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Canon Buff ~ Papparazi Wanabe
By: Marizan Nor

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Sunday, 28-Aug-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Cymru #17

... slate ~ everywhere ...
Closing Chapter

Natasya Beddingfield in her song said " these words were my own, from my heart flow, I love you, I love you , I love you ". For those who have followed this series of my journey, the shots and write ups were indeed my own.

I left Wales via the A470 route that cuts through the Parc Cenedlaethol Eryri ( Snowdonia National Park ). I drove away leaving behind the beautiful sights but taking with me a treasure of memories. I have fallen in love with North Wales. Betwsy-Coed was the last typical small Welsh town I passed through before rejoining the A55 to Manchester.

Until this visit, I wasnt aware that slate contributed much to the post medieval growth of Wales. Slate left me a lasting impression of North Wales. It was more than mere rocks.

Hwyl Cymru ~ Goodbye Wales.

Saturday, 27-Aug-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Cymru #16

... call this
typical Welsh village setting....
.... & Snowdonia version of Hadrian Walls ...
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Journey Tail End

North Wales captivated me in so many ways. Its beauty, countryside charm, history, culture, heritage, engineering. Snowdonia and the small towns fringing the famous national park, have it all. I used to think the Lake District as the most unforgettable place in the UK. It is now relegated to second place.

The shots in my North Wales series would have conveyed the impressions of the places captured in my mind. However, they could not reflect my real joy and satisfaction. My journey to Iran a few years ago is the only other travel that surpasses my North Wales experience. It is unfortunate the images of Iran were captured before the advent of 300D ( shots with 300N ). What a shame.

In my mind, these shots depict life in the Snowdonia region. Rustic, Peaceful and Charming and quite like the 'Hobbit' country of New Zealand, don't you think?

Autumn is my favourite season and North Wales, I guess would be awesome then, just like the Lake District.

Friday, 26-Aug-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Cymru #15

... dream house view ~ sight for sore eyes ...
... the mountain backdrop ...
... joined by a co lens enthusiast ...
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( Iechyd da is Good Health greeting ).

The town setting is stunning with the sea in the forefront and the mountains of Snowdonia as the backdrop.

The town has a rich history. Before, Porthmadog was marshland. In the 19th Century ( about 200 years ago ), slate mining became big business in Wales. Porthmadog became the main seaport through which slate was exported to many parts of the world ( not unlike our Malacca port in the 16th Century ). Porthmadog also became known for shipbuilding. Engineers were deployed to built the ' Cob ', the dyke-like deep water main wharf for the ships. To transport the slate to the ships from the quarries, a 13 mile narrow gauge steam railway line was constructed on the (dyke) wharf. The Ffestiniog Railway survived till today. I was told, a ride (which I missed), would give a magnificent view of the old harbour and the mountains.

With the eventual slump in slate trade, the significance of Porthmadog declined. Tradition however is still very much alive. For a small town (the size of Rawang in Selangor), it boasts a Maritime Museum.

Thursday, 25-Aug-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Cymru #14

...such a scenic estuary ...
... old technology made good ...
... engineering ingenuity ...
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I was most at ease when I reached this town. The evening sun was bright and warm while the sea breeze whisper on my face as I focussed my lens.....what bliss! I can vouch that this little port town is the hidden jewel of North Wales. It’s a gem. I wouldn’t mind being lost here.

I developed an admiration for the Welsh language since my days in Swansea. I found it 'cute' as the pronunciation is not like how it is spelt. It is also unique as it is a county ( not national ) language. Not all Welsh can speak Welsh. Most prefer the adopted English language. However, being a small town, the Porthmadog locals speak completely in Welsh among themselves. In bigger towns I hardly hear them speak Welsh. They normally speak heavy-Welsh accented English. It's quite amusing to hear them converse. To my foreign ears, spoken Welsh sounds like Urdu because of all the tongue-rolling. Very interesting. Cheers. Iechyd da.

Wednesday, 24-Aug-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Cymru #13

... the metal bridge is not medieval ...
... standing strong beside the river ...
can steel armoured knights climb this stone wall?
View all 6 photos...
Caernarfon ~ Castle

In North and Mid Wales, there are 4 well known Castles constructed during the troubled medieval period. The great fortress-palace of Caernarfon is the most famous compared to Beaumaris, Conwy and Harlech.

After annihilating the Welsh resistance, King Edward 1 of England constructed the Caernarfon Castle stone fortress in the 13th Century ( about 1280’s ) to stamp his authority. The polygonal towers were unique compared to the then rectangular or circular designs common within the imperial power of Rome.

Today ( 700 years later ), the former military stronghold-cum-seat of government, remains standing; commanding the full view of the county river ( Afon is river in Welsh ) town of Caernarfon. In 1969, the investiture of Prince Charles ( the nemesis of Princess Diana ) as the Prince of Wales was held here.

I had my lunch at a Turkish restaurant close to the town square. The kebabs were yummy.......

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