你好/ Ní hǎo / Nín hǎo / Hello / How do,
Initially we were excited about our stay at the Astralship. It isn’t every day you stay in someone’s dream. That dream being one in transformation made it all the more special. On arrival we parked in one of the many spaces across the quiet country lane. The views southwards and towards the shadows of Glyder Fawr, Elidir Fawr (924m/3,031 ft) and Snowdonia’s wider ranges are dramatic. The weather can certainly enhance or remove the views.
The former Welsh chapel stands like a solid old block of Welsh rock. To the rear is a slightly newer extension, several neighbouring houses and a t-junction that is extremely lacking in traffic. Across the road, by the car park, are acres upon acres of rough farmland, abandoned farm outbuildings and pleasant noises such as birds of prey, sheep and the odd neigh from a horse here and there. Inside the chapel all amenities are provided. A toilet is located at the rear of the building’s extension. By the stilted-bedrooms (two-double and one single) is a spacious shower-room with laundry facilities. You can hang all your damp things outside or equally inside, if the mighty winds are blowing too strongly.
The village of Deiniolen is downhill, and to the right. A pub, The Wellington, and Costcutter flank a charity based E.B.’s café and coffee shop. There are bus services from Caernarfon through the village to Dinorwig (#83). The number 85 goes from Bangor to Llanberis. Capel Maes-y-dref and Pentre Helen are key stops. There are plenty of options to bring food or drink back to the airy kitchen. The table and worktops are perfect for salads and more complex dishes.
The location was ideal for scaling Snowdon via the Miners’ Pass, exploring the plethora of slate mines, museums and castles that litter the lands of North Wales. Further afield, and not by much, Cemaes Bay (I recommend The Harbour for food), ice creams at the Red Boat (Beaumaris), and wanders around Harlech Castle are all easy to access.
Eglwys Grist Llandinorwig stands just slightly lower down and the impressive spire gives a photograph or two. Afon Marchlyn Bach, Afon Goch and a tapestry of streams flow in close proximity. Waking up each day with a warm coffee, and opening the huge front doors to witness a picturesquely charming panorama of Welsh countryside wasn’t bad. The clear views to the Irish Sea on the coast just west of Anglesey are certainly there to be seen. The snug inside the superstructure and the office are armed with windows that carry histrionic views. The vivid interior décor gives a powerful excitement that also brings an element of calmness. Being stirred, yet tranquil is something I did not expect. Move aside budget hotels, hostels and so-called glamourous camping. This was a place that carried magic and it slips inside a shell of heritage, in a way that respects the cultural base it inherits.
The hosts Liam and Aglae went out of there way, were respectful and very friendly. Communication was simple, effective and plenty of advice for local conveniences was given. Their co-host Roger gave us the key and collected it afterwards. He left us a loaf of bread and some milk, alongside fruits and pointed us to the kettle for brews. You can’t beat that. Proper friendly! Thank you kindly for a wonderful place to stay.
再见/ Zài jiàn / Bài bài / Ta’ra / Goodbye