"Ein Ausflug nach Nordwales"

Name of traveller

Max Wirth (1822-1900)

Reason for travel

  • desire to see the Britannia Bridge

Date of travel

undated, ca. 1860s to early 1870s

Der Jugendtraum war halb zu Wasser; allein daran war die Britannia-Brücke selbst unschuldig. Sie bleibt doch die Mutter der Gitterbrücken, ein Triumph der Mathematik! (W[irt]h 3)


  • agriculture: attacked by an Anglesey bull, but praises the beauty of the breed
  • architecture:
    • praises ruined Norman castles in north Wales and compares them to Heidelberg Castle
    • the Britannia Bridge is less imposing than expected, though still a triumph of mathematics
  • art: identifies the Royal Oak Hotel in Betws-y-Coed as a gathering centre for writers and English landscape painters
  • customs:
    • brief reference to the bardic tradition in Wales
    • describes a local eisteddfod taking place in the Royal Oak Hotel
  • diet:
    • complains about the low quality food sold in train station restaurants
    • describes the good English breakfast (sic) served in a guest house in Beaumaris
  • industry:
    • north Wales generally rural, but industrial slate mining of great significance
    • some notes on the slate quarries in Llanberis
  • literature:
    • enjoys reading the visitors' book of the Royal Oak Hotel and copies an occasional poem written by a tourist
    • relates the local legend about the hound Gelert
  • recreation:
    • ascent of Snowdon in bad weather
    • enjoys sea bathing, despite the low water temperature
    • is fascinated by two men playing squash
  • terrain:
    • conflates Wales and England
    • compares north Wales with Switzerland
    • romantic landscape around Snowdon and Betws-y-Coed
    • compares the Menai Strait to particular sections of the rivers Rhine and Danube
    • witnesses milky seas phenomenon in Beaumaris Bay
  • transport:
    • modes of travel: boat; on foot; train
    • suffers motion sickness while taking an express train from London to Bangor
    • takes a small boat from Bangor to Beaumaris and crosses the bay under moon light
  • collected and republished in: Wirth, Max. Cultur- und Wander-Skizzen. Vienna: Manz'sche k.k. Hof-Verlags- und Universitäts-Buchhandlung, 1876. Print.
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Nationality of traveller


Language of publication


Gender of traveller


Type of publication

essay; travelogue


W[irt]h, [Max]. "Ein Ausflug nach Nordwales." Neue Freie Presse (20 May 1874): 1-4. Print.