Becca Jane St Clair

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Anglesey in the Rain

Tuesday brought us rain. Not wanting to walk around castles in the rain, we headed over to the Isle of Anglesey. Anglesey is the largest Welsh island and the largest island in the Irish Sea, as well as the fifth largest island surrounding Britain. It covers over 700 square kilometres of land (over 250 square miles) and includes the port of Holyhead. You might remember that my mom and I took the ferry from Dublin to Holyhead (and back) as part of our visit to the UK in September 2009.

Our first destination was the Pili Palas, a butterfly hut that included a reptile room, bird room, farm animals, and other insects (There was a row of spiders which I avoided looking at!). The butterfly section was kept at a balmy 80 degrees Fahrenheit for the tropical butterflies…which were allowed to roam all over the room. Unfortunately, the extreme change in temperature (from the chilly outside to the warm inside) caused the digital SLR to steam up. Fortunately, I also had my small camera with me, and I was still able to take photos of the butterflies. Also unfortunate was Mark’s displeasure for the heat. He did not spend much time with Helen and I as we admired the butterflies, and we moved quickly through the rest of the palas.

Our second stop was Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. No, I’m not kidding. It is, in fact, the longest town name in the United Kingdom, and is tied for the third longest word in the world as far as I can tell*. The town name means “Saint Mary’s Church in the hollow of white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the Church of Saint Tysilio near the red cave” in Welsh. Most people refer to it simply as “Llanfair PG”, but I kept calling it “Llanfair gogogoch”. I remember when I was at Penn State and I lived on the International Language floor, all our rooms were named after international cities and one of the rooms got the name “Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch”…though we all thought the town was in Scotland, and were told it was the home of Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster. Whoops.

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is pretty much only known for it’s long name. There’s a railway station and a shop/cafe. After Lunch, we shopped for a bit, then wandered over to the station to take some photos.

It was still early in the day, so we headed over to Beaumaris. We did not go into the castle grounds since none of us were in the mood for climbing lots of steps, but we took some photos and explored the town and waterfront area.

On our way back to the mainland, Helen spotted a spot to stop where we could get photos of both the Menai Bridge and the Brittania Bridge, the two bridges that connect Anglesey to the mainland.

*Through research, it appears to be the third longest word in the world at 58 English characters, but in Welsh, double letters count as one letter, so it then becomes tied for third. The longest word in the world, by the way, according to the Guinness Book of World’s Records is the Swedish town of NordöstersjökustartilleriflygspaningssimulatoranläggningsmaterielunderhÃ¥llsuppföljningssystemdiskussionsinläggsförberedelsearbeten, which apparently means “Coast artillery flight searching simulator area material maintaining follow-up system discussion post preparation tasks of the Northern Baltic Sea”.

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  1. 數位監控系統 September 13th, 2010 5:48

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