It’s OK, They Speak English

Back to motoring our way through Wales … click here for previous post.

My husband had said that we didn’t have to worry about getting lost, they speak English, just ask.  Well, it wasn’t he who was going to have to get his tongue wrapped around Llandovery, Aberystwyth, or Penycwm[1].   Or P·w·l·l·g·w·a·e·l·o·d for heaven’s sake.  Happily our destination and residence for a week was the easily pronounced St-Davids.  As for the rest of it, we can’t really tell you where we’ve been because we can’t pronounce it.

We had spent our first night on the road in Llandovery, ‘the church amidst the waters’, at the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park which covers 519 square miles in south-central Wales. Our accommodations at Penygawse Victorian Tea Room and Guest House were somewhat spartan but sufficient to our needs.  Our section of the guest house dated from 1760 but the living quarters of the owners dates from 1690. After leading us up to yet another 3rd floor walk up, our host left us with the notation that in the chilly evenings of October the rad comes on for two hours in the evening and again in the early morning.

We headed out the next morning on our drive to St-David’s, in Pembrokeshire on the west coast.  After the numerous roundabouts in Haverfordwest we drove the narrowing roads through pretty countryside, over hill and down dale—and then suddenly, rounding a bend, the sea and views of the Welsh coastline stretched out before us in the afternoon sun.  It looked like the road would simply end in the sea.  This was Newgale—we would pass this way a few times in our explorations.

St-Davids Peninsula is in Pembrokeshire, the western most section of Wales, and therein lies St-Davids, the village that is a city.  In 1994 Queen Elizabeth II granted city status to this town of about 1800 souls due to the ancient cathedral of St-Davids around which the ‘city’ sits.   It is pretty much as far west as you can go in Wales, a whole 50 miles from its eastern border with England… a fifty miles that we took two full days to traverse. Fifty miles is less than my return commute to work (when I was still working) … we were just two old(er) ladies putzing along the highways and byways of Wales through some of the greenest and most beautiful pastoral scenery – it looked more like Spring than mid-October.

[1] The closest I can come to pronunciation is Tlan·duv·ree, Ab·err·iss·twith and Pen·ee·coom. As for Pwllgwaelod, I have no idea.  Thankfully, T·y·d·d·e·w·i  is well-known by its English name,  St-David’s.

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16 thoughts on “It’s OK, They Speak English

  1. Lovely pictures. I remember how confusing place names were in Wales. Cardiff was always easy. Sometimes we would turn on the car radio and listen to the Welsh radio station, just because the language is so musical and interesting. But the road signs and pronunciation were a challenge. Great post.

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    1. Madhu, how rewarding! Thank you so much! This will give me another reason to check out again all the interesting blogs I have been discovering. I will review and post accordingly. Thank you.

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  2. Thank you so much for inviting me to accompany you on your journey – I am thoroughly enjoying it, most especially the beauty of the surroundings. And the company, of course.

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