A lot of Welsh is spoken
I have to apologize to all Welsh speakers in Southern Wales. I really thought the South was more English spoken, while the North of Wales used Welsh. Maybe I was influenced by the books by Rhys Bowen, who tends to put more emphasis on the North as the "real" Wales.
So I was surprised to realize how many people speak Welsh to each other.
All signs are bilingual, with Welsh being the first language. Riding in the buses, I heard people talk to each other in Welsh, also passing them on the streets.
I'm sorry to say I never managed to get the sounds right, I thought I had got the Ll right, like chl, but then I was told I had it all wrong. Of well, luckily everyone spoke English, too and the bus drivers and conductors understood where I wanted to go.
Brecon My home town
Brecon is the county town of Powys, in mid Wales. Powys is the ?new? name of the amalgamated counties of Breconshire and Radnorshire.
Brecon used to be a thriving market town with two market days, Tuesdays and Fridays, when all cattle and animals would be brought into town from the local farms, for a cattle auction, Fridays was also the day of the indoor weekly market. Local farmers, smallholders, market traders and the WI would set up stalls of produce from Home Made Jam, to fruit and veg., and farm produce. Some of the best homemade farmhouse cheese could be bought here on Fridays but alas with all the EU regulations nothing can now be sold that has been made in a farmhouse.
Before the new rules Wales had some strange licensing regulations. If there was a Market being held in the town then the pubs were allowed to stay open from 11AM to 10:30PM i.e. open all day.
Brecon lies in the Usk valley and until the 80?s had the only bridge over the river for 20 miles downstream and 15 miles upstream. Brecon is at the confluence of the Honddu and Tarrell rivers with the Usk. This has caused some serious flooding in times past the worst being about 4 ft above the level of the bridge.
Brecon used to close at 5:30pm and never open on Sundays. There used to be two cinemas, now there is only 1 but it has 3 screens.
Someone in the 70?s decided to have a Jazz festival in Brecon and that is said to be the renaissance of the town. In conjunction with the Brecon Beacons National Park and Mountain Center, Brecon has had some very serious money spent on the town and surrounding areas. Brecon has now become a major tourist center in the summer months, but still closes in the winter. Even the Brecon and Monmouthshire Canal has been resurrected to become a major tourist attraction on its own.
Brecon is also the cathedral town, the church of St John the Evangelist, of the diocese of Swansea and Brecon. Many of the buildings within the walls of the original monastery have been converted to a heritage center.
The original Cathedral buildings were built around 1100AD just after a Castle was built to protect the local area.
Brecon used to have a large railway presence but was slowly run down and was finally closed to passenger traffic in the early 60?s. I traveled on one of the last service trains to depart. The old station site now hosts the Fire station. Many of the old railway tracks around Brecon have been converted into country cycle/single track roads. Part of the Brecon and Merthyr Railway has been restored to steam and run by the Brecon Mountain Railway, based in Merthyr, the railway boasts some of the most beautiful scenery to be seen in the area.
Brecon is a useful base to local tourist attractions and mountain walking, having, now, a good road system, but expect to take your time as the surrounding area is predominately agricultural with the roads being the only way some farm machinery can travel. Just a few miles from Brecon is the Wye valley and the town of Hay on Wye reputed to have the most number of secondhand bookshops in the UK.
The Usk and Wye boast some of the best fishing in the whole of Wales.
Take a trip and enjoy the relaxing, laidback atmosphere.
People from Brecon are called Breconions hence my handle.
Use the links to other information about Brecon and the surrounding areas.