First things first… Take out your homework and let’s discuss the interesting facts you found about Wales.
Important Facts: Capital City The capital city of Wales is Cardiff. It has a population of just over 300,000 people. It has been inhabited for over 6,000 years, and is the 10th biggest city in the UK.
Important Facts: Flag The Welsh flag is known as Y DdraigGoch, the Red Dragon, and is not part of the Union Jack. The dragon was a symbol adopted long ago by the people of Britain. How do you think the symbol ended up in Wales?
Important Facts: Flag With the coming of the Anglo-Saxons, the British people were pushed back to Wales. Where did the dragon symbol originally come from?
Roman Cohorts The dragon was the symbol of a Roman cohort, or group of soldiers. Although many kings, including King Arthur, are said to have used it, it traces its ancestry back to Roman times.
Important Facts: Population Wales has only 3,000,000 people living in it. Of those, 75% are based in cities, or around the mining industry towns. Only 25% work outside of these busy areas.
Important Facts: Languages Although English is the official language in Wales and the one that is generally used, Wales has a very high percentage of people who speak the native language, Welsh, or Cymraeg. Cymraeg is one of Europe’s oldest living languages.
Important Facts: Languages Welsh was in danger of disappearing, so the government took steps to preserve it in schools. Now all students are required to study it until the age of 16, and road signs are in both English and Welsh.
A little Welsh for you… Bore Da. – ? Sutmae? –? Diolch. – ? Bendigedig. – ?
A little Welsh for you… Bore Da. – Good morning Sut mae? – How are you? Diolch. – Thank you. Bendigedig. – Great!
Important Facts: Links With Ireland Wales and Ireland share a Celtic heritage that stretches back 2000 years, although their languages have evolved differently over the centuries. Interestingly enough, the ferry from the UK to Ireland leaves from Wales, reconfirming the connection between the two countries.
Trivia: What DO you know? Why is it strange for Prince Charles to be called the Prince of Wales? What is the nickname for a Welshman? Wales is the most important area in Europe for raising what kind of animal?
The answers Prince Charles is English, not Welsh. A Welshman is called a Taffy. They raise sheep. There are 12,000,000 sheep and only 3,000,000 people in Wales.
Places To Go: Holyhead Holyhead is the port on the west coast of Wales that connects the UK with Ireland. Passengers can take a fast ferry from Holyhead and arrive in Dublin in only 99 minutes. What should you bring with you?
Places To Go: Holyhead Since Ireland is not part of the UK, everyone must bring a passport.
Places To Go: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwyll-llantisiliogogogoch Shortened to Llanfair PG, this town has one of the longest names in the world, and the longest railway station name in the world. The name means ‘Saint Mary’s Church in the hollow of white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the Church of Saint Tysilio near the red cave.’ Wow.
Places to Go: Continued The sign for the railroad station is an unbelievable 15 feet long, and the name includes 58 letters! But where IS the longest name in the world?
Thailand! Krung-thep-maha-nakorn-boworn-ratana-kosin-mahintar-ayudhya-amaha-dilok-pop-nopa-ratana-rajthani-burirom-udom-rajniwes-mahasat-arn-amorn-pimarn-avatar-satit-sakattiya-visanukam. Wow! 163 letters in all.
Places To Go: Welsh Castles The Norman invasion and conquest of Wales led to the construction of many strong and noteworthyfortifications being built. How many do you think there are?
Places To Go: Welsh Castles There are over 600 castles in Wales. One of them might even be Camelot.
Things to Do: Be Natural! Wales has some beautiful scenery, and so why not get involved? Try climbing Mt. Snowdon, the highest peak in Wales at 3650 feet. You can also go Coasteering, where you jump off cliffs, and try Bog Snorkelling, too!
Videos http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3DlkKwfgag&feature=player_embedded#! 2:50 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ii4CZrd9Cw&feature=related
Key Vocabulary fortifications – things like castles that protected things noteworthy – interesting bog – swamp-like area peak – the top of a mountain