Travels with MaryE

Most things I love best are about good light and good timing. That's where the adventures start. Don't be in no hurry here. Here you'll find a little bit about bluegrass music, fox hunting, life on the road, time on the mountain, and a whole lot about other things, too.

Friday, November 09, 2007

The Lovely Elan Valley

Last Sunday a friend and I went over to the Elan Valley, one of the "local" tourist traps I suppose, but really a lovely place, especially this time of year when the fall colors add interest to the eye and when there aren't so many cars driving around those narrow roads. It's a lovely spot and one where I enjoy doing some hiking as well. There wasn't time for a hike, but ample time for photos. So here are a few of mine and visit for others (see the Mid Wales section) taken by my friend kmo.

Folks used to get around a lot more slowly than we do these days, so these kinds of roadside markers can be found here and there. Yep, they look like tombstones, and they've stood the test of time. This one informs the traveler that it's 29 miles to Aberystwyth, a coastal Welsh city which is also well worth a visit. God only knows how long it would have taken a traveler 100 years ago to reach Aberystwyth, but it would have been an arduous road over mountains to be sure. What a welcome sight that must have been to see the city glittering by the seaside. There are still many Victorian buildings lining the beach there.

A little further up the road we came to the dams. There are four dams in the Elan Valley, including the relatively recent Claerwen Dam (which we didn't get to visit on Sunday). The two I've photographed were built around 1900, I think. There were so many workers involved (many of whom died for the cause) that Elan Village was created and can still be visited today (sorry, didn't get any photos of that either). Like with so many reservoirs, farms and churches and settlements were flooded in the name of progress (namely, a water supply for distant Birmingham). So here's a few of my photos from the nice afternoon.
Nearby is the charming village of Rhayader, complete with several pubs and inns, B&Bs, village shops and a nice war memorial clock tower in the middle of it all.
Next time you're out this way be sure to pay a visit to the Elan Valley. And if you have some extra time you can take the road out of Elan Valley toward Abergwesyn, another lovely drive.


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