Wales is a country in southwest Great Britain known for its rugged coastline, mountainous national parks, distinctive language and Celtic culture.
One thing I learned very quickly is that the Welsh are proud of their heritage.
Proud to be Welsh, proud to hate the English (all in good fun) and proud of their language. The nationalistic pride that exists inside of the UK is something I did not expect. While each of us is proud to be from our home state, it’s a different kind of pride than that.
Speaking of pride, this is a little known fact – Wales has more castles than any other country in Europe.
If you are a fan of castles like me, you will find Laugharne Castle interesting. It sits perfectly on the estuary, hardly altered for so many years.
Also, it is close to Dylan Thomas‘ boathouse. The boathouse is a 5 minute walk from Laugharne Castle along Dylan Thomas’ Walk, passing the Writing Shed which can be viewed from the pathway. The terrace offers wonderful views of the Taf estuary and the Gower beyond.
Next to castles, the Welsh are righteously proud of their breathtaking coastlines. Rhossili beach for example. This beach is one of the best in Wales. The drive all the way from Swansea to Rhossili bay have amazing views. Another one is Pendine beach. A flat, seven mile (11 km) length of beach on the shores of Carmarthen Bay on the south coast of Wales. It is that long and wide that people can actually bring their cars on the beach to roam around. There are car racing and marathons held here during summer.
Another thing that is hard to miss in Wales are the colorful houses beautifully lined up facing the sea. An example is in Tenby, probably the most iconic seaside town in Wales. Tenby also has a mini museum and gallery. I didn’t get inside though I enjoyed the view from the hill.
Tenby has three great beaches; north, south and castle, each with its own character and all facing in different directions so at least one should be sheltered if it happens to be windy. If you have plenty of time to spare, take a short boat ride from Tenby to go to the monastery on Caldey Island, it is also well worth a visit.
Just like Tenby, Aberystwyth also has a long strip of colorful buildings facing the ocean. There is a local custom known as ‘kicking the bar‘. There are many theories explaining why people do this old custom: (1) to receive good luck, (2) to ward off evil spirits, (3) to appreciate royalties, (4) to pass a degree, and/or (5) to ensure good health.