Search This Blog

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

As long as we’re talking about Wales...

And we were, right? Right?!!

Only been to Wales once and it was an astoundingly brief visit. I'd flown into Manchester, England headed, ultimately, for Ireland. I'd blown off my connecting flight to Dublin figuring I’ll get to the coast in Wales somehow and then catch a ferry over. Yeah, there wasn't a shit-ton of thought involved in this plan.

Getting from the airport, to Piccadilly Station and then down to Chester (still in England, not in Wales yet!) was the first leg of my overland trip. For some odd reason I was unable to get a connecting train to Holyhead that day so figured I’d spend the night there. I'd watch the street performers, walk the wall and find a lovely pint – which I did. The pub was an odd joint – it appeared to be, not a re-creation, but an unintentional holdover from the 19th century. I wondered if it had just Brigadooned in for the day. In the morning I'd hoof and hitch the remaining 83 miles.

That was the plan.

Being a Directionally Impaired babe I naturally went the long way, ending up in Llangollen (pronounced Th-lan-goth-len), 75 miles from Holyhead. DOH! But I was now in Wales and it was absolutely beautiful. I found a B&B for the night and then set out for a walk around the village. In addition to seeing what there was to see, my goal was to find a nice pub with an even nicer pint.

I noticed fairly quickly that the townsfolk weren’t as cheerfully outgoing as the folks in Chester. They weren’t rude or nasty – nothing like that – they just seemed utterly aloof. Chilly. I was just 24 miles from convivial Chester, what up with the big tone change?

Could be that I looked so very different from this hamlet’s residents with my dark hair, skin that’s decidedly not pale to the point of translucence, cowboy mules, all black clothing and backpack. Yeah, I kinda stood out as the odd STRANGER in a town that’s generally, most of the year, not the big tourist destination. Every summer, there’s a mondo music fest there but I was WAY too early for that.

Who knows? Could be something else entirely.
In a wholly unscientific study the Welsh were found to be shy and depressed.
According to the survey, the most friendly and emotionally stable Britons were found in Scotland, while Wales was home to a disproportionate number of shy and neurotic people. (source)

I did find my nice pint, a Rev. James Original, in the near empty Prince of Wales pub. Tired of catching folks sneaking sidelong studies of me, I decamped to my crib-for-the-night to read.

In the AM I booked it for Holyhead. I’ve no memory of how I got there. Either I got a ride quickly OR found a bus. Whichever, it was as uneventful as my overnight in this port town.

I’d like to go back to Wales one day. There’s so much damn beauty (as long as I avoid the holiday/caravan parks!) and, who knows, the folks in Llangollen might be more happily sociable in autumn. Possibly I should bring a translucent skinned Brit around with me to, ya know, put everyone at ease.

No comments:

Post a Comment