Around 4:30 AM on April 9th I was woken up by the most horrible noise. I lay in my bed for a few moments, trying to figure out where on Earth the noise was coming from, before realizing that the noise was coming from the bed next to me.
The woman next to me was snoring.
Actually, no, this wasn’t snoring. Snoring I can sleep through, and have slept through many times in my hostel stays.
This was like something out of a horror movie. It was loud, it was constant, and it was just not the sound a 20-something-year-old woman should make in her sleep. It actually sounded really unhealthy—I could hear this certain noise when she would breathe, almost like a clicking, almost as if I could hear her lungs expanding and taking in air. You shouldn’t hear that. That’s not good.
I lay there for some time, hoping that the woman would roll over and cease snoring, or that I would fall asleep. Unfortunately neither of those things happened, so I decided to take matters into my own hands so that I could get some sleep.
First I tried making a loud noise by banging my hairbrush against the metal post of my bed. I figured a loud noise would startle her awake, she would roll over, and then peace would descend on the country again.
But it didn’t work. I suppose it makes sense. For you to sleep through a noise that loud, you would need to be a damn sound sleeper, and even the noise I made wasn’t louder than the noises she was emitting.
After this failed, I was unsure what to do next. Should I wake her up? Should I just hope that she would stop? Should I put on my iPod and fall asleep to that?
I got up and got my iPod from the locker near my bed, and when I was heading back to my bed I did something that I felt a little awkward about doing. I grabbed the duvet on the woman’s bed and then folded it up over her body, so that the lower half of her body was exposed.
Ladies and gentlemen, I have found a new cure for snoring.
See, what I thought would happen is that the woman would get cold, roll over, and then stop snoring (see a pattern here?). What actually happened is that she didn’t move at all, but she did stop snoring.
It’s magic, I tell you!
I fell asleep instantly, and when I woke up the next morning, I wandered over to the train station and took a train to Wrexham, a small town in the north of Wales.
Once in Wrexham, I took a bus to Trevor Basin, about a half hour away.
For the record, I hate taking buses. Bus drivers tend to assume that you’re familiar with their route, so they don’t announce the name of the stop you’re approaching, they don’t stop at every stop unless you signal, and often there isn’t a clear name outside the stop. That’s why I like trains—they stop at every stop on the route, they announce the stops, and when you pull up to the station the name of the station is quite clearly displayed. I was rather nervous on the bus because I knew the name of the stop I needed to get off at, but I had absolutely no clue where it was at. Luckily for me I happened to glimpse “Trevor Basin” on a sign as we were approaching a stop, so I got off in time.
I walked down a hill and then reached the thing I had come to see—the Llangollen Canal and the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct was built by Thomas Telford from 1795-1805 for the purpose of carrying the Llangollen Canal over the River Dee and the rest of the valley below. The canal is fed by the Horseshoe Falls near Llangollen. The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is the longest and highest aqueduct in Britain, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many other aqueducts can be found in the same valley, all carrying the same canal.
I walked across the aqueduct, since there’s a narrow walkway next to the canal. I was quite afraid that I would accidentally be knocked into the canal since the walkway was just wide enough for two people to walk past each other. In addition it was raining steadily, and some of the bits of walkway were connected by wide pieces of metal that were slippery while wet. Luckily I didn’t get pushed into the canal, especially since if I had, it would have meant the death of my computer and my camera. I was also worried that if I got pushed in I would drown, despite the fact I’m a good swimmer, because I didn’t know how deep the canal was. I found out later that it’s 5’3” deep, taller than I am, so I actually could have drowned. However, I wouldn’t have sunk hundreds of feet under the water, as I had feared.
I walked across the aqueduct and then I walked down plenty of stairs into the valley below, in order to see the aqueduct from below. The entire time it rained on me, which wasn’t so much fun. The aqueduct was quite interesting though, and all the Welsh people I encountered were super friendly and said “hello” to me, even when I was walking on the other side of the street from them.
I caught the bus back to Wrexham, then from there took a train back to England, to a city that produced four lads who changed the world.