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A Cycle Trip to North Wales - a German Perspective

At Pensarn your editor recently (summer 2004) encountered Mario Canella and his friend Carsten, who were both from Germany and had never cycled in Britain before. This is the story of their trip to North Wales as told in a letter.

Dear Roy,

    So finally I took some time to write about the trip of Carsten and myself.   

The two friends cycle beside the sea

Mile upon mile of seaside cycling - rich memories to take back to Germany

     We planned for a long time to visit the brother of Carsten who lives at the
moment in Runcorn. Okay, why shouldn't we take our bikes and stay a little longer and do a bike tour?

    I really like the sea. So I convinced Carsten to do a trip following the
coast of Wales. We arrived at the airport in Manchester. From there we took the train going to Chester.
    It was raining like crazy, but we were prepared and took out our rain
    We had to get to Connah's Quay where we stayed the first night.
From there we wanted to go to Conwy. It was a little difficult to find the
right way, because sometimes we didn't find the signs for the route 5. But
we found always nice and kind people, who helped us, like Roy !!!

    Coming to Colwyn Bay we started really liking the bike tour, because it got
more beautiful.

A quiet lane heading into the heart of the Snowdonia mountains

Glyder Fach in the clouds from Lon Ogwen cycle path

     I really liked the cities in the west part of Wales. The youth hostel in Conwy was really nice. We met swearing fishermen and we had a lot of fun with them.

    The next day started the difficult part! We went to Bangor (still easy) and
from there to Capel Curig, which is somewhere in the mountains of the Snowdonia Park. It was quite tough going uphill for two hours with all the luggage and the rain. But to be honest, I liked to go in this area, because we had a good time with the welsh sheep.


Metal sculptures of two mountain goats

Lon Ogwen's quarry sculptures

    Totally wet did we get to the youth hostel of Capel Curig. We were a little early, because the hostel opens at 5 p.m. But we were really wet and cold. So we tried to get in there before to take a shower.

    The next day (last day of our trip) we went back to the coast of Colwyn Bay
and there we met Roy, who was really kind and interested in our trip and how
we liked it so far. He really helped us with his experience and also with a drink in a bar.


The friends outside Hughes Cycles of Rhyl holding bubble wrap

Hughes Cycles, Rhyl - never has bubble wrap been more welcome!


(It was at this point that your editor was told that our friends anticipated some difficulty returning to Germany by air as they had disposed of the cycle packaging they had used on the outward journey. A quick call to Sandra at  Hughes Cycles of Rhyl revealed that she had just received merchandise packed in bubble wrap, which she was only too pleased to let our travellers have.)


Thank you for being so kind, Roy. Carsten and myself won't forget you.


Carsten and Mario seated, relaxing at Rhyl

Carsten and Mario relaxing at Rhyl's Outdoor Arena


Editor's footnote

For much of their journey Mario and Carsten rode on Route 5 of the National Cycle Network. For the eight mile traffic-free section from Chester to Connah's Quay they were able to avoid one of the most traffic congested areas in this part of the country. After Connah's Quay they visited Holywell, renowned for the healing properties of its waters, and thereafter took the lanes to rejoin the national route at Prestatyn.