Saturday, August 21, 2010


Things so Welsh! Kyle prepares a new courtesy flag to hoist, and a sign saying nothing important (I hope!)

[Kyle]Due to the extended wait in Preston for the weather, our stay in Holyhead (Pronounced Holly Head) was brief. In order to catch the next day’s tide, we had to leave around Midnight, which really only gave us part of one day to look around. Although Holyhead is the largest ferry port on the west coast, most of the information we had, including advice from locals, was there wasn’t actually much to see in Holyhead itself. The town is used mostly as a jumping off point for tourism around Anglesey (and the connecting port for a major ferry service to and from Ireland).

It was a nice hot, sunny day, although it was blowing like crazy. We took a walk around the harbor side in the direction of the main town. The walk along the quay was wide and grassy and populated with families of various sizes, all carrying ice creams purchased from a conveniently placed cart. Everybody seemed to be in a good mood, enjoying what passed for a nice day of British weather.

A quick tour of Holyhead

Further into town, we came across a couple of nice, pedestrianized streets winding aimlessly and bordered by trim shops and pubs with flowers outside. For the most part, it looked like any other British seaside town except that all of the signs started in a completely incomprehensible gibberish made up entirely of what Maryanne calls “all of the letters you do not want to end up with in Scrabble”, and then finished in English.

Not only is Welsh confusing by being apparently completely devoid of vowels, but almost none of the letters are pronounced the same way as in English. One of our Wales guides, which I can’t seem to find at the moment, warns against “traps” - words that look English, but are not pronounced in remotely the same way. I wish I could remember some examples.

Holyhead's Millenium Footbridge - one of the many public works projects planned and implemented for the Millenium in the UK

As we read our way into the the town center, we came across the impressive Millennium Bridge, an elaborate swooping stainless steel structure that connects the ferry terminal to the main town and crosses over the railroad tracks and the much less attractive backside of the main street.

With everything except the pubs stutting for the night, we headed back to Footprint for some of Maryanne’s delicious food before falling into another fitful few hours’ sleep.

1 comment:

Mommy Dearest said...

Amazing bridge. It looks like it belongs in an amusement park!