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Mountain ; from which, and from the opposite moun- | cable, while the Pass of Benglog was “the most dread
The Ogwen river, which issues from Llyn Ogwen, with mountains of bold form and noble proportions, flows through a short but close and savage gorge, called which rise abruptly from its shadowy surface. Like the Pass of Benglog, and then precipitates itself over the scenes we have just left, all is barren, desolate, a lofty wall of broken rocks, forming the famous Falls savage grandeur. Not a tree waves on either bank : of Benglog-the object of our journey. The entire only here and there a scanty herbage obtains lodgment height is said to be, and no doubt is, above a hundred on the sides of the mountains. The occasional move. feet; but it is broken up into a number of separate ment of a boat, in which a busy angler is plying his craft, falls. Nothing hardly can exceed the severe rugged almost alone breaks the perfect quiet, without, however, character of the scene. On either hand are the grim disturbing the repose of the scene. (Cut, No. 13.) black slate rocks, and along the bed of the stream are This Llyn Ogwen we ought, perhaps, to mention in huge detached fragments of a similar kind: in front passing, is famous for a trout of small size, but delicious tower the lofty sides of the Pass, while the shattered flavour, which is taken in it in large quantities. The Trevaen fills up the opening, lifting its dark bare peaks tourist may partake of some of them (or of others as to the clouds. Not a tree, hardly a shrub, is within good) at Capel Curig; and we suppose it is hardly ken: all is barren, naked, shattered rock. Were there needful to remind him that it is “matter of breviary,” a sufficient body of water to unite the separate falls as Friar John des Entommeures would say, to order a into one mighty cataract, Benglog might most fearlessly dish of lake trout when they can be transferred direct compare
any waterfall in the kingdom for a savage from the lake to the pan--that is, of course, if he grandeur approaching to sublimity. As it is, the Fall esteem such a dish a dainty. appears almost insignificant from the magnitude of its But to come back to the lakes. A mile or so from accompaniments. A waterfall around which plays rich Llyn Ogwen, up the Glydyr mountains, there is a and graceful foliage, while the bright wild flowers start smaller lake, Llyn Idwal, which, except in magnitude, from every crevice of the rocky sides, and cluster on is of even nobler character. Of its size, Llyn Idwal the margin of the channel below, may be lovelier and is probably without a rival. It lies in a deep gloomy more pleasing when only a comparatively small stream hollow; bare rocks rise precipitously from it, and is leaping lightly from ledge to ledge, and all the sur- darken by their heavy shadows and sombre reflections rounding beauty is reflected in the deep and lustrous its calm and quiet surface into intensest blackness. pool, into which the pellucid water gently falls, than On one side the vast rock is split, as though cleft by when, swollen by storms, the broader bed is filled by a a giant's blow: it bears the name of the Black Chasm' discoloured and almost unbroken flood : but one where -Twll ddu. There is something almost awful in the all around is naked rock, and all the permanent forms stillness, the solitude, and the gloom. The native are on a scale of vastness and grandeur, requires that tradition that the lake received its name from a youthful the water shall be of correspondent greatness and force, prince of Wales, who was murdered here by his fosteror a feeling of incompleteness is inevitably experienced. father, seems but appropriate to the place. Hence it is, that while Benglog never fails to produce These lesser mountain lakes are an important and a powerful impression, it is yet unsatisfactory and characteristic feature of Snowdonia, which the tourist disappointing-at least in ordinary seasons: we can who can wander at leisure over the district ought not easily imagine that, during or immediately after a great to neglect. To notice all of them, if desirable, which storm, or on the melting of the snows, it must be, with it is not, would be quite impossible ; for there are in the surrounding objects, a magnificent scene.
