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Published: September 2nd 2010
Pah! The Welsh prefer a more advanced railway system. Ivor anyone?
Well, it has been a while since I visited the land of my birth, since the Saesneg parents returned to their Saesneg roots I haven't made the trek back for a few years so it was time to take a trip back to the green, green grass of home.
Of course, some among you will argue I'm not really Welsh since I come from a long line of English, but not being accepted by either culture is a cross I have had to bear throughout my life, it is amazing I have turned out so well after such a difficult upbringing.
Anyway, I digress, so off up to North Wales to spend a few days in the small town of Porthmadog, just south of the Lleyn Peninsula (that is not pronounced CL mother!). Luckily for me the last vestiges of the Welsh branch of the family have procured a rather nice flat on the harbour for family use.
After an early start from Euston I took the train up to Bangor, hitting the North East Wales coast I was transported back to the land of few vowels and many caravans. Amazingly the rotting ship once known as the
Here's lovely Welsh for you
I believe it means 'The back kitchen' if my memory serves me well.
’ is still to be found, looking a little bit worse for wear, still you could say that about a few of the towns around there..
As the train rumbled round the coast the prettier parts came in to view, along with the castles and mountains. Oh, apart from Penmaenmawr, this has to be the grimmest town in North Wales, just don’t go there. Finally arriving at Bangor station I was greeted by my niece and nephew holding up signs saying ‘Aunty Mary’ on them, just as one should expect.
First up was a visit to Plas Newydd on Ynys Mon (Anglesey), a nice little stately home most famous for a rather clever painting in the dining room. The scene across one long wall is a bit of an optical illusion, objects in the painting change direction as you walk past them, all very clever, or maybe just some Welsh druidic voodoo?
After only a few short hours of being back in the land of my birth I’d become so Welsh again I was practically fluent in the poetic language, as was my sister. Ble mae Mot? Mae Mot ar y cadair. Rwy’n hoffi hufen ia. Well,
What else do you do at the seaside of an evening but go crab fishing? Get the bacon out...
maybe it was more like saying everything in a strong Welsh accent, but I’m sure that counts.
Da iawn, it was then time to head down to Porthmadog for the traditional family sport of Crab fishing. The Kitchen family have passed down the skills of crab fishing through many generations. We got off to a tremendous start much to the consternation of some other crab fishers nearby. But the fools were using ham instead of smelly bacon as bait. Pah! Amateurs, we soon put them right, they now knows the way of the crabs.
Next day was a relaxed affair, a stroll around the town and a bit of sitting on the balcony looking at the boats, very nice. Then time for a drive south to Harlech for a drive in the hills above the town and then a walk along the beach. Then back for some of the finest Pysgod a sglodion to be had, and of course a spot of crab fishing to end the day.
On the final day it was time to head up in to the hills and visit my uncle and aunty in the pretty village of Dolwyddelan, try saying that
Oh, there's lovely view for you
Looking out from the balcony, not bad...
if you are a Saesneg. Being such a kind aunty I offered to take my niece and nephew on the Ffestiniog railway which starts in Porthmadog and winds its way up the mountains into Snowdonia. We managed to get a seat in the carriage with no windows for the maximum steam experience, which seems to include you getting covered in soot, I’m sure that didn’t happen on the Maglev in Shanghai.
Arriving in the mountains we took a good look at the view of Snowdon, not the biggest mountain I’ve seen but still rather nice and then headed up one of the valleys around Dolwyddelan for a picnic. Walking in the shadow of Moel Siabod we found a nice spot near an abandoned mine workers village for some lunch.
Well, the visit was all too short but a big thank you to Uncle Peter and Aunty Deirdre for allowing us to stay in their flat, much appreciated.
This is Mair Sian saying da boch chi!
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