Thursday, August 4, 2011

Wales: Mountains, Castles and Islands

Robert Guthrie /
The boat marina at Beaumaris Bay in Wales

By Robert Guthrie
WALES – We did a lot of traveling on our journey in North Wales.
First, we went to Penrhyn Castle. To be honest, the castle was not a real castle – it was a castle in disguise. It was a house actually, and was made to look like a castle so that the Lord and Lady were made to seem as if they were extremely wealthy.

Most of the money which was used to make the castle came from the industries of sugar and slate, or Welsh stone.
The castle was finished 160 years ago, just as Queen Victoria had come to the throne. It had about 300 rooms, most of which were available for public view. We saw bedrooms, dining rooms, breakfast rooms, bathrooms and so many more.

One of the most famous things about the castle is The Slate Bedroom. It doesn’t sound that enticing, but lots of important people stayed at Penrhyn, and they slept in here.
The bed inside the bedroom is made of slate and that is why it has caught the name of “The Slate Bedroom.”
It was originally built for Queen Victoria’s visit, but in the end, she refused to sleep in it.

Robert Guthrie /
       Delicious and traditional Welsh food from Betws-y-Coed

We also visited Betws-y-Coed (Bets-ee-ko-idd). We stopped to buy some traditional Welsh items from a shop. We bought Welshcakes, or flat scones, toffee waffles, which are circular waffles with toffee between them, and Bara Brith, also called Welsh fruit bread.
These were very delicious when we tucked into them when we got back to our holiday house.

The next day we headed up a scenic road to Snowdonia, which is the biggest mountain in England and Wales.
It was very wet, but there huge rocks which had obviously fallen down from the sides. The earth must have shaken when they fell.
It was a very nice trip and eventually cleared up, giving us a chance to see some of the green mountains.

Then we ventured to the Isle of Anglesey. This is at the top corner of Wales, and if you drive around the whole island (which we did) it is 80 miles.
First, we got up early to travel to the Menai Bridge, which connects the mainland to Anglesey over the Menai Straits.
It was built by Thomas Telford, a great British inventor.

When we got to Anglesey, out first port of call was a small town called Beaumaris.
It is home to many different small shops, and most importantly, a castle. The castle is unfinished.
It was ordered built by Edward I to make the Welsh people his subjects, and obey his rules. We visited the bay there, too.

At lunchtime we stopped at well-known Holyhead, where there were nice views of the blue sea, and the boats which had been tied up in the marina.

Robert Guthrie /
A sign explaining the meaning of the name
the world's longest-named place.

A few miles away from Holyhead is the Royal Air Force Valley. RAF Valley is where Prince William practices his flying rescue skills. He and his new bride Kate live a few miles away.

Finally, we stopped at the world’s longest-named place, which is in Wales.
It is Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwyllllantysilyogogogoch.

Robert Guthrie /
The place with the world's longest name

A Welsh man wanted to make people come to his attraction, so to do so he named it the longest place in Wales. On a big blue sign it says how to pronounce the name in Welsh and on a black sign it says what it means.

It was a very good day exploring Wales.

No comments: