Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wednesday, April 28, 1920

Bettws-y-Coed, North Wales is called by many the paradise of Wales. River, cataract, woodland, mountain all comingled. It is about 80 ft. above sea level. There are many artistic houses situated in gardens overlooking the river. The whole landscape looks like fairyland. The window of our room, looks out on a beautiful view of mountain, waterfalls, etc. and all the birds, trees and blossoms are strange. Early in the morning, went to Fairy Glenn. Surely the fairies have visited the spot. Some of the way was boggy, but the gorse, blue bells, broom, heather, the bracken and the wonderful rhododendrons repaid us. We had the four seasons all in one forernoon - had a snow storm in the Glen. Passed through the Kissing gate and over an historic stile. Then we went on to Conway’s Falls which simply repaid for the walk.

In roaming about, the stile is one of the very pleasant objects along country roads, and you are led aside often to gain new joy of English and Welsh scenery. Some of the stiles are in rugged stone walls, rudely graced with tongue ferns and foxglove. When we go by them we lose ourselves on wild mountain sides and in bogged valley, or come suddenly upon the place we want seeing it from some vantage even more picturesque.

Many of the old inns are historic in every sense of the word. We will always remember the “George” at Glastonbury. We can scarcely realize the important part pilgrimages played in the religious and social life of medieval times. To the majority of people they were the one opportunity and inducement to travel and brought people of all classes together from all parts of the country. The band of 30 pilgrims in Canterbury Tales, represents all ranks, from noble to peasant. Piety was the chief but not the only motive of the crowds who thronged the pilgrim ways. The pilgrims scrip and staff were the safe-guards in a lawless age and insured him hospitality wherever he went. At some of the most celebrated shrines, inns were provided by religious orders for pilgrims and this was the origin of George’s Inn.

The Abbey in its time was rich and stately. It was called the George from St. George the Dragon and was founded in 1489. Over the central doorway may still be seen arms of the Abbey and of Edward IV in whose reign the inn was built. We noticed a clock made in 1789 and a sofa made in 1706 beautifully hand-carved, - a fine display of pewter. All teams are driven tandem and the sheep have long tails. Bread is served in chunks or the whole loaf put on the table - They buy it and carry home without wrapping.

We visited such a funny little shop with a quaint little woman in charge - no order - everything apparently had been just dropped down in a heap. Visited the little old church built in the year 1000 and took a piece off a yew tree said to be 1220 years old. Such funny trees called Monkey trees!

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