It seems to be some sort of unwritten rule that meetups with Rachael involve running of some sort. For her birthday, we went to Snowdonia.
I had to stop on my drive up to take some photos because the sunset/view was absolutely stunning:
Anyway, to the bemusement of everyone else I managed to get all the way to Llanberis without the aid of satnav or google maps. I still maintain that it's not that difficult, but then again I've been to Llangollen/Bala kayaking so many times and once you get past that point there are only so many main roads and big towns and they all have signposts. But I digress.
Saturday morning was an early start to get to Conwy for parkrun! (see, I said there'd be running). The course there is very pretty, starting at an RSPB reserve and running along the estuary with views of the castle. The weather obviously helped, though it was rather hotter than I was expecting! I ran 31 minutes at consistent pace, which I was pleased with as I've got a 10k in September and have still not managed to run anywhere near that distance...
We regrouped afterwards for breakfast cake in the café and decided that as we were so close, we may as well visit the castle.
I'd been before when I was little, but that was a long time ago and I was dragged around so many Welsh castles that I struggle to remember which is which. There's a lot of Conwy castle still standing, including eight towers you can climb to the top of. Not a bad view, as you'd expect.
The fun didn't stop at running and castles though.. We headed off down the A470 to Blaenau Ffestiniog and Bounce Below. I have a feeling I'd been to Llechwedd Slate Caverns as child too, but recently it's reinvented itself as an activity centre, with massive zip lines, mountain biking and underground trampolines.
Bounce Below is several levels of trampoline nets suspended in an old slate cavern. There were ramps to climb up (including a massive and very cool spiral), and to get back down you had slides made from tubes of netting. I was not at all keen on the slides - similar to water slides, urgh. I also didn't particularly like it when people jumped around, but given that they're trampolines I can't complain too much!
Our hour of bouncing went really quickly, and it's safe to say we were all exhausted afterwards. Luckily there is a café on site for paninis and ice cream