the district some fifty, of various sizes. But a few The valley into which the Ogwen flows from Benglog general remarks may not be out of place. In Wales is the celebrated Nant-Francon--the Hollow of Beavers, all the lakes and pools, of whatever size, or wherever The scenery along it is very striking. On both sides situated, are called llyns; but it would be as well if, rise to a great height bare and precipitous crags; in as in Cumberland, the small mountain lakes bore a the hollow lies a strip of marshy meadow of brightest different title: there they are called tarns. They are verdure, with the stream winding quietly through the too much neglected by the mountain rambler, these midst. As you descend towards Bangor the vale mountain llyns. Happy would it be if the young becomes gradually tamer; but upwards it increases in tourist would learn to draw from such objects the boldness and majesty at every step, as the Pass of enjoyment and the poetry they are capable of inspiring. Benglog, with the Glydyr and Trevaen Mountains In Wordsworth’s ‘Scenery of the Lakes,' there is a beyond, rise into importance, and at length seem to passage descriptive of the Cumberland tarns, so beauclose in the head of the valley. When Pennant wrote, tiful in itself, and with the change of that one word so the road through Nant-Francon was scarcely practi- exactly applicable to the Welsh mountain llyns, that we
are tempted to extract it, instead of enlarging on the without staying to bestow on any thing or place more subject in our own feeble phraseology: admirably will than a passing and cursory glance. it instruct the tourist who has not been used to regard On leaving Capel Curig you proceed along Nant-ysteadily and thoughtfully, the various classes of natural Gwryd, and by the Llyniu Mymbyr—a vale of whose objects, how much of beauty and poetry there is in beauties we have already spoken. When Gorfwysfa every piece of Nature's handiwork, if contemplated in is reached, the tourist will not do amiss to make it, the light of a trustful imagination. He says :--" The for a few moments, his ‘resting-place ;' for that is the mountain tarns can only be recommended to the notice meaning of the name of the eminence. From it there of the inquisitive traveller who has time to spare. | is a fine peep into the Pass of Llanberris. Onwards They are difficult of access and naked; yet some of is the Nant-y-Gwynant,-a vale that lies quiet and them are, in their permanent forms, very grand; and peacefully under the shadow of the mighty Snowdon : there are accidents of things which would make the a pleasant vale as a man might desire to wander about meanest of them interesting. At all events, one of at leisure, and penetrate at will into its recesses. Up these pools is an acceptable sight to the mountain high on this side it is that the grim black Cwm Dyli wanderer ; not merely as an incident that diversifies lies--one of the deepest cwms on old Snowdonthe prospect, but as forming in his mind a centre or nursing in its ample bosom Llyn Llydaw, the largest conspicuous point to which objects, otherwise discon- and finest of the giant's tarns. The huge mountain, nected or insubordinate, may be referred. Some few with its dark red precipices, is a noble object as seen have a varied outline, with bold heath-clad promon- from many parts of this vale. The stream that comes tories; and, as they mostly lie at the foot of a steep down from Llyn Llydaw forms a cataract in its descent, precipice, the water, where the sun is not shining upon then flows along the bottom of Nant-y-Gwynant, and it, appears black and sullen ; and, round the margin, presently expands into one of the very loveliest little huge stones and masses of rock are scattered ; some lakes in Wales. Llyn Gwynant is not above a mile defying conjecture as to the means by which they came in length, and about a quarter of a mile broad, but is thither; and others obviously fallen from on high- of the richest character. The mountains around are of the contribution of ages! A not unpleasing sadness fine and pleasing form ; the banks of the llyn are gently is induced by this perplexity and these images of decay; varied and clad in many places with luxuriant foliage; while the prospect of a body of pure water, unattended the water is clear and silvery; the whole aspect is one with groves and other cheerful rural images by which of soft, graceful, and placid beauty. Just below the fresh water is usually accompanied, and unable to give fine woods of Plas Gwynant is another lake, Llyn-yfurtherance to the meagre vegetation around it, excites Dinas, also very beautiful, but not equal to Gwynant. a sense of some repulsive power strongly put forth, By the river-side, along here, there are many admirable and thus deepens the melancholy natural to such scenes. passages of river scenery, with the vast mass of SnowNor is the feeling of solitude often more forcibly or don rising up as a noble background. more solemnly impressed than by the side of one of On the right, a short distance below Llyn Dinas, these mountain pools : though desolate and forbidding, will be seen a rocky eminence: this is Dinas Emrys, it seems a distinct place to repair to; yet where the and is affirmed to be the spot whereon Vortigern visitants must be rare, and there can be no disturbance. attempted to erect a tower, and met with such strange Waterfowl flock hither; and the lonely angler may hindrances, and where he was sitting when the two here be seen ; but the imagination, not content with dragons, white and red, came out of the lake and fought this scanty allowance of society, is tempted to attribute before the British king till the red dragon was beaten a voluntary power to every change which takes place and forced to take to flight. Then the king, being in such a spot, whether it be the breeze that wanders troubled at what he saw, called unto Merlin, son of over the surface of the water, or the splendid lights the Devil, and commanded him to declare what these of evening resting upon it in the midst of awful things portended ; and Merlin, seeing in this combat precipices.
