« PředchozíPokračovat »
This Llanberris itself is a place not soon to tire of. than once already, is a round tower, or peel, which There are short walks for showery days, and long ones stands on a rock between the two lakes: its date is for fine: the lakes, as well as the mountains, change not known; it has no history; and not even a tradition their hue with every change of weather as well as hour that is worth repeating, or that may not be easily surof the day. Light, gay, and cheerful are they, as the passed by the invention of any tourist who likes the noontide sun plays over them, and the green slopes, occupation of tradition making. However, it is a very and the gray tower are reflected in the tremulous picturesque object standing just where it does; and water, while the mountains stand out with a firm out- there is, moreover, a capital view from it of the two line against the deep azure of the sky. Illumined by lakes and the surrounding mountains. It therefore the rising or touched by the sinking sun, they rise into deserves the place it invariably finds in the sketchexceeding beauty. In the evening, when white mists books of lady sketchers. are creeping along the valley, and the summits of the About three-quarters of a mile from the hotel, in mighty mountains are crested with clouds, while the sides a deliciously cool and secluded spot, is a waterfall, that are of a deep brownish purple hue, except where gilded it is quite a pleasure to stroll to on a sunny afternoon. by the last rays of the sun, and ihe water lies still and Caunant Mawr is the name of it, which is, being intergloomy, or curls in sullen black waves,--then it wears preted, “ the cataract of the great chasm :" the name an aspect of sombre grandeur that might almost be pretty well expresses the character of it; but it is called sublime. But if the tourist hesitate to apply hardly so grand an affair as it is sometimes described that epithet then, he will no longer doubt of its appro- to be. The water breaks through the rocks, and then priateness, if he be fortunate enough to be at the lower rushes down a long diagonal ledge into the deep chasm; end of the Vale as night is drawing on, and a storm is it has a somewhat peculiar and certainly a very beaugathering and ready to burst over the mountains. We tiful effect, when there is a good deal of water, and the have seen only a‘little' storm here, and can only imagine slanting rays of the sun are glancing upon it. The what must be the effect of a great one ; but for it we rocks are lofty and wild ; abundant foliage starts from could be content to endure a good deal. It is hardly the crevices, and overhangs the noisy current. This necessary to say that the lakes and the valley will be is one of the pleasant short strolls : others
be but imperfectly seen, if not seen from the lake as well found wherever there is an opening in the mountains; as from the shore ; or that the mountain slopes should and especially wherever there is a streamlet, though also be ascended, or some of the choicest scenes will of the smallest size. From some of the narrow openbe missed. On the effect of moonlight, too, we will ings on the north side of the upper part of the valley be silent.
there are glorious views of Snowdon. But the grandest The steep high crags on the northern side of the feature of this neighbourhood, apart of course from lake are peopled during the day with a busy army of Snowdon, is the Pass of Llanberris. It is an exquarrymen, whose works add to the wild look, though tremely narrow pass, above three miles long, between but little to the beauty, of the place. There are bere losty and precipitous mountains. Huge masses of rock very extensive slate-quarries, and a rail-road winds have fallen, and others are threatening to fall. The along the side of the lake, and down the valley of the rocks are black, bare, and deeply shattered. A narrow Seiont, to the wharf under Carnarvon Castle. Only brook forces its way along the gloomy bottom. Not at intervals is anything seen of this railway, unless very many years ago there was only a rough horse-road you are close to it; but it is not a little curious, through the Pass; and travellers described it as “a while you are gazing over the seemingly solitary land tremendous hollow," and with one voice pronounced scape, to hear the puffing of a locomotive engine, and it “ sublime.” Now that an excellent carriage-road is then to behold it, with its train of heavily-laden carried through it, it has lost somewhat of its terrors wagons, emerge from behind some huge crag, and and of its sublimity: it needs to be traversed at nightcome panting along the edge of the lake. On the fall to realize its former grandeur; yet is it at all times opposite side of the lake is another but less extensive a most impressive scene; more impressive, perhaps, slate-quarry; there are also two or three copper-mines than any similar spot in this region of grandeur. The in the valley. These works together give employment look-out from the Pass upon Dolbadern Castle and the to some two thousand workmen. A large proportion lakes--a peep singularly beautiful in itself-is quite of them live at a distance; and it is amusing to watch a relief when first beheld. It will remind the tourist them, after work is done, returning to their homes in (though a far grander scene) of the Winnats of the the evening. Many, to save the labour of walking, Derbyshire Peak. Here, up the openings on either skim rapidly along the railway by means of machines hand, may be found walks impossible to enumerate, which run on the rails, and are propelled by the action but many of them far finer than those along which of the feet upon treadles; while others descend the ordinary tourists follow each other, sheep-like. lake in boats, forming quite a little procession. The Snowdon---the chief mountain of Wales, the highest large hotel, by the way, was built by the owner of the mountain south of the Forth-will of course be chief slate-quarry, and, somewhat characteristically, is ascended. There are several points from which the built of slate.
