Page 1 of 1

ATTN OBODies in Wales.

Posted: 19 Jun 2014, 17:10
by Paladorys
Being from America, anything across the pond is a big mystery to me.

If you live in Wales, do you speak Welsh?

The husband and myself plan to visit North Wales in the next few years and are just terribly curious. We have been attempting to learn Welsh through this program - but are quite curious if we are going to make idiots of ourselves running round trying to speak Welsh. If it's not really spoken a lot we might end up looking like stereotypical daft American tourists, which is not our intent!

What are your thoughts?

Are the lessons we are using any good?


Re: ATTN OBODies in Wales.

Posted: 19 Jun 2014, 18:57
by Heddwen
Hi I'm Welsh but don't speak it fluently...yet! I'm a life long learner and have brought up my children to speak Welsh as they attended a Welsh language school.

I've heard of the course that you're doing so I think that it must be good. You'll find the locals happy to help you converse in Welsh and answer any questions that you may have about the language and culture.Well, this has been my experience so far and I live here :)

If you have any further questions about your trip, I'll do my best to help.

Which part of Wales are you going to?

Re: ATTN OBODies in Wales.

Posted: 20 Jun 2014, 18:51
by Paladorys
Thanks for the input Heddwen!

Ideally we would be making rather a grand adventure. We live in Chicago and would fly into Manchester and hire a car. From there we would take our time getting down to Wales, perhaps heading up to Blackpool first to explore a bit twiddling around River Ribble and a looong drive down A565 winding through Liverpool and EVENTUALLY taking A55 down to the highest northern bits of Wales. (And yes I am aware that gasoline... excuse me "Petrol" is $10-12 a gallon USD.... at least twice what it is here at home). It will be quite the drive, but to us its not really a big deal. From the North of IL to the Nouth is 430 miles, wheras Wales is only around 200 or so. For us it wouldn't be a big deal to drive straight down to Cardiff for supper after breakfast in Holyhead.

The meat and potatoes of our trip will be spent on Anglesey visiting burial mounds and other such Druidy things, spending a night at Cadair Idris perhaps and if we are still sane by morning(HA!!!), heading to some sort of nifty pub. Having never set a toe on Welsh soil I don't know how much of this is a horrible idea.

That last time I was in the UK, I was 10, right after the Chunnel was finished. We spent some time in London and then my father bought tickets and we wound up in Paris, I still remember the first sight I saw was a homeless man drinking wine and eating stinky sausage of some type. Here I was, a sprig of a girl who though Paris was the "city of love" and thought I was just wickedly brilliant for knowing how to say "Bonjour, je m'appelle Christina". I was going to be the most popular girl in town! Then all of my dreams were heaved onto the floor of the subway station... as the homeless man threw up all over his own shoes.... SIGH.

Needless to say I am highly open to suggestions from people who would clearly know more about Wales than a Chicago girl. I don't want to do touristy things, I want to drink in all the wonderful history and fine foreign aged Awen. I think we would love to meet up with some other OBODies if we could, perhaps be respectful guests in someones Grove or Seedgroup there?

Also, any tips you might have on how to not be annoying would be wonderful. Nobody likes annoying tourists who just don't get it. My husband and I had both thought that learning the native language would be a good way of showing respect.

I have always felt a deep respect and calling to that part of the world, almost like the feeling you get about going "home" for the winter holidays. I have no explanation of this feeling seeing how my family came to america more than 4 generations ago and most of them were from Germany, Ireland, and England. But inexplicably my instinct tells me that Wales is, for lack of better wording "warm and safe and good". Perhaps it is an illusion similar to the one I had at 10 about Paris, I suppose only my visit will reveal the truth for me. I just wish it were a cheaper trip as just airfare for us both will be around 4 thousand dollars US.

Re: ATTN OBODies in Wales.

Posted: 20 Jun 2014, 21:07
by Heddwen
Thanks for the reply Paladorys. I'm heading up to north Wales later on tonight to celebrate the solstice at sunrise at Bryn Celli Ddu burial chamber with the Anglesey Druid Order (ADO). There are , I believe over 80 standing stones on the island and the person that would be very helpful and informative here is Kristoffer Hughes, the leader of the ADO and also an OBOD member.Perhaps you could PM him as he's on this board.

Also there is the Can Y Gwynt OBOD grove based in Caernarvon north Wales, the person to PM on this board is Astrocelt. I just spent a lovely afternoon with them in May at Bedd Taliesin.(Taliesins grave)

I do hope that you have an enjoyable holiday here. I wouldn't worry too much about being 'annoying' as long as you show an interest and are respectful (as I'm sure that you are) then you'll fit in just fine, especially as you've made an effort to learn the lingo :grin:

Wales is a beautiful country and I'm sure that you will have a happy and enjoyable trip. I would like to visit your country someday, perhaps you could share some tips with me :) Bon voyage!

