Two mountains were climbed. On Bank Holiday we made a rapid ascent of the Arenig Fawr. The evening train took us to a way-side station nearly 1,200 feet up, leaving us 1,600 feet to climb up the steep face to the summit. This feat took just under one hour. From the top we could see Llandudno, the Nevin Peninsula and Cardigan Bay to the north, with Radnor Forest and Plynlimmon to the south, as well as the Arenig Lake at our feet, a thousand feet below.
The Aran climb was-made in wind and rain from Drws-y-nant station at the head of the wild pass leading to the coast. Here again we looked over a sea of mountain tops wreathed in clouds, with an even steeper precipice dropping to another lake at our feet. This part of Merfohethshire is about the "Welshest" part of Wales. English apparently is spoken only to visitors. In fact, we had to search carefully for church services in English. Fortunately, we were close to the prettily-situated old parish church of Llanycil, where English and Welsh services alternate. We filled the church for its once-a-month Communion in English, usually only attended by some half-a-dozen local speakers of that tongue. We walked past tombstones in Welsh, found Welsh prayer-books and hymn-books in the pews (English ones were fetched from the vestry for us), and saw the Ten Commandments inscribed in Welsh on the chancel wall, and memorial windows in Welsh along the aisles.
As for place-names: well, we wonder whether the station announcer at Chester ever dares to recite the names of the stations at which the trains to Barmouth stop. How would you recite such a list as Cynwyd, Glyn-dyfrdwy, Llanuwchllyn, Garneddwen, Drwsy-nant, Cwmprysor or Trawsfynydd? But these names are like the countryside — wild Wales indeed, but magnificent in its wilderness. The scenery along the Dee valley and down the pass into Barmouth is unsurpassed in this country, and the climax is the view up the estuary from Barmouth bridge, where the whole scene reminded us of our recent travels across the Alpine lakes.
F. ROWSWELL. - Writing in the St Michael's Parish Magazine.