As we drove towards the sea the clouds lifted and a gentle sunlight beamed over one of Wales’s most beautiful estuaries, the Mawddach, welcoming us to Barmouth, one of this country’s most picturesque coastal resorts perched between rocky outcrops. We decided to take a turn on the beach and what a beach! So much sand and so few people to walk on it – a slight difference from most ItalIan resorts but also a slight difference in terms of the bracing chill sweeping over the sands and the surrounding hills…
We took a little rest in the quaint seamen’s institute, reading the papers, browsing through old books and observing the boards displaying the various rescues which the lifeboats had carried out in past years.
There were many chapels in Barmouth but most of them had been taken over by antique shops and cafes and restaurants – at least they hadn’t been demolished.
There was also a closed-up drapery store which must once have known glorious times.
Visting Barmouth was a lovely end to a day down memory lane filled with a variety of landscapes which few other areas can supply: we’d travelled over mountain passes, by lakes, over rivers and now the sea was before us.
I thought of that poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson – I don’t know if he wrote it here but those lines seemed somehow evocative of the beautiful place we found ourselves at:
Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.
Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;
For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.