Y DDRAIG GOCH-----THE RED DRAGON
Favorite thing: The Welsh flag is probably the most interesting one of the UK countries, with the red dragon on the green and white fields. The red dragon has been in use in Wales for centuries but the flag was only officially adopted in 1959. The history of the red dragon has been lost through the ages but one theory is that the Romans brought in on Draco Standards carried by the Roman Cavalry, when they occupied Britain. . The flag incorporates the Red Dragon of Cadwaladr, King of Gwynedd, along with the Tudor colours of green and white . The Tudor Dynasty which ruled England from 1485 to 1603. Do you know the other two countries with a flag that features a dragon? Answer at the bottom of the review.
A FEW FACTS
Historia Brittonum has the oldest reference to the dragon when Merlin (MYRDDIN the magician) made a prophecy that there would be a long fight between a red dragon and a white dragon. The Saxon white dragon would dominate the Britons red dragon and recapture Lloegr (part of Britain) .
In 1485 Henry VII used the flag at the Battle of Bosworth Field and later carried in state to St. Paul's Cathedral .
The Welsh flag is the only flag of the UK countries not to be incorporated in to the Union Jack.
The flag is called 'Y Ddraig Goch' which means red dragon in Welsh.
Do you know the other two countries with a flag that features a dragon? Answer at the bottom of the review.
Malta and Bhutan have dragons on their flag
The Welsh Dragon: The Truth
Favorite thing: The dragon flag was only officially recognized as the Welsh national flag in 1959.
But where did the the red dragon image come from?
Nearly every civilization in the world has a legend concerning a dragon or a serpent, and the Welsh are no exception. The Welsh word ‘draig’ and the English word ‘dragon’ are from the Latin ‘drakon’ - "he who sees far". The dragon represents the gods or deities of light and sky.
Red, the colour of blood, was used to represent potency and knowledge. It is believed, that the ancient Druids worshiped the dragon and the sun. The bold dragon symbol was taken up by the early Welsh Princes as a symbol of power and it kind off stuck in the national identity. The Tudor colors of green and white in the background were added later.Related to:
- Road Trip
- Arts and Culture
There are 3 Wales
Favorite thing: Wales is a country of huge geographical variation (8,004 sq miles of it) with many long stretches of attractive, rugged coastline and beautiful beaches, mountain ranges and rolling hillsides, lakes and rivers. It is stacked to the beams with historic castles and ruins.
As a general guide:
1. North Wales -is one of the most popular tourist areas in the British Isles.Think James Bond (Timothy Dalton was from here) rugged landscapes and hoards of castles, also home to Wales highest mountain, Snodownia. Note it's Druid history with the bards still holding an international musical festival every year in Llangollen.
2. Mid Wales - The scenery of Mid Wales includes rich farming valleys, rolling hills & rivers, and some of the most beautiful countryside in Britain. It was inspiration of the bards and is the home of Hay on Wye literary festival. Owen Glendower, the last Welsh Prince of Wales was born in Montgomeryshire c.1355.
3. South Wales - mainly known for its industrial heritage. Dylan Thomas & Tom Jones country, with green valleys & mountains, male voice choirs, more castles. Cardiff the capital, is located here. Catherine Zeta Jones was born on 25 September, 1969; in Mumbles. Shirley Bassey, Richard Burton, Charlotte Church, Roald Dahl are all from south Wales. The original Pirate of the Caribbean, Bartholomew Roberts, aka "Black Bart" was the most successful pirate of all time and came from Haverfordwest!
Don't confuse which Wales you are in, it upsets the locals.Related to:
- Mountain Climbing
Cadw Explorer Pass
Favorite thing: Many of the historic sites in Wales are managed by Cadw. If you plan to visit several of those sites, you may save money if you purchase the Explorer Pass. There are two different passes:
3 day pass: gives you free entry to over 30 Cadw sites on 3 different days during a 7 day period.
Prices 2013: 1 adult/child 15,20, 2 adults 23,50, family 32,-.
7 day pass: gives you free entry to over 30 Cadw sites 7 different days during a 14 day period.
Prices 2013: 1 adult/child 22,50, 2 adults 36,50, family 44,50.
We purchased the 3-day-pass, but interestingly we did not really get a pass. We just got the receipt and then at the sites they wrote the date and site name on that receipt. A bit weird, but was working.
Favorite thing: Cadw is a Welsh Goverment scheme set up to conserve,protect and maintain historic,ancient and cultural sites and monuments throughout Wales.Grant aiding rescue archaeology work and offering grants to owners of Historic Buildings are just some of the projects carried out.
Towering fortifications like Caernarfon,Conwy and Chepstow,graceful Abbey's,Handsome Architecture and a host of Exhibitions,cannot fail to leave a lasting impression of Wales which has so much to offer.
Membership in Cadw goes a long way in helping to conserve and protect the heritage,for a small annual subscription you are entitled to the following benefits:Free admission to Cadw attractions,half price admission to hundreds of site in England and Scotland,Heritage in Wales membership pack with maps,info and brochures about many sites.
Fondest memory: Contact:Cadw,Welsh Goverment,Plas Carew,Unit 5/7 Cefn Coed,Parc Nantgarw,Cardiff,CF157QQ
- Historical Travel
History of Wales
Favorite thing: The history of Wales began with the Celts who started migrating from their central European homeland around 1000 BC. In 43 Ad the Romans invaded the British Isles in 43 AD and by 79 AD, Wales. Over the next 200 years Christianity was introduced and Wales was divided into individual small kingdoms and principalities where regional wars became commonplace. In 770, the Saxon King, Offa of Mercia, built a dyke between England and Wales and called the land on the other side of the dyke "Wales" (wordweals meaning foreigners). The inhabitants of this land referred to it as “Cymru" (cymry meaning fellow-countrymen and their individual cultures blended together, both economically and linguistically.Related to:
- Historical Travel
Remember the narrow roads
Favorite thing: Looks fine to me. Everything is close at hand so wont be too much travel. Have you allowed for time to visit places once you get to those towns? Don't forget narrow roads, lots of hills and probably a lot of traffic. Have a good time.