foreshadowed the misfortunes that were about to befall
his country—for though his father was a demon, his There, sometimes does a leaping fish mother was a very worthy Welsh princess-lifted up
his Send through the tarn a lonely cheer ;
voice and wept, and made haste to tell the king all The
crags repeat the raven's croak In symphony austere :
those things which are written in the book of the proThither the rainbow comes, the cloud,
phecies of Merlin, as contained in the Chronicle of And mists that spread the flying shroud,
Geoffrey of Monmouth.
The first view of Beddgelert, as you approach the
village on this side, is certainly very picturesque. We now turn towards Beddgelert, the next and last Before you is the clear shallow river, spanned by the of the Snowdonian centres of exploration. There we rude old ivy-clad bridge, with a tall clump of dusky shall not need to sojourn long: indeed, having already trees beyond, and the bulky form of Moel Hebog rising examined with sufficient tediousness examples of the high above all, its summit partaking of an aërial hue, chief classes of objects which are characteristic of the while the lower slopes are black and strongly defined Welsh tour, we may hasten over the remaining ground against the bright south-western sky. By the bridge are
the irregular unpretending houses of the villagers ; and more picturesque route, however, is unquestionably if it be morning or evening, most likely there will be that before-mentioned. seen down by the water-side a group of old village Here, on the western side of Drws-y-Coed Mounwives and young children, come there to fetch water, tain, will be observed a small tarn, called Llyn-yor to dabble their clothes in the clear stream, and to Dywarchen, in which we have been told there is a exchange some village scandal. (Cut, No. 14.) But buoyant mossy islet, that occasionally rises to the Beddgelert hardly maintains its promise ; in itself it surface : this has been thought to be the floating island is neither picturesque nor beautiful : yet as it has an Giraldus speaks of; which is quite possible, as there hotel of general popularity among Welsh tourists, and is frequently some foundation for popular stories; and there is a great deal both of picturesque and beautiful the stories of Giraldus were mostly gathered from the scenery in the vicinity, it is not at all surprising that natives. The Nantle Pools are three or four miles it is a general halting-place.
further, by a mountain road. The Nantle Valley is Here was once a residence of the famous Llewellyn close and narrow, yet a good deal varied in character, the Great; and it received its name-if song and story and in places affords some remarkably fine views. It may be trusted from the circumstance in his history is comparatively little visited; but, to the pedestrian which painters, and poets, and story-tellers, have so at any rate, it affords much more interesting and chamuch delighted to commemorate. The reader will racteristic scenery than many of the more popular and doubtless recollect the tale. The prince, returning one beaten tracks. The swelling mountain sides are bold, day from hunting, was met at the door of his house and often grand. Nantle Pools, as they are usually by Gelert, his favourite hound, smeared over with termed by Englishmen, but which the Welsh call the blood. On entering, he saw his child's cradle over- Llyniau Nant-y-llef, are only separated by a narrow turned and empty, with blood upon it and about the slip of land, through which the connecting streamlet
Supposing the dog had destroyed his son, he flows. Seen together, and in connection with the surdrew his sword and slew him. Hardly had he done rounding scenery, they are very beautiful. The finest so, when he heard the child's voice, and then discovered view of them is from the lower end, where Snowdon is that the faithful hound had really killed a wolf which seen rising in all his majesty in the distance. In some had attempted to seize the child. The prince erected respects this is without an equal among the Welsh a church upon the spot where he killed his dog, and llyn scenery. Wilson is always said to have painted raised a tomb over the creature's remains. The village his view of Snowdon from this spot; but if the painting which grew up around the church in time received the belonging to Sir R. W. Vaughan be meant, we confess name of Bedd-Gelert- the grave of Gelert; and so to having fancied, when looking at it, that it must have perpetuated the memory of the faithfulness of the been from the other side of the mountain—from the animal and of the rashness and remorse of the prince. Llyniau Mymbyr, at the back of Capel Curig. Be In a field behind the village the grave is still pointed that as it may, this is a very fine view, and the whole out: a couple of stones mark the spot, which a few neighbourhood abounds in fine views. Here, too, are trees overshadow; a path leads to it from the Goat' extensive slate-quarries ; and the blasting of the rocks Inn. In the village itself, it has been said, there is causes some fine reverberations among the mountains little to be found. Once there was a considerable and over the lakes. About the mountains are two or monastery there ; but no vestiges of it are left. Near three copper-mines. There is a considerable populathe inn is a small waterfall.
