I am a night owl, as a student its practically part of the job, with lectures taken up the different parts of everyone’s day its only at night when we can all finally relax, enjoy ourselves and do stuff as a group. However one morning in June we decided to do something we’d never done before, something that many would consider impossible, we resolved that we would get up early. I don’t mean early as in between 9-10am, which is the standard student early time, I mean early even by normal people’s standards, that is in time to see the sunrise.
However this was summer time so sunrise occurred at around half 4 in the morning so we had to go to bed early in order to be bright and bushy for the sunrise. I’d planned it all out and decided to head off to bed at 9 o’clock, that would give me around 7 hours of blissful sleep before we had to head out to our chosen sunrise site. I was so excited to see the sunrise.
At around 2am I realized that I may have been a little too excited, I’m not sure what happened but sleep would just not come to me. And it never did that night.
At four I appeared before my flatmates, tired and grumpy looking, but the nonetheless determined to see the sunrise. So we drove out to Penmon Point, on the eastern edge of Anglesey. Much to my flatmates protests, I kept the windows down, giving me some refreshing cool air which woke me up a little. It’s really not a good idea to drive when you haven’t slept in 18 hours, but luckily there was no other traffic on the roads and I knew the route very well. Fortunately we arrived all in one piece with sunrise only 15 minutes away. It was a beautiful sight, staring at the striped Penmon lighthouse and the shadow of rock that was Puffin Island, but after 20 minutes we were starting to feel the wind and whats more we hadn’t seen the sun yet. After half an hour we realized that the sun was rising directly behind Puffin Island which was why we couldn’t see it, so we quickly scrambled to a new vantage point and we just able to see the sun rise above the water before it disappeared into the thick clouds above.
As we were driving back, the clouds vanished and blue sky and sunshine appeared, we decided that we weren’t going to be falling asleep again anytime soon, what with it being such a lovely day. At this time in the year we’d actually finished our first academic year at university and were basically on holiday until the time came for us to be kicked out of our student halls. As a result there were only me and two other of my flatmates remaining as the rest had fled back home. I had a walk on Anglesey in mind for a while and today seemed like too perfect an opportunity to miss, even with my tiredness.
Our first stop was a tasty pancake cafe where we filled up on waffles and pancakes. Whilst there, we planned out our walk and decided that we would head to the famous Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, or Llanfair PG for short. After finishing breakfast, we headed across the Menai Bridge where we briefly held up by a parade which was heading through the town at that moment.
It took us an hour or so to finally reach Llanfair PG, just outside the confines of the village is the Marquess of Anglesey’s Column, a towering structure commemorating the life of Henry William Paget, the first Marquess of Anglesey. I didn’t really know much about this monument and wasn’t particularly interested until I read that you could actually climb to the top of it, some 27 metres. I imagined that such a viewpoint must offer amazing views but sadly the site was closed for repairs. So a little disheartened we moved on into the village.
Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is the second longest official one word place name in the world, a title almost as long as the name its self. The name itself was created in the 1860s as a deliberate marketing ploy designed to attract tourists to the area, which it seems to have done pretty successful, people from all over the world now come to simply gape at this really really long name (forget about pronouncing it). Therefore we could considerLlanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogocheffectively to effectively be a Victorian publicity stunt. For those interested the name translates in English to St Mary’s Church in the hollow of the white hazel near to the rapid whirlpool of Saint Tysilio of the red cave.
After we’d taken all our touristy photos to prove where we’d been, and my two friends had proved that they could both flawlessly pronounce Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, much to chagrin, we decided to split paths. My friends headed back home and I headed deeper into Anglesey, my tiredness all forgotten as I began my search for another Anglesey landmark, known as Bryn Celli Ddu.
But I’ll leave that too part 2
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