Fondest memory: I live here so have far too many to list here.Related to:
- Road Trip
Aoife's Welsh Memories
Favorite thing: I have visited Wales lots of times and in 2010 we went to stay at my auntie's house. I went with my Mom, Dad, sister and my dog Bella.
The weather was sunny but cold and it had been snowing.
Fondest memory: My best memory of Wales is going to the hills and snowboarding and having lunch. Afterwards we went home and had a bbq!
In wales I met Charlie and saw the highest hill in Wales, Mt. Snowdon.
Favorite thing: Hello,
The website www.eatwithalocal.com started in Wales, so there are a fair few members scattered about who will cook you a meal free of charge. It is a great way of tasting the local food. and meeting people who will give you good advice on what to do and see in Wales. If you were to visit me I would cook you lava bread and bacon it is the Welsh version of caviar. Check out the site you might be lucky.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Food and Dining
- Family Travel
Fondest memory: What I miss most about Wales is my local pub. Where I lived (near the Pier in Bangor) there were 2 really good pubs. The Tap and Spile (10 seconds from my front door) had a pool table, a quiz box, good cheap food, and decent ales (although I'm not a real ale lass). The bartenders were friendly (one was my housemate) the owners were friendly and didn't make a racket after midnight and everyone in there was really friendly.
The other local I had was just further round the corner (about 2 minutes from my front door) and was called the Ship Launch. More of a locals pub but did show all the good footy matches. I think my fondest memory is sitting in that pub with none of my uni friends just some old men from the pub watching the Champions League semi-final second leg between Liverpool and Chelsea in 2008.
The comraderie was brilliant. They didn;t care that I couldn't speak Welsh or was a 20 year old girl. I was there watching the footy, swearing at Drogba and the ref and having a good laugh like the rest of them.
So that's what I miss most from Wales. A good, friendly pub environment.
Favorite thing: The Menai Strait divides Anglesey from mainland Wales and is bridged by a rather elderly Menai Suspension Bridge, considered the first modern suspension bridge in the world.
The building of the bridge significantly reduced the time to travel with some tricky water to navigate. Construction of the bridge started in 1819 and was completed in 1826. Since then a bit of cosmetic work has been done plus a great deal of strengthening work to allow the very heavy weight of modern vehicles to cross.
If you want to see what is going on at the bridge you can link into the bridge monitoring video camera for a look. You need to click on the map at Menai Bridge first to get the correct camera.Related to:
- Road Trip
The Severn Bridge
Favorite thing: There are two Severn Bridges. Both were toll bridges when I drove here last with a rather steep fee of £5. The bridges are your way in and out of South Wales from England so your main options to get to see the lovely Welsh Valleys.
Fondest memory: I took a couple of photos from my car as I was driving over the bridge. Not much really but one of my memories of being on the road in the UK in a small Fiat - lots of fun if your co-driver gets their directions correct, even more fun if they don't.......Related to:
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
All action packed Adventure Weekend !!
Favorite thing: Just about Everybody agreed that it had been an Excellent weekend, Everything had run smoothly, and we had All Enjoyed ourselves Immensely.
I for one had Enjoyed my first attempt at Absailing and Archery.
There was something for Everyone to either try for the fist time or improve their skill at..
It was a Great opportunity to talk to like minded people, To discuss both Past and Future travel Plans and to get new Ideas for even more trips for the Future -- All in All a Great Weekend and now there is More Planned -- so If this sounds like your cup of tea then log onto C2T ---- companions2travel and make Sure that you are at the next All action packed Adventure Weekend !!Related to:
- Adventure Travel
My Favourite Welsh Music
Favorite thing: My five favourite albums by Welsh artists:
1. Catatonia - Way Beyone Blue
2. Manic Street Preachers - This Is My Truth, Tell Me Yours
3. Catatonia - International Velvet
4. Stereophonics - Just Enough Education To Perform
5. Catatonia - Paper Scissors Stone
Favorite thing: "Cool Cymru" is the phenomenum that has come from Wales since the mid '90's. It describes the new bands, singers and actors that have appeared from this small country.
When I was young and growing up in England I only remember the 'cheesy' comedians from Wales, such as ...ugh ...Max Boyce and his enorrrmous leek. Wales was all about sheep and women in lace hats ;-)
And criminally bad pop singers like Swansea's Shakin' Stevens and Bonnie Tyler :-))
But since circa 1994 there have been some great bands coming from Wales:
Blackwood's Manic Street Preachers led the way with loud, political pop and are still going today. They are well known for their lead singer, Richie Edwards, who disappeared in 1994, who knows where.
Cerys Matthews and Catatonia appeared from Newport.
Then came the very popular stadium band, The Stereophonics with their heart-throb lead singer.
The Super Furry Animals and Gorky's Zygotic Mynci made it cool to sing popular songs in Welsh.
There have been excellent actors, such as Rhys Ifans and Catherine Zeta Jones. And old favorites like 'Hannibal Lector' Anthony Hopkins.
Even wrinkly prune-faced knickers-target Tom Jones has been able to come out of his Las Vegas retirement and sing with the youngsters ;-))Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Study Abroad
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