ascent may be made; and either may be chosen, as Dolbadern Castle, which has been mentioned more best suits the convenience of the visitor : neither of them is very difficult; that from Dolbadern is the or a gleam of sunshine touches it, and causes it to start easiest. The tourist must not reckon on a perfectly forth from the neighbouring gloom! And then the clear day; for Snowdon might, in Homeric phrase, soft, almost invisible distance—the glittering sea-the be styled the cloud-former: but if one does occur placid llyns--no, we do not envy those who have only while anywhere in the neighbourhood, the tourist been here on a clear day. should on no account neglect to avail himself of it; It is said to be a noble spectacle to behold the sunanother may not offer. Yet a dull day need not deter rise from Snowdon: and so doubtless it is. But we any one. If a guide be employed-and, unless accus- never saw Snowdon clear of clouds in the morning, tomed to the mountains, it is scarcely prudent to go and are a little sceptical whether it ever has been seen, without one- :-his judgment as to the fitness of the day though we once met one person who vowed he saw may be trusted: a wet or cloudy morning often clears off, a glorious sunrise from the summit. The tourist may so as to afford the most brilliant prospects. The road try his fortune. There are a couple of huts on the commences near the hotel by Dolbadern Castle, and summit, erected especially for the accommodation of is, for the better part of the way, a well-beaten one. wanderers, wherein all plain provision is made for Ilorses ascend to within three-quarters of a mile of the their comfort. And there may be compensation found, summit: and they will of course be used by ladies and if the sunrise be not witnessed; for it is affirmed that dandies; but men, who can climb a mountain, will not the Druids proclaimed that the man who stayed all require their assistance. There is a perennial spring night on Yr Wyddfa would certainly become, for the some distance short of the summit, where the thirsty nonce, inspired. These huts are really pleasant things climber may refresh himself.
to find in this bleak spot, even in the day-time. A The prospects on this side of Snowdon are not con- snug fire-side, with a cigar and a noggin of whisky, sidered equal to those met with in ascending from if that way inclined; or a cup of coffee, if it be preBeddgelert; but there are some glorious views not ferred, is a real luxury, while the mountain-top is withstanding. Exquisite prospects are occasionally wrapped in a dense damp cloud. We will whisper to obtained of the lakes and valley of Llanberris ; and, the traveller, however, that he had better carry his presently, noble ones of Glydyr Fawr, and the vales own cigars; for the host's are of detestable flavour, and beyond. Snowdon himself, with his enormous but- ---sixpence a piece. tresses, is often a magnificent object : and as one and The descent from Snowdon may be very well made another of the shadowy cwms opens with an inky tarn to Beddgelert, if it be desired to visit that place. The lying in its bosom, and a far-reaching glimpse of views in that direction are very different from those on distant country is caught sight of, you are tempted to the side by which we ascended, and exceedingly fine. wonder what the finer prospects on the other side can You have to pass over on one side of what Mr. Bingley possibly be.
