possible they found us entertaining!

Either way they succeeded in embarrassing my husband – though it’s no great feat – pretty easy to do!

Super Green

We stopped a few more times for photographs along our drive before being successful in our hunt for food.

Our tour would take us to a quaint roadside ‘diner’. Immaculately maintained, perfectly painted and clean. Yes, we could eat here.

Welsh White House

We were about to have the most embarrassing moment of our excursion yet. So mortifying that we still blush while re-telling the story!

Additional photos in the slideshow.

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Follow this trip by heading to the ‘8 Country EU Tour‘ section. Many more photos of Wales at the Habitual Runaway on Facebook.



5 responses to “Driving Through Gwynedd

  1. When my grandmother was a little girl, all the children in her family had a job to do when they came home after school every day. Each child had to go out into the paddock and fill a bucket with stones. Gradually the paddocks became stone-free which made farming easier. I don’t know what they did with the stones though.


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