tion in this wild, sequestered valley, consisting almost A day may be agreeably spent in a ramble to Nantle entirely of miners and quarrymen, and those connected Pools and Carnarvon Bay. You take the Carnarvon with them. road, along which are some good views, though the This, and the return by a somewhat different route, scenery generally is not remarkably interesting. About will perhaps be quite enough for a day's stroll, espethree miles up this road, near the rock which is called cially if the road be occasionally quitted, as it will be, Pitt's Profile, from a fancied resemblance it bears to of course, by any one used to mountain walks. This that great statesman, is the place whence the ascent side of Carnarvon Bay may be very well visited from of Snowdon from Beddgelert is generally made: we Carnarvon. But it should be visited. It is best seen should prefer that on the other side of the village, near from the water. Delightful is the sail in Carnarvon Bay Llyn Gwynant. Somewhat farther, on the left of the and some distance out to sea. The semicircular bay road, will be noticed a small circular lake, Llyn-y- would be considered, in itself, very beautiful; but with Gader, and soon afterwards the bye-road which leads the magnificent amphitheatre of mountains, including over to Nantle Pools. But it is certainly worth while the Rivals (Yr Eif) and the Snowdon range, it is to proceed a mile farther to Llyn Llewellyn, a fine lake, without rival in this country for picturesqueness. somewhat above a mile in length, and encompassed During the summer, excursions are occasionally made with wild craggy mountains. Some way farther is from Carnarvon in steam-vessels to the end of the proNant Mill, where is a singularly picturesque waterfall; montory: allowing the passengers to land, and remain and still farther, about four miles from Carnarvon, is for awhile ashore on Bardsey Island—the island famous Bettws Garmon, whence may be found a road over to for its ancient monastery and fabulous population of the coast, or by the low mountains to the Pools. The saints. Ten, or, as some say, twenty thousand saints
were buried in it. The coast-scenery is, in parts, very and crowned by the losty Snowdon. If in the kingdom striking. The same might be said of the coast of the it had a rival, it must have been sought for in Scotland. noble Cardigan Bay, on the other side of the promon- The mountains of course remain ; but in place of the tory, but it must remain unnoticed here.
blue water is a sickly-looking marsh, and an air of formality has been imparted to the whole scene ; but
the unquestionable utility of the undertaking must FFESTINIOG.
overweigh any regret that may be felt for the change. It is hardly needful to point out other walks around Tremadoc, Port Madoc, and the works around have Beddgelert : we will renew our journey. About a mile a busy appearance. from the village commences the famous Pass of Aber- The nearer and pleasanter road from Pont Aberglaslyn. It is a narrow gorge between lofty preci- glaslyn to Maentwrog is to leave the river on the right pitous rocks.
