Longton to Llanymynech

Today was characterised by some nice scenery and horrible roads.

Our destination was Llanymynech, originally selected solely because it would allow Christian to claim he had visited Wales without deviating too far from the quickest route south. However, the route itself was interesting if a little busy.

We started by following the A59 to Ormskirk then the B5197 and A506 to Melling because I have always wanted to use the Melling Road through Aintree racecourse. I was quite put out to discover that no-one in Switzerland had heard of the Grand National let alone Aintree. I suppose my English arrogance led me to assume that, as this horse race is part of our heritage, that the rest of the world must naturally consider it part of theirs.

Royal Liver Building

From Aintree we got back onto the A59 and followed it into the middle of Liverpool and down to the Albert Docks and the Royal Liver Building at Pier Head where we waited for the ferry to cross the River Mersey (no-one in Switzerland knows the song either!)

Being a Sunday the Ferry was as much a tour of the waterfront as a means of crossing the river, so at least they were playing said song over the P.A. as we set sail.

From the Ferry terminal at Birkenhead we followed the A41 to Chester and then walked though most the city because it demands your attention.

Chester at weekends is alive with street performers and people window shopping amongst beautiful old Tudor buildings. Christian was also keen for a quick stop to find out if Roger Federer had won the final at Wimbledon (I concluded that the Swiss obviously pick and choose their English heritage carefully!)

From Chester we took the B5445 to Wrexham and then the B5605 to Ruabon, where we met up with the A5.

On a road map the A5 is a thin little green line, much narrower than the A483 we had used B roads to avoid. In reality is a very busy dual carriageway which, as luck would have it, featured a lot of road works with lane closures too narrow for a lorry to pass a cyclist. The extra effort we exerted into trying to get up the long hill as quick as we could was not appreciated at all by the traffic behind us, a fact they were gracious enough to point out whenever an opportunity to overtake occurred!

The A5 turns right at Oswestry, as does most of the traffic and the last bit of the journey along the A483 was much quieter. After stopping for more inevitable photos at the 'Welcome to Wales' sign just after Four Crosses we stopped for dinner at a pub and then cycled the short distance to the guest house in Llanymynech.

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Day:8 of 13
Date:06 July 2003
Distance:129 KM
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