“What part of the UK is unknown to us?” This question came up a year ago and we grabbed our atlas and reached out for – North Wales. Especially the region around Barmouth and the Snowdonia National Park looked interesting to us. We deeply investigated into it and decided to plan a two week vacation in Llanaber.
But before we can go we need accommodation, our ferry or EuroTunnel ticket, hotel reservations on our way to the UK and backwards, etc. I really can’t recommend any hotel or cottage vacation platform. I experienced several difficulties on different websites. I do prefer to use a single platform which I am using now for years without any problems, but they got bought by another big company most recently, and I don’t know if that is for us customers good or bad?
And, we had to be sure whether or not we will take our tandem with us. During all of our former visits to the UK we always took our bike with us. Because of the fact that Llanaber is at the Snowdonia National Park we had to be sure if the area is hilly with steep and narrow roads, etc. Google Maps is the right system to look closely at it.
We made our mind up, found a nice looking cottage in Llanaber and chose the time we would like to stay there. Early June might be the right period we thought and reached out for proposals ans offers. One offer on the Welcome Cottages website look quite nice and price wise acceptable. The cottage was nice furnished, the room well equipped and everything looked on the pictures nice and comfortable. Our inquiry for a reservation was answered immediately. We had to sign a contract that shifted all not calculable problems and faults to our responsibilities. We thought: “What can go wrong? Illness, accident, or any other big problem?” Therefore we booked this cottage with sea-view.
Because of the fact that we would take our tandem with us we had no choice to fly: Therefore we decided to take our car and “drive” through the EuroTunnel by train. We looked into the fares and found out that the later you take the train to cross the channel, the less expensive it gets. Our choice was the 17:50 hour schedule with a stop-over night in Ashford. This cuts down the total distance from Cologne to Llanaber into two segments of 498 km and 486 km. Our hotel choice for Ashford was the Holiday Inn Central.
Not taken into consideration was the fact that on that weekend – we decided to drive up to Wales – the UK school holidays ended. Many returning UK travellers got stranded at the Calais EuroTunnel port because of the fact that the operator of the line had technical difficulties. This caused a five hour delay for us before we could get on the train, although we had a valid ticket for a specific time. Our plan to have dinner with UK friends at the Holiday Inn on that particular evening we had to cancel. Finally, we arrived at 23:30 hours at the hotel in Ashford. Our room was still available because we called the hotel and told them in advance that we will be late.