Wales is larger than you think. And it's a peculiar place to be. I personally fancy the northern part of Wales. I believe (but that's very personal!) that it is more picturesque and the nature, although very rough at places, more friendly looking. The south, with all it's mines and (again in my eyes) desolate towns and villages is not to my liking. The Northern part has all of the mystical places one can dream of. Huge castles, mountains, historical places, ruins, quiet little farms, rivers, beautiful forests, empty beaches, rocky terrain and all the sights one can wish for. The lakes are magnificent and the highest peak in Great Britain can be found there: Mount Snowdon in (how else could it possibly be named?) Snowdonia National Park. The mountain can be easily climbed. You just walk up along a pretty path. Or if you like, you can take a track steam train going up and down. It will take you along hair raising depths and beautiful panorama's all the way to the very top, where the sights are breathtaking. Remember: in the high season you may have to wait a couple of hours before it's your turn. If you like, you can walk all the way back along paths that are well sign posted and paved reasonably. But again: remember it's a very long way and you do not want to walk there at night. It will take you a few hours to get all the way down. North Wales is a place to go on holidays. Get yourself a bed and breakfast place, in a farm or anywhere you like. Use it as a base to discover the country around. There are few stoplights and the nature is gorgeous. Some roads are narrow and you may have to back up for some way so that opposite traffic can pass you. And off course, it's left hand driving. Remember that, after you had a pick nick along some quiet road: drive away on the left hand side! By the way, there's a bakery in Rhyll that makes the best Cornish Pasties in the world, as far as I am concerned! And the Welsh are very hospitable and friendly towards tourists!
Language The Welsh have their own language. And believe me, even if you speak English, you will not understand a word of it. Now you know, what a "foreigner" like me has to put up with! It's a Keltish language and ages old. But put your mind at rest: they only speak it amongst themselves. And in fact, it is a beautiful language, the source shrouded in a long forgotten past. They even have yearly championships in poetry in Welsh. The price you can win is a chair! Big, beautifully carved wooden chairs that are most certainly not made for sitting. They are, I found, extremely uncomfortable! The language again adds to the mystical feeling when you're there.
HealthAll visitors will have free medical care in emergencies. It's part of the Health Benefit system of Great Britain, of which Wales is a part.
- There are so many. Wales is called the country of castles. And that's not just an empty phrase. Wherever you go, you will see ruins of castles. Some no more than a little rubble yet others huge and imposing, like Caernavon and Beaumont Castle. They are usually open to the public and are well worth the visit, even if it was only to taste the history they represent. They add to the mystical feeling of this region. Go and see the slate mines or even the gold mines. You can even mine your own gold containing rock and wash it out with a gold pan! See the museums and visit the shops. Have a taste in the restaurants. And if you like fishing: this is the place to be. Trout is to be caught everywhere and when the season is right, the salmon can be fished for as well when they come up the rivers.
Places to visit
Public transport is well organized with buses and trains. At some places you can take a small steam train and thus visit picturesce sights in comfort.
Weather in North Wales - Snowdon
Info from Lonely Planet
Touristic info on Wales
Copyright © 1998-2010 Luuk Francken
Created: April 14, 1998. Updated: september 2 2010