describes as “a tremendous ridge of rock, called The summit of Snowdon-Yr Wyddfa, the Con- Clawdd Coch, the Red Ridge. This narrow pass,” he spicuous, is the name of the highest peak-is 3,571 feet continues, so not more than ten or twelve feet across, above the sea. The view from it embraces the Ingle- and two or three hundred yards in length, was so steep borough mountains in Yorkshire; the mountains of that the eyes reached, on each side, down the whole Westmorland and Cumberland; the Highlands of extent of the mountain. And I am persuaded that in Scotland; the Isle of Man ; the mountains of Wicklow, some parts of it, if a person held a large stone in each and a good deal of the Irish coast; a large part of the hand, and let them fall both at once, each might roll principality, with the sea of mountains, and five-and-above a quarter of a mile; and thus, when they stopped, twenty lynns; and a wide range of country besides, they might be more than half a mile asunder.” Clawdd All, of course, cannot be seen at any one time while Coch is certainly a rough bit, but far less " tremendous" the sun is above the horizon ; but a large portion may than Striding Edge on Helvellyn. And as for what is be seen on a clear, calm day. We have not been for said of the falling stones, we carried some with us--tunate enough to be on the summit on a clear day, yet good rollers--and hurled them with all our might; the views from Snowdon will dwell in our memory and though not so strong or
so skilful as in our among the most cherished of our recollections of moun- younger days, our arm has not quite lost its cunning ;tain prospects. Marvellously beautiful is the scene, yet we could not induce them to go, even one at a when, in a moment, the clouds are rent asunder, and time, within a mortifying distance of a quarter of let in the view of a wide stretch of distant country a mile: and we are constrained to say that this is, like smiling softly in the gentle sunshine : it is like the the difficulties and dangers of the way, much magrevelation of a new land. Then, too, what a magnifi- nified. cent gathering of majestic mountains are around We have two or three times spoken of Snowdonia : you, the clouds rolling away one after another, and it may be as well to explain the term. displaying ever new wonders-peaks and chasms and rally known as Snowdonia is the mountain district, of glassy lakes! Again, as the shadows fly swiftly over which Snowdon is the highest point and leading feature. the seemingly level champaign, how does one and Its boundaries are not very precisely defined; for our another mountain appear to rise into existence, as a purpose be enough to say that it includes the shadow rests upon it, while all around is vivid light, whole of the mountains of Carnarvonshire, from Penmaen Mawr on the north to Moel Hebog on the south,-- or changed since then: "I really can't make out what from sea to sea. In this range are the highest and the so many ladies and gentlemen come into this rough most magnificent mountains of Wales: it is a tract of wild place to see,” said a Snowolon farmer to us one wild rocky passes and ravines, of lofty precipices, deep day: "if all the mountains were polished silver, I chasms, foaming rivers, bold waterfalls, numerous doubt if more fine folks would come to stare at thein ; llyns, gloomy and gay vallies. Now it is traversed and if all the crevices were full of gold, I don't think in every direction by good roads, though between them some of them could pore closer into them ... there lie yet many secluded and seldom-visited spots. Once they go, climbing, and toiling, and chipping at the a vast and thick forest spread over a considerable crags, as if they were paid for it; instead of paying, portion of the district, and the whole was a savage and as they do, pretty smartly at our hotels into the bargain. unreclaimed region. Snowdonia was the last strong- Prospects! Beauty! well, I was once in Linhold of the Britons. To its fastnesses, inaccessible to colnshire, and there was a prospect, if you
What is gene
like! My the foe, the princes and the warriors of Wales retreated, heart! it was all as flat and smooth as your hand as and there held out, long after the open country was far as you could see in every direction: and such wrested from them. Every pass was fortified; and it crops! I call that beauty.” As Crabbe sings : was a difficult undertaking to beard the native lion in
“ It is the soul that sees : the outward eyes such a den: but Edward united caution and perse
Present the object, but the mind descries-verance with military skill. The stronghold of the
And thence delight, disgust, or cool indifference rise.'' Britons was rather blockaded than forced, and the last Prince of Wales was at length compelled to submit. The forest spoken of above was chiefly around When Snowdonia was gained, Edward felt that his Snowdon. It was so dense, in the tenth century, that conquest was assured. He celebrated his victory by Howell Dha is reported to have offered to any one who gathering here the chivalry of Europe to a magnificent would clear any portion of it, the freehold of the land tournament.
