Sunday, May 3, 2015

Wales: Caernarfon Castle

Hey, peeps!  We had a garage sale yesterday, and while we didn't get rid of as much stuff as we were hoping to, we still made a few hundred dollars and that's better than a sharp stick in the eye.  Today is all about the relaxin', since we worked so hard yesterday.  (Well, hubs has to work on a paper, so I'll do some relaxin' for him!)

Let's pick back up with our Welsh blog posts and visit a castle you might be somewhat familiar with:  Caernarfon Castle.  If you are above a certain age, or a British history buff, you might remember that this is where Prince Charles was invested as the Prince of Wales.

And it's right next to a car park.  Which is British for parking lot.  Speaking of British, my parents laughed at me last week when I told them I was out running errands by myself and got back in the car--like, sat down and everything--before I realized I was on the wrong side of the car for driving in America.  Why is the steering wheel over there?  Oh yeah, because I'm not in Britain anymore.

The castle walls are in fairly good shape, and they enclose a pretty massive area.  Caernarfon was one of Edward I's several castles in Wales that were built to intimidate and control the fractious Welsh population (I should get cosmic bonus points for using such fun vocabulary words, really).  As impressive as the outside looks, the interior buildings were never finished because in addition to picking fights with the Welsh, Eddie also engaged the Scots in war and even a king has finite resources to build giant castles and wage massive wars against his neighbors. 

Caernarfon was sacked in a couple of Welsh revolts, and for the final time in the English Civil War, after which it was allowed to fall into disrepair.  I'm sure it's expensive to keep up even one castle, let alone however many there are in the British Isles.

They've got some nice exhibits in this castle, like a video recording you can watch of Charles' investiture in 1969, and if I remember correctly one of the towers houses a media room where they show a well-done movie about the Welsh revolts and Caernarfon's history.

As you can see, the weather was totally dreadful the day we were there ; )

Looking out toward where we parked our car.  I think there are better views from other castles that aren't so car parky.

I just liked the sky in this shot.

And there's some cool windows.

That circle there on the lawn is where Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth II performed the investiture ceremony in 1969.  Fun fact:  King Edward I's son (later King Edward II) was the first English Prince of Wales, and he was born at Caernarfon.  According to legend, Edward I told the Welsh that he would give them a prince of Wales (which before then had been a title of Welsh leaders) who spoke not a word of English, and then brought out his infant son.  Might not have actually happened, but it makes a good story.

We couldn't really find a good spot to get a good exterior shot of the castle; we spent some time walking through the town (and had breakfast there before we went in) but there's too much other stuff close up to get a good panoramic shot.

Castle selfie!  Up next:  could it be...another castle?!

1 comment:

CCsMom said...

I REALLY LIKE that castle. It's what you see in storybooks! But yeah, the present time has encroached a little bit too close to this castle. You need some lawn before you get to the castle.