Re: ATTN OBODies in Wales.

Posted: 20 Jun 2014, 21:27
by Paladorys
I would be happy to give you any pointers you might need for visiting the USA... Heck I would even drive you around! (That's just my nature) We don't really have what I would consider a culture here so there isn't much to know. Won't get too much into it on this board but -

You clearly speak english, which is the main thing you need to visit, so Well done there :applause:

I can say that a frightening percentage of Americans are in LOOOOVE with the idea of anything across the pond, to a ridiculous extent. For example many folks would be more interested to learn that my Order is based in the UK than to learn that I am a Druid. You would certainly be the center of any conversation in a bar, if you prefer peace and quiet you might wish to make our national parks a central point of your trip rather than clubs or bars.

Many US women and men alike are immediately prone to shedding clothing as soon as they here any sort of "Brit" sounding accent, to which they think Ireland, England, Wales, and Scotland are all the same sound and frequently and WRONGLY say "Are you British..?" :o and then proceed to swooning... You UK folk are like rare unicorns that most everyone wants to (ahem) ride around town.... Sad really.

I recall a few years back, this one fellow from Manchester came to visit some old roommates of mine and they were showing him off like a prize pony, he was possibly the goofiest looking ginger scarecrow with strange teeth I have had the pleasure to meet, very smart and good to have a conversation with mind you. I think he had at least 2 different "friends" per evening. Go him I suppose... but if you are married WATCH OUT! HA!

Perhaps in a few years time we will be laughing about this in a pub somewhere. :gulp:

Thanks for all the useful tidbits!

Re: ATTN OBODies in Wales.

Posted: 21 Jun 2014, 11:22
by Heddwen
Crikey, I didn't know that the Brits had that type of reaction in the US ! I shall be mindful of it when I visit. I would like to go to the East Coast Gathering someday , its in Milton PA. That would be cool. I'd love to meet up with American druids and have a jolly good chat with them. I've never been to the country before so it would be a first for me and something to tick off my bucket list :D

Re: ATTN OBODies in Wales.

Posted: 06 Aug 2014, 22:24
by Paladorys
The hubby and I will be attending the East coast gathering this year. Very much looking forward to it! Hope to see/meet you there some day!

Re: ATTN OBODies in Wales.

Posted: 07 Aug 2014, 12:02
by the Kite
I hope you enjoy your stay in our lovely country, when ever you come over. I live in the South, but if you're feeling like it (and I gather that distance is no object for American travellers) message me closer to the date or put up a thread here and we'll see what we can arrange.

As to learning the language, well done you! You might like also to look at the books of Kristoffer Hughes, who is leader of the Anglesey Druid Order and whose books approach Druidry from a specifically Welsh angle. He's got a new one coming out soon. I'm biting my fingernails.



Re: ATTN OBODies in Wales.

Posted: 08 Aug 2014, 12:00
by Cosmic Ash
Hi Paladorys,
I'm learning welsh with saysomethinginwelsh too!
Unfortunately the last time I was in Wales was before I started learning, so
I haven't tried it out on anyone yet. I was in North Wales though, in Caernarfon, and you could hear people speaking Welsh in the street, and in the shops they spoke in Welsh first and then switched to English when it was obvious you didn't understand. Wales might not be that far from me in American terms (I am in South Cumbria), but it is still expensive to get and stay there. Every year I say this year we are going to save up enough money for a small holiday. Looks like it's going to be next year now, though :).
Definitley look up Kristoffer Hughes. I have heard him speak on the podcast and he is a very interesting and friendly sounding person. Caernarfon is a pretty little town with a castle. It is partly ruined, but there are still towers with narrow spiral staircases that you can climb, if you like that sort of thing.
Enjoy your trip and please come back and share your adventures with us!

Re: ATTN OBODies in Wales.

Posted: 10 Aug 2014, 20:22
by Paladorys
Kite - Most definitely will let you know when we actually save the money, it may be a few years yet as it will cost us over 3 thousand US dollars (multiply that by about 2 to get the cost in GBP) just to get round trip airfare.

And to all you suggested Mr. Hughes, its seems as though he will be at the East Coast Gathering coming up in a few weeks here, I will certainly try and pin him down for some advice if time allows. Really looking forward to the day when I let you all know the schedule for my trip and set up as many fun meetings as I can!

I am glad to know that learning the language will be well received. :yay:

Thanks Everyone!

Re: ATTN OBODies in Wales.

Posted: 05 Sep 2014, 21:59
by Guybrush Threepwood
I grew up in South Wales where you learn Welsh in school but noone really speaks it on a daily basis (in the cities anyway). North Wales is a bit different and many people there still speak Welsh and there are a lot of people still around who have it as their first language. I worked in doing some regeneration in some parts of the Valleys and mid-Wales and was amazed to find some people who couldn't speak English!

How's the learning going? I always found it to be a nice language to speak :)