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Canon Buff ~ Papparazi Wanabe
By: Marizan Nor

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Wednesday, 17-Aug-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Cymru #7

... a pleasant welcoming environment &
sweet petunias too ...
... 'asseyez vous silvou plez' ...
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I swear I am not swearing! I am not pulling your legs either! This is the name of a Welsh town north of Aberyswyth ( said as Aboriswith ). It is recognised by Guiness Book of Records as the town name with the longest single word ( not the one in Thailand! ). If you think the names of previous entries were difficult to pronounce, this one is for sure a tongue-twisting exercise. You'll have to listen to a Welsh to appreciate the rhyme. To avoid the agony, outsiders usually call it Llanfair ( Khlanfair ) or .... Gogogoch ( Gogogohh ). Translated into English, it means ' The church of St Mary in the hollow of white hazel trees near the rapid whirpool by Lltysilio's of the red cave ' (I am not kidding either!).

( Khlanbearghi )

Eager, I took up Angie's suggestion and headed for this sleepy little town. It is at the bottom of the highest peak in Wales and England, the Snowdonia Mountain. The journey up and down the mountain was indeed a unique experience. That will be in the next entry.


Llanfair is near Llandanwg and Llanbedr. To its north is Porthmadog, the nearest major town.

Tuesday, 16-Aug-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Cymru #6

... yes love, take a trip to LLanberis ...
... half km stretch onto Menai Straits ..
... 2 little kiosks ...
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The Welsh are a proud people
. The Saxons under William the Conqueror took control of the British Isles in 1066. They drove the natives ( son of the soil ) to the mountains ( which later became the borders ) of Wales and Scotland. The Welsh language ( and Gaelic in Scotland ) was banned. Offenders were punishable by death. For centuries they were oppressed by the English. Despite that, the Welsh language survived. Today, Welsh is still on air through the BBC Cymru radio and television. You'd probably need big ears, like elephants, to understand it!

From the Bridge, I moved on to the Bangor Pier. Its not as grand as Llandudno's but the view of the Menai Strait was no less majestic. I met Angie at the pier kiosk. She is a retiree and does superb voluntary work promoting Wales to tourists. She exercised great patience as she explained to me the various attractions of North Wales. Maybe I'll do this too when I retire. Thanks Angie.

Monday, 15-Aug-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Cymru #5

... overlooking Angelsey Island ..
... call it bicentennial bridge
... maintenance culture defined ...
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is pronounced as Benggor ( not Banger ), is the biggest town in North Wales. It was my next stop. To the west of Bangor is the Angelsey Island. The narrow Menai Strait separates the island from Bangor and the mainland. Like most Welsh towns, Bangor is a ' cute ' little town...quaint actually..aaahhh..

Bangor does not have the attraction of Llundudno's beaches. However I had to visit the Menai Strait Bridge. The bridge is a landmark to civil engineers. It is a suspension bridge ( then the technology was little known ) and was constructed in the 19th Century. Despite being almost 200 years old, it is still the main transportation link between Bangor and the Angelsey Island. I was in awe. The original cable stays were made of cast steel. It is obsolete in todays engineering term but must have been a mammoth project back then. Salute to the engineers who designed and constructed it.

One thing for certain, typical of British, the bridge is very well maintained. This explains why it has lasted until today.

Ooops : I simply love the yatch under the bridge shot.

Sunday, 14-Aug-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Cymru #4

... cars nicely lined up ..
... split second too late for me ..
... fermented barley cave ...

Somehow, there are quite a number of towns in Wales that begin with Llan....... Llandeilo, Llandrindod, Llangurig, Llantwit, Llanrwst etc. One that I had difficulty pronouncing correctly at the beginning of my stay in Swansea was Llanelli. The bus driver thought I had picked the wrong route until he figured out that the town was Khlanakheli. I guess the Welsh have accepted that foreigners can never pronounce their towns correctly.

Saturday, 13-Aug-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Cymru #3

... the other beach & promontory ...
... adorable summer lodge ...
... Llandudno Pier ...
View all 6 photos...

Llandudno is pronounced as Khlandardno ( with a strong idgham maalghonah ), is another small town that comes alive only in summer. The summer temperature here ( as is North Wales ) is warmer than in Blackpool, the rival English seaside town, north of Liverpool. Llandudno is a favourite summer destination for Brits who live in the Midlands and the North West. I also spotted a number of cars with German number plates.

Uponing reaching the town of Llandudno I noticed that the Bed & Breakfast and the Hotels that fronted the beach were mostly painted white or soft pastel colours . Perhaps this is the Llandudno identity. The sidewalks were crowded with holiday makers. Most were just lazing in the sun or trying to get a tan.

Like Colwyn Bay, I love the neatness of the town. It was clean and orderly and wherever I looked, the views were pleasant and picture-perfect..

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