Ynys Môn and the Llŷn Peninsula
The coastal extremities of North Wales.
Most Welsh people know Ynys Môn (Anglesey) as the largest of all the Welsh islands. This is connected to the mainland by road bridges across the Menai strait, a thin strip of sea water that is so narrow, it appears to be a river (in fact, its Welsh name Afon Menai calls it a river). This is where most people's knowledge ends. Some can perhaps add that it has a ferry port (though that is actually on a separate, secondary island), and the rest is mainly farmland. A few are aware that lots of the population are bilingual.
Like many parts of Wales, it has plenty of beaches, and a castle. But even having been there to go shopping at one of those rare things called a supermarket, I'm still not sure if the island actually has anything else that makes it stand out. It certainly does not have the natural attractions of the Snowdonia National Park. Simply because I should mention it at some point, on the mainland side of the strait is the second smallest city in the UK (one of those with a cathedral) called Bangor.
- Crossing the Menai Strait.
- Ynys Môn, where reduced price lettuce shows up on the till with the ultra-low price of just £288, and where the checkouts add seemingly random charges to your receipt.
- OK, so most people do know something on Ynys Môn. Whether or not they know it is on Ynys Môn is another matter. However, this tiny town (or large village) is known throughout the world as the place with an extremely long, unpronounceable name, and is sometimes thought to be the World record holder for longest name (though it is beaten by a couple of other places). Well, it is pronounceable (ask me to pronounce it if you see me), but it is stupidly long.
- The name is actually manufactured. The real name is Llanfair Pwllgwyngyll, but unlike the Victorian molestation of Welsh names, this town decided that instead of simplifying names to attract tourists, they should do the opposite. So the train station was renamed to 'The Church of (Saint) Mary in the Hollow of the White Hazel near to the Rapid Whirlpool of the Church of (Saint) Tysilio of the Red Cave'. The venture is a success, and for such a small place, it does attract a lot of attention. Tourists arrive in large numbers, visit the station and department store, take pictures, then drive on to find somewhere that has more attractions than just a long name. We were tourists. Guilty. (Note that the English transliteration contains four errors, so don't attempt to use it to learn the name.)
The weather was very bad, so we decided to go to the coast, to watch the sea attempting to destroy the Llŷn Peninsula.