A travel moment in Cymru

The car journey from London was fantastic. Once we crossed the border into ‘Cymru’ the landscape gradually became greener and hillier, with more treacherous roads and an abundance of sheep (and roadkill). Just the fact that the road signs were now in Welsh would have been enough to get me excited, but no, we were also treated to scenery so heart-breakingly beautiful I could actually feel it. No picture or description could possibly do those views justice. As we got closer to our destination it dawned on us that we really were going to a tiny remote village – there were no more traffic lights, but lonely-looking men holding stop signs and probably only holding them up to our car out of boredom, or perhaps out of wanting to be in the proximity of other humans for a few extra seconds (there really were a lot of sheep).

As we arrived in Dollgellau I had to gasp at just how cute this place that we were going to be staying in was. From the sparse descriptions I had found on the internet, I had expected Dollgellau to be a bit grey and miserable; basically somewhere to sleep after our days out in Machynlleth. Well, grey it was, but the gorgeous flint-coloured grey of wonky little buildings and narrow labyrinthine alleyways set in the midst of massive hills (can you call them mountains if there’s no snow on top?). It looked like a fairytale stage set. We eventually found our B&B, Ty Seren (or ‘Three Stars’) hiding behind a teeny tiny town hall/church building, but no-one was home. I rang the number I had been given, and a lady cheerily told me she was buying ingredients for our breakfast, and she would be back in a few minutes. I was impressed that such a small town was able to cater for vegans like me; I was expecting to have to explain what I do and don’t eat, just like I have to do almost daily in London, and then maybe just revert to plain old vegetarianism for a few days to make everyone’s lives easier.

Inside Ty Seren were wonky old floors and uneven stairs, and every inch of the place was decorated with some kind of unusual object or ornament. The bedroom was small but comfortable, with a little ensuite bathroom attached. The owner was kind and helpful, giving us advice on things to do in the area and a surprisingly long list of restaurants.

The restaurant we went to on our first night, Y Sospan, was so good that I swear my boyfriend still dreams about it. The menu was nothing special, just a handful of options – the veggie main being risotto, and some lovely risotto at that – but Paul’s roasted pork belly was apparently so delectable that nothing he’s ever eaten since can possibly compare to it. The desserts were also rather wondrous – we shared some sort of chocolaty concoction made by angels and left in an uplifted mood.

S Allan

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