Our ship stopped in Holyhead, Wales, the largest town on the island of Anglesey and is perhaps known best for being a busy ferry port.
The first castle we visited was the Mighty Caernarfon, the most famous of Wales's castles. Its sheer scale and commanding presence easily set it apart from the rest, and to this day, still trumpet in no uncertain terms the intention of its builder Edward I.
Begun in 1283 as the definitive chapter in his conquest of Wales, Caernarfon was constructed not only as a military stronghold but also as a seat of government and royal palace.
Standing at the mouth of the Seiont river, the fortress (with its unique polygonal towers, intimidating battlements and colour banded masonry) dominates the walled town also founded by Edward I. Caernarfon's symbolic status was emphasized when Edward made sure that his son, the first English Prince of Wales, was born here in 1284.
In 1969, the castle gained worldwide fame as the setting for the Investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales. I had a lot of fun climbing up the different towers.
View from the castle walls...
Beaumaris Castle on the Island of Anglesey is the great unfinished masterpiece. It was built as one of the 'iron ring' of North Wales castles by the English monarch Edward I, to stamp his authority on the Welsh. But it was never finished money and supplies ran out before the fortifications reached their full height.
Beaumaris is nonetheless an awesome sight, regarded by many as the finest of all the great Edwardian castles in Wales. Begun in 1295, it was also the last. The king's military architect, James of St George, brought all his experience and inspiration to bear when building this castle, the biggest and most ambitious venture he ever undertook. The castle has a "wall within a wall" design. It is quite impressive.
Judy with the swans and ducks in front of the castle...
The Welsh Coast...