Travellers Journal Snowdonia National Park Day 2

Travellers Journal Snowdonia National Park Day 2



The Royal Victoria Hotel sits at​ the​ head of​ Llanberis Pass,​ near the​ foot of​ Mount Snowdon. Its elevated position provides wonderful views over Llanberis village,​ reminiscent of​ a​ wise old headmaster appraising his class.

Sandwiched between the​ two lakes of​ Llyn Padarn and Llyn Peris,​ the​ hotel is​ an​ excellent base for exploring the​ wild terrain of​ Snowdonia.

I awoke to​ another gloomy day. the​ rain had continued through the​ night and showed little sign of​ letting up. Apparently Llanberis gets twice as​ much annual rainfall as​ Caernarfon ten miles to​ the​ west and I could certainly believe it.

Breakfast was a​ pleasant affair. Staff dressed all in​ black were only too happy to​ serve your every whim. For the​ early risers,​ there's the​ luxury of​ a​ table in​ the​ conservatory and great views across the​ village and lake. Unfortunately my aching limbs would not allow the​ advantage of​ an​ early start and I took my place with the​ commoners in​ the​ breakfast room.

The staff all seemed to​ have strange accents,​ my best guess that of​ eastern European. This seems to​ be the​ norm these days. Everywhere I’ve travelled in​ Britain recently has been staffed with foreigners.

There appears to​ be some kind of​ European swap shop going on. Somewhere in​ the​ far flung corner of​ the​ continent must reside a​ glut of​ English people serving tea and coffee,​ and asking people what they thought of​ the​ weather.

I decided to​ take a​ walk in​ the​ village. Despite a​ population of​ just 2,​000,​ Llanberis provides jobs for over 1,​200 people,​ mainly through tourism. Its most famous attraction is​ the​ Snowdon Mountain Railway,​ Britain's only rack and pinion railroad. Believe it​ or​ not it​ opened the​ same day as​ the​ modern Olympic Games at​ Athens in​ 1896.

Unfortunately the​ opening day was not without its casualties when one of​ the​ carriages derailed and tumbled down Llanberis Pass. Amazingly there have been no more derailments to​ this day,​ a​ comforting thought as​ I made my way to​ the​ ticket booth.

Alas,​ the​ train today would only be going three-quarters of​ the​ way up due to​ ice on​ the​ track at​ the​ top. Having driven all the​ way to​ Llanberis the​ least I can do is​ wait for the​ ice to​ clear and travel to​ the​ summit.

So I decide to​ wait another day. Hopefully the​ rain may also have cleared by then. It’s only later I realise,​ not only is​ it​ the​ wrong day,​ but the​ wrong season and the​ snow will not clear until the​ summer. For now,​ however,​ it’s time for lunch.




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