The cliffs of bare purple rock rise to an and to keep the road, which winds under the mounimmense height-some five or six hundred feet-on tains : but this way Tremadoc will not of course be either hand; a rapid stream runs along the bottom in seen. There is a good deal of rich and varied mountain a channel full of scattered blocks of stone which have scenery along this road, but it is needless to particufallen from the heights above. The winding of the larize. A hardy walker would prefer to make his way Pass precludes a distant prospect, and adds to the over the mountains, taking either the summit or savage character of the scene. As the evening draws shoulder of Moelwyn: the views are grand, but the on, and the deep hollow lies in the heavy shadow, way is rough. Just before reaching Maentwrog, is while the highest portions of the rocky wall are illu- Tan-y-Bwlch, a spot celebrated for its beauty. The mined by the declining sun, the appearance is exceed- mansion is the residence of the Ockleys, who permit ingly grand. But it is still more grand-in truth, access to the grounds under certain restrictions. magnificent-if seen by the light of a full autumnal The Vale of Ffestiniog is very beautiful. It varies
In the broad daylight one is apt to feel a little greatly in breadth and character ; hardly anywhere, disappointment after having heard so much of the perhaps, grand, but beautiful in every part. The sublimity of the Pass. The excellent level mail-coach mountains rise high on both sides, but-slope gently road that is carried through it, has, in truth, taken off away; the vale is soft, verdant, cultivated, and fertile. a good deal of that appearance of the terrible which all along are scattered villas with their cheerful the earlier tourists used to emphaticize.
grounds, farm-houses, which seem to be inhabited by At the end of the Pass is Pont Aberglaslyn, a bridge prosperous tenants, and cottages, either clustered in which spans the stream where it breaks finely down the little hamlets, or standing singly and apart. The sloping rocky channel. The banks are high rocks, stream which flows through the midst, at first but small of most picturesque character, and richly varied with in size, in the course of a few miles opens into a broad trees and shrubs which find lodgment in the crevices. river, and from that passes rapidly into an arm of the It is a charming scene: the more so from its contrast A good deal of nonsense has been talked, about with the grim bare Pass just quitted, whose rugged Ffestiniog being quite Italian in character—a Frascati, crags, indeed, form a striking feature in this picture. a Tivoli, another Tempé, nay, even a St. Helena! The lover of river scenery will do well to scramble and one hardly knows what besides. The plain truth down the bank, and make his way for a little distance is, that it is a thoroughly Welsh valley, and a very along the bed of the river. (Cut, No. 15.) The lovely one too. It is about as much like an Italian appearance of the scene varies a good deal according to or a Greek scene as a Welsh peasant is like one of the quantity of water in the river ; when“ roaring in the Abruzzi or an Albanian. spate" it is a furious torrent; but commonly it is a The village of Ffestiniog is seated on the summit of gladsome, changeful, transparent streamlet. With a high hill, at the head and a little on one side of the anglers it is a favourite for both trout and salmon. vale. It is quite a little place, with a neat church and
The mail-coach road leads to Tremadoc, a modern school-house, which have been recently erected on the town, built by W. A. Madocks, Esq., whence its name, highest piece of ground; a couple of inns, and a few which is equivalent to Madocks' Town. Mr. Madocks poor houses. The scenery all around is full of interest. carried the great embankınent across Traeth Mawr, and Besides the vale and the divergent valleys there is in recovered about seven thousand acres of land from the every direction a good wild mountain tract to ramble sea : the embankment was only partially successful, as over, and one that may be traversed without danger the sea soon found a way through it, and the land by the most inexperienced mountain traveller. Not remains marshy, but a good part of it is cultivated. far from the village are the famous Falls of Cynfael. Before the embankment, when the sea covered Traeth The stream is one of the wildest and most romantic Mawr, it is said that the view up it was of surpassing of Welsh mountain streams. It comes rattling down splendour. Traeth Mawr at full tide presented the the mountain side in right joyous mood, till it enters appearance of a great lake, some five or six miles long the long close dingle, where it has to surmount many a and a mile across ; on each side were precipitous moun- bold barrier, and force its way through or over many tains, and the head of the lake was encompassed by a a shattered mass of stone. There are a couple of falls, magnificent array of mountains, rising tier above tier, both of great beauty and wildness; neither rocky bank,