There are all sorts of reasons for visiting north Wales and Snowdonia but when my wife Ann and I visit this corner of Wales it's usually about playing trains and riding on as many different and unusual kinds of railway as we can.
San Francisco is famous for its cable cars but you don't need to go that far. From the pretty little Edwardian station in Llandudno smart cable cars take visitors up the steep 679-foot climb to the summit of the Great Orme.
From the windswept summit on a clear day you can see as far as the Isle of Man, the Lake District, Blackpool and the peak of Snowdon itself.
From Llandudno we crossed the Menai Bridge to the island of Anglesey.
We just had to see a very famous railway station called Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch - the longest place name in Europe and one of the longest in the world.
The name means St Mary's church in a hollow of white hazel near the swirling whirlpool of the church of St Tysilio with a red cave - but you probably worked that out for yourself.
Back across the Menai Bridge we headed for Llanberis. There are two steam trains here. The Llanberis Lake steam railway runs along the lake edge. It's a pretty little line with some interesting steam locomotives pulling the frequent trains.
Next we were planning to take one of the most exciting railway journeys anywhere - the unique rack railway to the summit of Wales's highest mountain.
Puffing steam engines climb the 3,560 feet to the summit of Snowdon. It's easier than walking and many passengers take the train up the mountain and then take the much easier stroll down.
As you see the tiny steam engine pushing its carriage up the impossibly steep slope it is hard to believe that any train can climb such an incline. In fact the track up the mountain is so steep that a normal train would slip and slide on the rails, particularly in snowy and icy weather.
The Snowdon Mountain Railway uses a gear wheel on the locomotive that engages with a toothed rack between the rails of the track. The railway dates back to 1896 when the first steam engines arrived from Switzerland.
Lake Bala is another attractive place to visit. You can probably guess - we climbed on the steam train and enjoyed the nine-mile trip along the lake shore.
From Porthmadog station the Ffestiniog narrow gauge steam railway sets off across the wonderful Welsh landscape. Along the way there are loops and tunnels and spectacular views. The railway climbs 700 feet over the 13-mile route to the slate quarries of Blaenau Ffestiniog.
Amazingly the Ffestiniog Railway is the oldest independent railway company in the world, being founded by an Act of Parliament in 1832.
Today there is another railway running from the Portmadog station. The Welsh Highland Railway has been rebuilt and now links Portmadog to Caernarfon.
From either of those two stations you can get on the train behind one of the most powerful two-foot gauge steam locomotives in the world as it hauls its long line of vintage carriages on a 15-mile journey through the fabulous scenery of the Snowdonia National Park.
The engines were built in Manchester more than a century ago. They worked hard pulling trains all over the African veldt. Now retired, they have been restored to their former glory.
If like Ann and I you are planning a holiday, the little trains of Wales are chuffing good fun.
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