Portmeirion

August 29th, 2010

The approach is undoubtedly Welsh. You roll and ride your way through an old land that brims with tradition and independence. There is green and ancient woodland with oak, yew and hawthorn, slate grey houses that glisten like no others when wet, vast dark quarries with their owners houses looming huge on hillsides. The roads lead us to the sea and glimpses of water begin to be seen. You pass by the town of Penrhyndeudraeth and here begins a subtle anticipation, accentuated by the approach drive enclosed by trees and the cawing Rooks above. The entrance buildings are small and plain, dark in the woodland. Sensory deprivation before the shock of arrival. You enter and then it’s there. Towers and villas and statues. Mermaids, Shakespeare, Nelson and St Peter. Colour, shape and proportion. Not a single uniformity. You are in North Wales yet you are in an Italianate village fresh with breezes from Ireland. The incongruity is undoubtedly odd and it should be all wrong but somehow it works and you are amazed.

Portmeirion – Copyright Alex Ekins

Portmeirion is a made up name for a made up place. Far more up and down than you might have imagined, larger yet compacter, stranger and more wondrous. Despite what its detractors may say, Portmerion compliments the Snowdonia landscape; the vigourous ups and downs, a vista that excites and inspires. A landscape of architecture that draws the eye to everything between the sea and the sky. Some may mock the colours and say they have no place in Wales. However the pinks and purples of Portmeirion exist in the sunsets across the Irish sea. The blues are reflected up from the waters of Tremadog Bay and down from the mountain fringed sky. The greens and browns are there vivid in the hills of Gwynedd. Not one colour cannot be found in the surrounding countryside at dusk and dawn.

Portmeirion - Copyright Alex Ekins

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