Wales - Narrow Gauge Rail Journey from Abreystwyth

Grand Tour - Wales - Day 753

Welsh (and also English) roads are narrow, very narrow and super narrow. When there is oncoming traffic, it is usually the case that they both stop and cuddle past each other with their mirrors folded in. Nevertheless: the fairytale roads are simply beautiful, brimming with romance and a wealth of bends.

We arrive in Abreystwyth (and I wonder how one is ever supposed to remember all those names), meet other Bernese in a car park and thus chat away our waiting time.

Because: Today we will stroll through the national park by narrow-gauge steam train: 12 miles, 200 metres in altitude and about 30 minutes we will pass wide fields, rugged mountain landscapes and enchanted forests. 

We sit in the open wagon, right at the front, directly behind the locomotive. After all, we are explorers and want to see everything in detail. That won't turn out to be quite so clever, because the wind is cool, the ashes of the steam locomotive fly merrily onto our picnic and our faces, hair, clothes and glasses are flecked with black after just a few minutes. 

At the end of the train ride we have about an hour to look at the "Devil's Bridge". Once again we realise that we are getting around quite a bit: in Switzerland the devil made a pact and built the bridge, in Bulgaria as well. And now here.

The story goes that the devil offered an old woman to build the bridge over the gorge. In return, the first soul to cross the bridge would be his. The old woman sent a goat across the bridge and the devil, as the name suggests, was furious. If I remember correctly, this is roughly the same story as that of the Devil's Bridge in the Schöllenen Gorge.

Back to the train, we wanted to do better: this time we sat at the very back of the open carriage. We found ourselves clever and were rewarded this time: everything was fine. Only the rain in a carriage open at the side was not the most brilliant of our ideas.

In search of a cosy parking space, we stop in the harbour town of New Quay, stroll along the pier and enjoy watching a family of dolphins playing. But as nice as the town is, we are not allowed to park here overnight. So we move on and break one of our travel rules: never look for a place in the dark.

It is already late, the sun is more than low over the sea and we find a pitch directly on the beach. However, we will only be able to appreciate how beautiful the site is on the following day.

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Merci for "travelling with us

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New lecture in Muri near Bern.

10 November 2023 - Start 7 pm, door opening 6:45 pm

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Road trip realities

How we manage to live in the van

Leben pur! Unterwegs. Whether at icy -30 °C in the Lapland winter or in the sand of the Tunisian desert, whether in the left-hand traffic of England or along picturesque dream coasts of Europe. Whether in the hot summer of Turkey or in the "interesting" traffic of Georgia.

We report on frozen sliding doors, living together on 9.5 square metres, the inevitable sand in the desert and unforgettable ferry trips. We look at how we make do with little and still have way too much.


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Rachel Hirt
Rachel Hirt
11 months ago

The little devil looks good on you 😉😁