AN AMERICAN IN WALES - A Passionate Woman and Sheep
Where is Richard Burton? ha
Well where do I begin? I was fortunate enough to venture to Wales with someone who grew up there and spent their summers there too. It was fun hearing about so much history and memories while embarking on this new adventure. There is something to say for traveling with someone who knows so much about a brand new place you are visiting. THERE WERE SO MANY SHEEP! I COULD NOT EAT LAMB FOR ABOUT A YEAR AFTER I LEFT! I even wrote an article on here about that subject (link below)!
OK...glad to get THAT out of the way.
So, I was driven around to quaint little towns and rolling hills with beautiful views, glorious castles and magical SHEEP that just APPEARED every single place I looked!!! ha ha. OK, back to being serious!!!! OH MY GOD......WELSH CAKES ROCK!!! I WILL NEVER BE THE SAME!!! PLEASE SOMEONE SEND ME A RECIPE! I have not eaten one for far too long now. AND they had GINGER everything!!! I was in heaven I tell you!!! Ginger jam, ginger fudge, ginger ice cream, ginger EVERYTHING!!!!
I can see it now, people reading this in Europe..."Bloody American" they would say. "All they care about is FOOD! What about the history? What about all the things that Wales is famous for?" Well my dear Euro friends.....please be patient! Thank you! I'm getting to those things but you see as my father used to say "to each his own!" History may make you happy and Welsh cakes are "heaven to me!" Capiche?!!! The way that I look at things is this.....culture and food first! Then comes sightseeing and history! I mean how many damn castles can one see anyway? ha.
WELL, we will start with a castle. SHALL WE?
So this was the only castle I saw there and it was breathtaking! I only had a few days to venture and see everything since I had business in London and tried very hard to mix business with pleasure. I think the main thing about this castle was the views from the highest points especially the water and the mountains. I have actually put my own pics I shot on this article because I think I actually got some different views then "google images!" I must be AMERICAN! ha ha
I actually did not pay much attention to the history of the castle since I had seen so many in Britain after living there for a year and also venturing there from America for so many years. I took the views in and enjoyed every moment of it. Even the corny gift shops inside with fake ancient coins and knights! Loved the little town surrounding there too and the roads running through everything. It sort of felt "retro sci-fi in a way?" Hard to explain but the way it was surrounded by the town and roads running through the castle grounds made it sort of blend into an ancient magical medieval Welsh military spaceship!
I have decided to put a link here if you want more history below. i think it was the only place I visited in Wales that did not have any sheep!
More On Conwy Castle
There are times when you visit something in a far away place that sort of changes you. It maybe in the slightest way, but you never forget it. This is how I feel about Gelert's Grave. With the old sign that told the sad story to the grave/tribute area itself, it truly touched me to a point that I got very emotional. It may have been the wind and the air, it may have been the idea of the story and the regret of the lead character.....but it truly felt magical in that place. It was also in one of my favorite towns there that we visited called Beddgelert. I loved everything about that town. Especially the architecture and the surroundings.
The photo I took tells the story about Gelert. This is what the sign actually says.
This is what the grave reads which tells the story about the dog:
“In the 13th century Llewelyn, prince of North Wales, had a palace at Beddgelert. One day he went hunting without Gelert, “The Faithful Hound”, who was unaccountably absent.
On Llewelyn’s return the truant, stained and smeared with blood, joyfully sprang to meet his master. The prince alarmed hastened to find his son, and saw the infant’s cot empty, the bedclothes and floor covered with blood.
The frantic father plunged his sword into the hound’s side, thinking it had killed his heir. The dog’s dying yell was answered by a child’s cry.
Llewelyn searched and discovered his boy unharmed, but near by lay the body of a mighty wolf which Gelert had slain.
The prince filled with remorse is said never to have smiled again. He buried Gelert here”.
Certainly the surroundings and history of Wales brings out the best of a passionate person. I was inspired every moment I looked around. One of my favorite things were hidden tombs in the hills. You could be hiking in a strange place and then all of a sudden you would come across an ancient tomb and there would be a sign in the middle of nowhere explaining the history. It was like a hidden museum! The only thing I worried about after I jumped in one of them which were like upside down caves in the ground was if they were still haunted? I mean when you are in the middle of nowhere in a place with medieval history everywhere, you start to wonder. What the hell is still here in these hills? I actually got a bit creeped out and jumped out of the tomb pronto! Then I made my way back to where we parked a few miles away and also tried to avoid the territorial SHEEP and their big puddles of poo! Eewwww!
I also remember the sheep head that was stuck in the fence at a bus stop as we drove by. I will never forget that either! I kept thinking "how can a full sheep head be sticking in a fence while people are just walking by without noticing?" And then I thought "where the hell is the rest of it?!"
Other Places In Wales.....
It was a bit too cold to hike up Mount Snowdon and we could hardly see the top of it and could have gotten stuck up there in very bad weather. But nothing was lost cause the drive around it down along the mountains and the surrounding sites were amazing! There were other things I could have seen but I'm the type of tourist that likes to "wonder around" and not rush to every single sightseeing tour! I would rather see the real places people live, the adorable little villages and go into a restaurant where everyone calls you "love." Now that does not happen in America!
So I will put some links at the bottom of this article and also share my personal photo's. I actually went camping in Wales and did not stay at a fancy hotel or Inn and I loved it. Waking up to the smell of the land and the little cries from little lambs made me feel like I was in a nursery rhyme! But in the back of my mind when I saw them I knew that they would be DINNER and when I mentioned this to my friend it was not even an issue. I guess when there are so many sheep surrounding you it just becomes a "way of life" and a necessity. But after a while I really started to think about it and then stopped eating lamb!
"What can I get you LOVE?" Well I think I would like some SALMON tonight!
Let's end this article with LOVE!!! Celtic Love Spoons!
Now this was one of the most unique gifts I was ever given. The thing that I liked about it most was that each Love spoon could be made to mean different things just by the carvings! Like each one of them was made specifically for a certain person or had a special meaning. It was like art entwined with LOVE and the idea was so simple and didn't cost much at all. Sort of like when someone picks flowers out of a garden or buys them at a special place and puts extra thought into each flower they pick or the arrangement. After I found out about these spoons, I eventually got curious about Celtic everything! There were so many Celtic wooden spoons in the tourist shops but I found them all to be unique pieces of art. It was like "Wooden Poetry" to me and just having one reminds me of the amazing history and passion in Wales.
My American Tourist Photo!!!
And Last But Not Least.....
Here it is folks! My BEST American tourist pic! Only an American would take pics of a van with Welsh speak on it right? Well I happen to remember a time when some young British girls came to visit me and the only pic they wanted was one of them at an American market holding BIG paper bags like in the movies! So, as I said it before....."To each his own!" ha ha
Hub Pages Author - GPAGE
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My "Save the Lambs" article and More!
- Swallow Falls Waterfall Betws-y-Coed
Swallow Falls Waterfall is a famous tourist attraction near Betws-y-Coed North Wales
- RICHARD BURTON - His Love Letters
- LITTLE LAMBS HAVE FEELINGS TOO - No Mint Sauce Allowed
More by this Author
PLEASE READ THIS ARTICLE BEFORE YOU BOOK YOUR TICKET. This is a very SMALL local poetry festival so before you spend your hard earned cash at the most expensive time of year, READ THIS!