June 25th, 2007
Categories: Uncategorized

Weekend in Caernarfon, Welshness and Barbecues


Urgh. I am never drinking again.

This time, I mean it.

I arrived in Caernarfon at about 1pm, after blatantly disregarding “The Quiet Coach” of the train (look, nobody was in there, nobody cared if my phone wasn’t on silent), and a trip in a snazzy Smart Roadster. We ended up on a green field outside Caernarfon overlooking the Menai Straits, and we had plenty of beer, sausages, crisps. Perfect for a barbecue.

One hour, two burgers and three hot dogs later, I was full. After a kickabout (which I haven’t had for weeks, god I was unfit!) we headed to the hostel (Totters Youth Hostel, Caernarfon), which was clean, friendly and warm. The breakfasts were simple and easy and the staff were friendly. It was also quiet, which was very nice, as I slept like a log.

However, I reckon that’s more to do with what happened in the evening. Myself, Ian and about 9-10 others went out on the lash in and around Caernarfon. We first went to Weatherspoons for a bite to eat, where I decided to do something I have rarely done outside of school.

Talk in Welsh.

You see, if you saw me in the street you’d probably think I’m scouse or something, not Welsh. Colwyn Bay – for lack of a better phrase – is an English part of Wales. Caernarfon is one of the most Welsh part of Wales, with over 80% of the city speaking Welsh. Impressively, in my terms, my GCSE in Welsh held up and I managed to order drinks and food in Welsh. I say Welsh, but really it was half Welsh – they never teach you in school that, in Caernarfon anyway, they say certain words in English like numbers – so if I was cheating, all of Caernarfon were.

I think it’s nice that at least in Caernarfon, Welsh is still alive and well. There are only about 750,000 Welsh speakers in the world, although it is increasing. I used to hate Welsh in school, but I don’t want the language to die. Maybe if they change the way it’s taught in Wales (we were taught how to conduct deep philosophical discussions in Welsh, stuff that I’d never need!) then maybe more people will adopt it.

But after a few drinks, constant “I can’t believe how Welsh this is, I’m so proud!” whittering too my new found Welsh buddies, chatting up some laydee in broken Welsh (she said “Berchodd” when I said I was from the Bay, which literally means “Oh you poor thing” – it’s good word to say in a sarcastic way), copious amounts of Brains ale, falling asleep in Weatherspoons and ringing Aussie Ami, I decided to call it a night and head home. Of course, Ian stayed out a while longer and took a few photos, including a number of me asleep. Phwoar, I look dead sexy me! I’ve put my photos on facebook, and you can see and comment on my drunkeness there

It was a fun weekend, and hopefully I’ll do it again sometime. Ian and Ste and whoever else are already planning on coming over to Llandudno for a few drinks and to watch the cricket in early August, but I’m in charge of organising that. Woe!

So, to finish, a little game. Below are some Welsh words on Bangor station. See if you can guess what they mean in English?



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