so cleared ; notwithstanding, it is said by native authoIt was only in comparatively recent times that rities, that it might already be the property of any strangers penetrated into the district--if they could other individual. This was a part of "the good old keep out of it. Old Speed shows pretty plainly in plan.” As late as the time of Henry VIII., a keeper what light it was regarded in his day : " But for the of Snowdon Forest was duly appointed ; and it conheart of Carnarvonshire," he says, “it is altogether tinued to be a deer forest some time later. Now all mountainous, as if Nature had a purpose here, by that remains of Snowdon Forest is the name : its rearing up these craggy hills so thick together, strongly existence is matter of history and tradition. to compact the joints of this our island, and to frame Every one comes to Wales mainly for the sake of the inland part thereof for a fit place of refuge to the the mountains and the mountain scenery ; and whatBritons, against those times of adversity which after- ever is grandest and most characteristic in Welsh wards did fall upon them; for no army, though never mountain scenery is brought together and concentred so strongly, or scarce any travellers, though never in Snowdonia. A month devoted to this district alone so lightly appointed, can find passage among these so would provide food for the intellect and the imagination many rough and hard rocks, so many vales and pools for years to come. Few tourists are able or willing to here and there crossing all the ways, as ready obstacles give more time than this to the whole of North Wales, to repel any inroads of foreign assailants.” Again, and that time is expended in visiting in succession after speaking of some of the marvellous tales told by every object that, for any reason, is celebrated ; and Giraldus Cambrensis, of this part of Wales, he adds : the arrangements are so made, as to devote to every " Touching those two other miracles, famoused by place and object as little time as it can possibly be Giraldus and Gervasius, that on those high Snowdon examined in. Not so can a mountainous country be hills there are two pools, called the Mears, the one of fitly explored or understood. It is not merely bare which produceth great store of fish, but all having only one eye ; and in the other there is a moveable island,
other to fight, and yet the day would be spent before they which as soon as a man treadeth thereon, it forthwith could meet to settle the quarrel: a happy thing, Speed
thinks, as thereby many a broken head is spared. By the floateth a great way off, whereby the Welsh are said
way, it would seem that Giraldus's marvels tempted some to have often 'scaped and deluded their enemies assail
to visit Snowdon in search of them, long before touring was ing them : these matters are out of my creed," writes fashionable. Thoinas Fuller, mentioning the floating island, Master Speed, intending to wind up with a smart hit: remarks: “ But it seemeth that it either always swimmietlı " and yet, I think, the reader had rather believe them away from such who endeavour to discover it, or clse that than go to see whether it be so or no.'
this vagrant, wearied with long wandering, hath at last fixed
itself to the continent.” He adds, moreover, that “the * Giraldus has some other marvels quite equal to that of one-eyed fishes are too nimble for any men with two eyes these monoculous fishes, belonging to this district; but it to behold them.” The rising of a buoyant island to the is the mountains of Merionethshire which he attirms are so surface of a lake is by no means an uncommon phenomenon; lofty, and yet so precipitous, that two choleric shepherds there may have been one here: its floating away, so as to upon neighbouring summits may, from their proximity, enable the Welsh to escape from an enemy, may stand out very easily fall at odds in the morning, and challenge each of our creed, as it did out of honest Speed's.
