We’re always on the move on this bus tour. Not that we mind, of course. We’re having a fantastic time. But I was disappointed to be leaving Liverpool after only one night. There’s so much more I would have liked to see. Still, I can’t complain. I’m still buzzing from the fact that we had a beer and heard about a dozen Beatles tunes in the Cavern Club last night. Wow!
This morning’s first stop was the historic English town of Chester, in Cheshire, just a little way from the border with North Wales. Chester was a Roman town, and we walked for a short way along the Roman city wall. Chester is also famous for the magnificent rows in the heart of its shopping precinct. The rows are covered walkways on the first floor level of the main thoroughfares, which are directly on top of the shops at street level. And there are many example of beautiful half timbered buildings in these streets as well. Chester oozes old world charm, and we loved it. After a guided walk through the old town, we were left with about 20 minutes spare time to explore the city, so we made a beeline for a wool shop and Marg was delighted to be able to buy some new wool from the British Isles.
Soon we crossed the border into North Wales. Immediately the place names on the road signs began to look rather unpronounceable. The countryside, of course, was green and appealing, but I couldn’t live in a place like this because I’d be totally incapable of giving anyone my address!
We crossed a bridge onto the island of Anglesey, heading for Holyhead. Before we reached our destination we had one more stop. It was at a small railway station that achieved world fame some time ago when it was given the name Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. The village is called Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, but somebody must have had a few leftover Scrabble letters and added them at the end to give the railway station its name. There’s even the letter L there four times in a row! It means something like: Saint Mary’s Church in the hollow of the white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the Church of Saint Tysilio of the red cave.
While I spent time at the station trying to say the word properly, and then more time trying to untangle my tongue, Marg ducked over the road to another wool shop and bought some more wool. I think that’s a record for her – two wool shops in two countries within an hour of each other.
Thankfully escaping the Llanfair… place, I mistakenly thought the place names might get a little easier from now on, but they just kept getting harder and harder to pronounce. Whatever happened to putting vowels between consonants? Wales looks like a beautiful country to visit, but we’ll need to wait a little while to see more of it, as our bus delivered us onto the ferry at Holyhead in preparation for our voyage across the Irish Sea to Dublin.