9 July 1995

Woke up, ate, and left for Conwy Castle. Built like a maze. Stairs, corridors, towers, and gates were everywhere. Got lost for ½ hour.

Found my way out then went to the train station to Great Orme. Rode trolley up. Fantastic view of Irish Sea.

Spelled names with rocks. Walked down and twisted ankle. (I can still feel the pain.) Dave our piper bus driver and I rode taxi to coach. Picked up group then said bye to Dave at hotel. Ate at barbeque then walked to aquarium. Saw interesting sea life native to the area. Tried crab-fishing contest against girls.

Lost by about 100. Played Giants, Wizards, and Elves before walking on pier at moonlight then went to bed.

Similarity – like to barbeque

Difference – no notice

Future Ryan says: This was a very sleep-deprived day for me. I was very unaccustomed to staying up past 11pm, and that night my roommates had kept me up past 2am watching Howard the Duck and Tremors. I did not appreciate their fun the next morning, when I was too zombified to pay attention to anything. I gues that’s how I got separated from the group during the castle tour. I panicked, fearing that the bus would leave without me. I scrambled through the labyrinthine fortress looking for anything familiar. Despite my momentary terror, this was my favorite castle of the whole British Isles trip.

The Great Orme tram ride was nifty, and the view from atop the Orme was fantastic. Orme visitors since time immemorable had employed loose white stones to make graffiti writ large against the green terrain. We spelled "USA" big enough for Ireland to read. One of the larger existing arrangements was a pot leaf large enough for the DEA to spot from Miami. And of course, typical for my age, I twisted my right ankle. Is it always going to be you, right ankle?

The Dave I mention here was our jovial coach driver who had transported us since departing from Hertford. He was an accomplished bagpiper, and he used his pipes to summon us students back to the bus after pit stops. He once had the honor of being Edinburgh’s Lone Piper during the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Here’s some photos of Dave:

Oh, the ill-fated crab-fishing contest! Boys versus girls were pitted against each other to pluck half-starved crabs from a domesticated pool of baywater. This was a good case study in how boys and girls have different brains. The girls wanted to catch crabs to win the contest. The boys wanted to catch crabs so that they could throw them up in the air, watch them smack fatally onto the concrete, and then watch the seagulls fight over the remains. I feel that I must do penance for participating in this activity, even passively.

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