hills and white waterfalls that are of interest and value. last station lies through the Pass of Llanberris, and The poetry of the mountains lies more in the ever- then by the valley of Nant-y-Gwryd, and consequently changeful phenomena that are their inseparable attend along much splendid scenery. But the Pass we may ants. A mountain is in itself the same to-day that it suppose to have been already sufficiently seen, and was yesterday ; but the appearance it presents to an Nant-y-Gwryd Vale will be traversed on the way to observant eye is very different: it has become another, Beddgelert. It will be better, therefore, for the pedesthough the same. Many of the circumstances which trian to make his way from Llanberris over the shoulder are most annoying to the mere sight-seer are really or summit of Glydyr Fawr, and thence by Llyn Idwall, what afford the richest enjoyment to one watchful of or along somewhat more to the right. He will obtain the varying phases of Nature. The grandeur and the some new and very grand views; those from the summit gloom of the mountains and the lakes, the most glorious of Glydyr Fawr are among the very finest in the disphenomena of which the mind, in such localities, is trict; but it is a rough route, and hardly to be hazarded, cognizant, are transitory, evanescent, fitful. If you perhaps, by a timid traveller, or one unused to wander would enjoy them, you must wait for them in patience; alone about the mountains. be abroad at all seasons to observe; and then, often Capel Curig, so called from its little chapel, dediwhen least anticipated, and in places seemingly the cated to the Welsh saint, Curig, is a wild, lonely spotleast likely, they reveal themselves to the willing eye a tiny village of half a dozen houses, about half a mile and heart. Day and night, summer and autumn, fair from the Holyhead-road, but having a capacious hotel, weather and foul, every hour and every season has its where is good accommodation, good fare, and an indeown charms and utters its own voice. Stormy weather, fatigable harper. From it, as a centre, an almost against which, not unreasonably, tourists generally endless variety of mountain strolls may be made : declaim, is, in truth, a thing to be especially coveted. moreover, in the rivers and llyns close at hand or Never do the mountains and the shadowy valleys so within easy distance, there is as good trout-fishing as, emphatically speak home to the heart as then. Whether perhaps, anywhere in Wales. From the garden of the it be as the gathering clouds herald the coming storm ; , hotel, or still better from the picturesque old bridge, or when half the landscape is wrapped in darkness and a little farther on, there is a splendid view of Snowdon, in tempest; as the lightning is breaking upon the with the double lake-the Llyniau Myınbyr-in front. sharp peaks and the thunder echoing along the hollows; (Cut, No. 7, ante, p. 346.) The walks beside these when the struggle between sunshine and gloom pro- llyns, in themselves an exquisite picture, and on the claims that the storm is passing away; or later, when hills which border them, are singularly beautiful. a soft rainbow is spanning the valley-alike is there in Moel Siabod, which lies just on the south, may be the sublimity or the loveliness a power which is never ascended from Capel Curig: the summit is 2,878 feet felt amid the quiet beauty attendant on an unclouded above the sea : it is reckoned to be nearly four miles sky. And though the mists are hardly to be admired from the inn-a rough climb, but the view on a fair when they envelope both hill and vale in a garment day will repay the labour.
On the summit is a tarn; of uniform gray; yet he knows little of mountain and in a hollow just under the summit on the east, is scenery, who does not recognize in them perhaps the a curious little llyn, with three islets in it. Either most valuable of poetic and picturesque auxiliaries. over or round Moel Siabod a way may be found to Let but a gleam of sunlight into the landscape, and Dolwyddelan; by the direct road, the distance is about how beautiful do the mists appear, whether congregating five miles. Dolwyddelan itself is a rude and quite about the summits or rolling along the slopes of the sequestered village. Tourists come into the vale mountains, hanging over the watercourses, or filling merely to visit the remains of Dolwyddelan Castle, the hollow ravines. What knows he of the mountains, a picturesque ruined tower, standing on a bluff rock, who has not wandered alone in some solitary nook, and encompassed by bold mountains. The castle was “When underneath the young gray dawn
in the 12th century the residence of Iorwerth Drwndwn A multitude of dense white fleecy clouds
-Edward Brokennose. The disfigurement of his Were wandering in thick flocks among the mountains, prominent feature was a double misfortune to him ; for Shepherdud by the slow unwilling wind ?”
