Returning home after our weekend away in Scotland both Michael and I were exhausted, but invigorated.
After spending so long laying down our roots in Castleton, it had been really exciting to break new ground, not just outside of our town, but outside of the country altogether. So many of our good friends warned us about moving to the UK. They told us that the UK was simply too small for two adventurous types like us to enjoy. They showed us the size of the UK compared to the size of the USA and told us that we’d be bored within a year. Whilst we certainly can’t refute the fact that the United States is much larger than the UK, what our friends didn’t take into account was the sheer amount of detail and density that could be found here.
In our first proper road trip to Scotland we were blown away by how many different places we passed on our journey up north. American road trips are characterised by long stretches of open expanses, punctuated by the occasional gas station. It doesn’t matter where in the States you’re driving, if you’re planning on travelling for more than a few hours then you can guarantee that you’ll find yourself driving through an interminable stretch of rural landscape for a good long while. There are far fewer of these sparse, wild places in the UK, which makes them all the more beautiful when you stumble across one.
It was the mountains from the Highlands that got Angie so eager to see North Wales, long after we returned from that trip she would pore over the photos and videos that she’d taken whilst we were driving through them on the way to Oban. It didn’t take long before she’d started researching the other high points in the UK and how long it would take for us to get there. I was certainly pleased to find out that North Wales was only a couple of hundred miles away. More importantly, Snowdonia National Park, nestled in the centre of North Wales, promised wildlife, mountains and plenty more attractions.
When we first looked at places to visit in North Wales we soon realised that we were rather spoilt for choice. Seaside towns like Llandudno and Conwy were appealing for their Victorian charm, extreme sports activities looked thrilling and it also appeared that some of the best restaurants and hotels in the country resided there. We settled on a tidy looking cottage in Betws-y-Coed, just a short drive away from both Llandudno and Snowdon (the tallest peak in Wales), giving us more than a few options for day trips, including some rainy day backups. Our driving route promised to take us up and around the Welsh coast, stopping off at Menai Bridge and swooping through the Snowdonia National Park for one last scenic road trip.
We had our plan in place, all we needed now was to hit the road!