Saturday, July 02, 2005

Precipice Walk

I dropped into see Margaret at Wnion Square so as to update her on my successes to date. I asked her about the mills that used to operate in this part of town. The river Aran that runs just behind these houses before joining the R Wnion powered the mills, fulling, carding and spinning cloth. The sound of wooden mallets pounding cloth, and the sight of 180m lengths of woven cloths drying and bleaching on the hills would have been a major part of the street scene here two centuries ago. Margaret tapped the wall behind her, indicating a tannery that operated up until the 1950s. I'm looking forward to talking to her again on a future visit to Dolgellau.

The owners of the local second bookstore suggested I visit their other store in Machynlleth about 15 miles south of here, on the road to Aberystwyth. That road - the A487 - quickly showed itself to have some of the most outstandingly beautiful terrain I have passed through anywhere. I was very happy that I'd be driving it again tomorrow when we left Dolgellau for Aberystwyth.

Eileen, tending that other bookstore, proved to be a mine of information on local genealogical resources, and as a near neighbour of Margaret in Dolgellau, promised to help me out with my researches. I popped into the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA Wales) which had several exhibitions, including some impressive large life canvases by Kevin Sinnott, an artist whose bruswork demonstrates how much motion and dynamism can be lost in flat reproductions: the originals are fully alive.

Another major highlight of the day, on our return to Dolgellau, was the Precipice Walk - a "circular" walk around a peak overlooking the town. Just wow: I could have taken reels of photos from here as the path took us up and around the hill, revealing new valleys and farther hilltops at every turn.

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