not only was he thereby rendered less amiable in the SHELLEY.
eyes of the ladies-no small evil in the days of Welsh But we repeat, thoroughly to enjoy and appreciate chivalry-but he was pronounced to be, in consequence, this district, it is not enough to keep merely to the disqualified to wear the Welsh coronet; to which, else, beaten roads. Let the tourist wander at will wherever he would have been entitled, as eldest son of Owen he can find a way, and everywhere he will discover Gwynedd. He retired to Dolwyddelan, to conceal at unanticipated wealth. Scenes, whether of grandeur or once his chagrin and the cause of it. His son, famous beauty, or solitary desolation, will be alike recognized in Welsh history as Llewellyn the Great, was born at as of distinct individuality, complete and perfect in Dolwyddelan Castle. Through the long winding themselves, yet linked by imperceptible gradations into valley the Afon Lledr flows from its source on Moel harmony with surrounding scenes.
Lledr,—the huge mountain mass which blocks up the Capel Curig is another of the chief centres for head of the valley. This is not exactly a drawing. exploring Snowdonia from. The road to fro the room district, but there is much characteristic scenery to
be found by those who will search after it. Running of rocks, in three or four distinct streams, which redirectly south from the village of Dolwyddelan, there unite before plunging into the pool below; then in one is a Roman road distinctly traceable for some miles. wide foaming mass it rushes over the next rocky ledge, The are also other objects of archæological interest in and down a long and broad slope shattering into spray, the immediate vicinity. Hereabout, too, are several as it descends against the black projecting crags. Its copper-mines.
base is veiled by a shifting cloud of mist, over which, On entering the Holyhead road from Capel Curig, as a straggling sunbeam glances upon it, plays the and turning to the right with the little river which tremulous iris. Fragments of black rock, gemmed issues from the Llyniau Mymbyr, you have before you with many-coloured mosses, contrast with the transthe valley of the Llugwy, a vale well known to the lucent water and snowy spray. The sides of the artist and the angler : it leads to Betwys-y-Coed. ravine are steep, and grandly formed. Rich foliage The Llugwy is, throughout its short course, a lively, impends from them above the chasm, and climbs along changeful, rapid streamlet ; at one moment careering the ledges of purple slate. Nought is seen that intergaily along in broad daylight, presently hiding itself in feres with the impression of solitary grandeur and a narrow glen, or beneath a rich canopy of trees, and majesty; nought is heard but the roar of the falling again leaping over rocky barriers in sparkling water- waters. breaks or bolder cascades. So it goes on, gathering This waterfall may be readily compared with one strength in its way, till it reaches a spot where it flings of very different character, but of equal height and itself fearlessly down a deep ravine: and thither the extent, though not of equal quantity of water. Let tourist must not fail to bend his steps to witness the us visit it. You return past Capel Curig by way of spectacle.
the Vale of Llugwy. The valley appeared very beauRhaiadr-y-Wennol, the Cataract of the Swallow, is tiful in descending it, but it is much finer in ascending. not only one of the largest, but, to our thinking, the Lofty mountains are on either hand : on the left is the finest of the waterfalls in Wales : but so much depends vast form of Moel Siabod; on the right are the Carnon the circumstances under which such places are seen, eddiau David, and Llewellyn ; but at every turn, one that we would not have our meaning extended beyond or the other of them seems to march out directly before the literal expression ; other of the Welsh waterfalls you. On passing from the Llugwy, you enter upon may be even grander ; this is our favourite. Except a more open and somewhat boggy tract, lying at the when in flood, the river breaks over the highest ledge base of the bare, precipitous, and broken Trevaen