Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I am not kidding you, this is the name of a town in Wales. They claim it is the longest single word in the world... I wouldn't argue with that.

1) Stand beneath the train station sign and have your picture taken

2) Go to the gift shop and buy a t-shirt or bookmark

We did both.

We were there, on the Island of Anglesey in north Wales visiting Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch because we were taking a weekend break to explore the island, specifically the pretty little coastal town of Beaumaris (which happens to be just a few minutes away from Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch).

Beaumaris and Anglesey (and Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, for that matter) are small, quiet villages with a rugged beauty. The coastline is vast; Impossibly steep pastures, speckled with puffy sheep, pour down into wide beaches, some with rocks and pebbles, others with sand, all are virtually void of people. Wales does not seem to be too bothered with tourism, but that adds to its charm.

I didn't realize what a completely different language Welsh was until we visited Anglesey. This became especially obvious when I asked the sales clerk at the gift shop in Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch (that one does not get easier the more you write it) to pronounce the name of her town. She sounded as if she was having a conversation. They say Welsh is the oldest language in Europe. I could hear no similarities with Latin or Germanic languages-- it is remarkably unique and people still predominantly speak it, at least in the north of Wales.

In a few weeks we will head further afield down the Lleyn peninsula to the seaside town of Abersoch. If nothing else, we will appreciate the brevity of its name.


Linda said...

Funny. I showed Bob and Liv. They both got a kick out of this. It looks like a very pretty town.

Anonymous said...

The village is commonly called Llanfair PG. It saves on the wear and tear of the keyboard when referring to it in correspondence.
Roughly translated, the name means Church of St. Mary near the rapid whirlpool by the red hazel and the Church of St. Tysilio by the red cave. Also, Angelsey is the name of the island. Beaumaris, Llanfair PG, Aberffraw and Holyhead are just some of the villages on the Isle of Angelsey.
My cousins own one of the butcher shops in the village.