I know, I know. Listing a grocery store as a tip might sound strange, but it is an essential part of my life here in Lampeter. Somerfield is the closest grocery to the university, unless you count the Spar. (But it’s really tiny so you can’t so any major shopping there.) For the folks at home, it’s not as big as say a Super Kroger or Super Winn Dixie, but it’s fairly large. They have a good alcohol selection, vegetables, meat, and bread section. If you get there at the right time all of the bread and stuff is fresh so that’s nice. The handbaskets are free to use but if you want a cart you have to insert a pound into the slot. You get it back when you return the cart. Just remember, there are things that we have in the US that can be really difficult to find. Like macaroni and cheese together in one box. Or tomato soup that is not creamed. Prices are reasonable, especially if you go there often and know when to look for the specials.
University of Wales-Lampeter
"A little about the town"
Lampeter is my university home. It is a small town located in the Teifi Valley and home to the oldest University in the United Kingdom, aside from Cambridge and Oxford. Several famous people have attended it, such as Lawrence of Arabia and Anthony Hopkins. We have a grand total of 1300 students, but at least we’re all friendly.
The town has an interesting past because nobody is really sure when it began. Probably a long time ago since everything around here is pretty old. Now, I've been to some old places in Europe, but not every place feels old. Lampeter does. It feels ancient. Some mornings I wake up (usually to the sounds of sheep and cows) and I completely forget which century I am in. Then my cell phone alarm rings and I’m back on track. But I digress. There are lots of myths and legends surrounding the place (it IS Wales after all) and supposedly there are various burial grounds, stone circles, and other things of Pagan interest about. One of the earliest references to Lampeter, is in 1187, when Owain Gwynedd destroyed the Castle of Pont Stephen which had been built by the King (the remains of which are in the university grounds). It is possible that there was another castle above the site of the present day church, although little is known of this. I haven’t yet decided if that has anything to do with the ghost that haunts Nikki’s room, but I’m working on it.
"The Rebecca Riots"
Ha ha, and you thought this was going to be something about me, didn’t you? Well, it's not. In the middle of the 19th Century, toll roads provided the transport infrastructure. They were paid for by Trusts, who had the right to levy tolls for usage, and several tollhouses can still be seen in Lampeter and the surrounding area. The farmers particularly did not like the trusts since they were set up fairly close together on roads that farmers had to travel down a lot. Eventually, people got mad and rioted. They did this by dressing as women, and calling themselves the "Daughters of Rebecca.”
The night of August 1st 1843 was the first, and indeed only attack in Lampeter, and was described in "The Welshman", a pro-Rebecca paper, as follows,
"At Lampeter on Tuesday night, the Rebeccaites made a great demonstration. They mustered to the number of about 450 and were preceeded with a band of music. They demolished the Pontfaen gate about 200 yards from Lampeter and then marched therough the town to the Maesyfelin gate, which they broke into pieces, after that they returned through the town and broke the Pound Gate, errected in the Parish road leading to Llanfair, the fragments of this gate were thrown into the river Teify over Lampeter Bridge. The Cellan gate was the next to be demolished and the destruction of Gat Fach, the Cwmmann Gate, concluded the night's work. There was not much secrecy displayed in these operation, the gatemen in every instance been warned of their approach. All the demonstrators were armed and fired volleys into the air while marching. There were six gates destroyed during the night in or near Lampeter. The Rebeccaites in procession passed repeatedly through the the town without a shot fired in anger,"
"The Town Today"
Ah, it's so cute. And I am NOT being sarcastic. It really is a nice place. Despite the fact that we mostly sit in the kitchen in the evenings and play blackjack and drink tea for lack of anything else to do, it’s basically a good place to be. It’s about an hour's ride to the next town of any size, but we have a couple of grocery stores, quite a few pubs, and stores to do your basic shopping in. There’s about 2,000 people here and 1400 of them are native Welsh speakers. The university has a good diversity of students from all over the world. In about a week you get to know everyone in town. You either see them at the store or on the sidewalk or in the pubs. News travels fast. Heck, the people on the floor below me even know what movie I watched before I can leave my room.
Here's a good link to see what other people are saying about the place.
To check out more photos I have taken go here. My Lampeter Photo Album