"Aus dem Berglande von Wales"

Name of traveller

Sophie Döhner (1844-1933)

Reason for travel

  • travelling as cultural tourist; leisurely travel

Date of travel

undated, ca. mid to late 1900s

Ich konnte noch bei schöner Beleuchtung zum berühmten Paß von Aberglaslyn wandern, der bei mir allerdings keine Überraschung hervorrief, da er vielen, oft gesehenen Gebirgstälern glich, hohe Felsen, schöne Bäume, ein schäumender Bach, nur etwas Raum für die Straße lassend, zuletzt eine romantische einbogige hohe Brücke. (Döhner 6)


  • architecture: relates the history of Plas Mawr and the significance of some architectural elements of the building
  • art: visits an exhibition by the Royal Cambrian Academy of Art housed in Plas Mawr, Conwy
  • customs: Welsh people and their culture very distinct from England; notable for their superstitions
  • diet: describes mutton with peas, and gooey, bland custard as the inevitable staples of hotel cuisine
  • history:
    • reference to new coinage under Edward I (1239-1307) and the defeat of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd (1223-1282)
    • notes establishment of the Flemish settlements in Pembrokeshire during the twelfth century; "little England beyond Wales"
  • industry: slate production in large quarries and underground
  • language: English is understood everywhere, but people still speak Welsh
  • literature:
    • Wales as the country of origin of Arthurian legends
    • the complimentary description of Dolgellau in the Baedecker guide book fails to match with reality
  • people:
    • brief reference to Carmen Sylva (Elisabeth of Wied) (1863-1916)
    • visits the graves of the Ladies of Llangollen, Eleanor Charlotte Butler (1739-1829) and Sarah Ponsonby (1755-1831), and relates their story
  • recreation:
    • identifies Wales as a popular destination for English tourists; comparatively few German tourists
    • on Sundays generally no services available
    • goes on the Torrent Walk near Dolgellau, but finds nothing original about it; recommends a guided walk of the Nannan estate
    • Betws-y-Coed as popular tourist destination with good connections for going on various excursions into the surrounding area
    • visits the summit of Snowdon twice
    • access to Plas Newydd, Llangollen, only possible after obtaining permission from its current owner, a Liverpool gentleman
  • terrain:
    • Wales generally recognised for its mountains
    • describes town layout of Tenby
    • disappointed by the fog and damp weather in north Wales; bad weather delays ascent of Snowdon
    • notes that Ffestiniog is made entirely of slate
  • transport:
    • modes of travel: coach; omnibus; on foot; Snowdon mountain railway; steamboat; train
    • good railway network makes travelling easy; gives the names of the different railway companies with which she travels
    • steamboat journey between Ilfracombe and Tenby takes three hours
    • narrow gauge railway in operation between Ffestiniog and Porthmadog; originally only for transport of slates, but at this point also available for passengers
    • takes a small steamboat that operates between Beaumaris and Garth, Bangor
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Nationality of traveller


Language of publication


Gender of traveller


Type of publication

essay; travelogue


Döhner, Sophie. "Aus dem Berglande von Wales." Hamburger Nachrichten (11 July1909): 5-7. Print.