If it’s weird, I’m there! I love to see different, intriguing and even weird places when I travel. Believe me when I tell you Wales is one place you shouldn’t miss. Aside from great food and friendly folks, they also offer fantastic places you never thought existed. Let me share them with you!
Let me start with the Llanfairpwllgwyngyll-gogerychwyrndrobwll-llantysilio-gogogoch train station. The what!? I told you! Talk about tongue twisters! Anyway, this railway station is found on the North Wales Coast Line and serves the people of Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, Wales. Built in 1848, the name of the train station came from the different places and establishments found in the village. Tourists love the intriguing name and I guess it simply stuck. Okay, try saying it. Me? I gave up a long time ago!
What’s your dream? Is it a big mansion with a swimming pool and a tennis court? If you want people to talk about your house, here is a suggestion … build the smallest! People from Conwy, North Wales like it small and cute! Thanks to Robert Jones who built the Quay House in the 16th century. Jones who is 6 ft. 3 inches stayed in the Quay house measuring 10 x 6 ft. until the 1900. He left the house only because the council told him so. Today, tourists can still check the Quay house for £1.00. But remember the house tour will only take .5 seconds! Kidding!
I wanted a ‘leap of faith’ adventure while in Wales so I decided to see the summit of Tryfan. I specifically looked for the two boulders named Adam and Eve. The boulders are three meters high and 1.2 meters apart. The view was spectacular too. According to Welsh folks you will earn the “Freedom of Tryfan” if you jump from boulder to boulder. Did I jump? Next place please!
Aside from travelling, I also love animals. That’s why the Animal Wall really intrigued me. Seeing ‘rare’ animals sculpted perfectly on a wall and making sure it lasted for decades is a great treat. You will find this wall in Cardiff Wales at the Castle Quarter. Sculptors Thomas Nicholls and Alexander Carrick made a total of 15 animals on the wall. In 1881 Nicholls made the hyena, wolf, apes, two lions, lynx, lioness, seal and bear. Carrick sculpted the vulture, pelican, beaver, ant-eater, leopard and raccoon in 1931.
The wall is great, but I prefer dogs. So, I made sure I visited the Gelert’s Grave in the village of Beddgelert. The grave site presents a simple story about a hound with a big heart. Believing Gelert the hound killed his baby, Llewelyn, the Welsh Prince, shot the dog. Realizing he made a mistake, Llewelyn made sure Gelert got a proper burial. The incident also made Llewelyn remorseful and he never smiled again.
Another place I suggest you visit is the Portmeirion. It is the beautiful yet ‘intriguing’ tourist village in Gwynedd, North Wales. Sir Clough Williams-Ellis built and designed the village between 1925 and 1975. Why intriguing? William-Ellis kept denying that he copied Portofino, a village found in Italy. He later admitted his design was Portofino inspired. The Portmeirion village became more popular after being featured in films and TV shows.
Finally, I wanted to end my trip with a bang, so I joined the Llandaff Cardiff Ghost Walk! The guide gave interesting stories about the village of Llandaff. Stories about plagues, murders, suicides were also mentioned. If you want to feel, hear or see ghosts, I dare you to join the walk! Warning: The walk is not recommended for kids or people with weak hearts!
So, if you want an unforgettable adventure, go to Wales. For sure, we will have the same reaction – a head scratch while uttering, “Hmmm … really!?”