This was a return "home" for us as our ancestors on the Blethen side sailed from Ireland and Wales to Maine in the early 1700s; we have been in America ever since. One of those sailors was Captain James H. Blethen, our great-great-grandfather who initiated our family wanderlust. It is to him that my largest site The Maritime Heritage Project is dedicated.
Cross the Sevren Bridge into Wales in the port town of Cardiff to stay in the Cardiff Moat House. The moat house is near the city center and the Museum of Life at St. Fagins, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff Castle and the Millennium Stadium.
Thence across the Irish Sea to Holyhead on the Welsh Isle of Anglesey with its tongue-twisting place names. The best of North Wales on a scenic drive through Snowdonia National Park, including spectacular Llanberis Pass and pretty Betwy-y-Coel.
One of the many highlights was the small town of Llangollen in North Wales, which like many European towns, is seeped in myth and legend. Today it is best known for hosting the Llangollen International Music Festival in July, which brings in 120,000 visitors and turns the town into a vibrant international stage. As with so many ancient Welsh towns, Llangollen takes its name from its founding Saint. Llangollen was established in the 7th Century when the monk St. Collen was instructed to find a valley by riding a horse for one day and then to stop and mark out a "parish," a place to build his hermitage or cell as the custom of the times, with tiny church, hospice and outhouses all enclosed within a wall.
One of Mid-Wales' prettiest villages, Wrexham is nestled in the stunning Tanat Valley. Within easy reach of the Pistyll Rhaeadr Waterfall (one of the "Wonders of Wales"), the craggy mountains and dramatic contrasting landscape of Snowdonia, Lake Vyrnwy, Powis Castle and Gardens in Welshpool, and the historic towns of Chester and Shrewsbury. There are several golf courses nearby (20 mins) and horseback riding, fishing and sailing are available all surrounded by Wales fine walking landscapes.
July 25, 1884, IRON
London, United Kingdom
NORTH WALES--Notwithstanding the disorganization of the coal trade in the adjoining counties, the North Wales colliers keep steadily at work. Nor is there any movement on the part of either the masters or the men for a reduction or increase of wages. The railway wagon works are well employed, as are also most of the manufacturing trades, and some activity prevails in the building of yachts and steam launches on the Dee at Chester. The various chemical and other works that line the estuary of the Dee from Chester to Mostyn are also fairly well employed. The Van lead mine, which has had a successful career for a quarter of a century, has latterly been carried on only at a loss, and the shareholders have passed a resolution to wind this company up. In slate quarrying the men are respectfully protecting that they ought not to bear reduction in the price of slates. The slate trade, which a few weeks back showed signs of weakness, is recovering. In the iron trade the long hoped for improvement in prices is a long time coming. Orders are rather scarce, and there is a keen competition for them. A good deal is hoped for on the completion of the works for the manufacture of steel now in the course of erection near Wrexham. Some amount of improvement has taken place in the building, paving, and limestone quarries.
Welsh is a Celtic language spoken in Wales (Cymru) by about 659,000 people, and in the Welsh colony (yr Wladfa) in Patagonia, Argentina (yr Ariannin) by several hundred people. There are also Welsh speakers in England (Lloegr), Scotland (yr Alban), Canada, the USA (yr Unol Daleithiau), Australia (Awstralia) and New Zealand (Seland Newydd).
Welsh is fairly closely related to Cornish and Breton, and more distantly related to Irish, Manx and Scottish Gaelic. Following are illustrations of some of the differences and similarities between the Celtic languages using the phrase "I live in Wales":
- Welsh - Dw i'n byw yng Nghymru
- Cornish - Trigys ov yn Kembra
- Breton - E Kembre emaon o chom
- Irish - Tá mé i mo chónaí sa Bhreatain Bheag
- Scottish Gaelic - Tha mi a' fuireach anns a' Chuimrigh
- Manx - Ta mee cummal 'sy Vretyn