An incredibly lovely day! It was a cloudy, non-rainy day, as it has been for a while. I zipped over to Anglesey (Ynys Mon) to do a walk in Newborough Forest on the southwest end. I had intended to walk in the forest, but decided to do a beach walk instead. I ended up on the shadow of land in the background of the photo above. Not many people there that early and it was incredible peaceful and meditative.
The tide was going out leaving a thick light brown sand. I was fascinated with the sand patterns.
The area is called Llanddwyn, bordered by Llanddwyn Bay, and to the northwest was an island accessible at low tide. The island is called Ynys (island) Llanddwyn and on that island are the ruins of a church to St. Dwynwen, two lighthouses and inside the dunes pilots’ houses.
St Dwynwen is the Welsh patron saint of lovers making her the Welsh equivalent of St Valentine. The Welsh equivalent of St. Valentine’s Day would be Jan. 25. (Her death in 495 a.d.)
She lived during the 5th century and legend has it that she was one of the prettiest of Brychan Brycheiniog’s 24 daughters. Dwynwen fell in love with a prince called Maelon Dafodrill, but unfortunately her father had already arranged that she should marry someone else.
Dwynwen was so upset that she could not marry Maelon that she begged God to make her forget him. After falling asleep, Dwynwen was visited by an angel, who appeared carrying a sweet potion designed to erase all memory of Maelon and turn him into a block of ice.
God then gave three wishes to Dwynwen. Her first wish was that Maelon be thawed; her second that God meet the hopes and dreams of true lovers; and third, that she should never marry. All three were fulfilled, and as a mark of her thanks, Dwynwen devoted herself to God’s service for the rest of her life.
She founded a convent on Llanddwyn Island where a well named after her became a place of pilgrimage after her death. Visitors to the well believed that the sacred fish or eels that lived in the well could foretell whether or not their relationship would be happy and whether love and happiness would be theirs. Remains of Dwynwen’s church can still be seen today.
There were horses on the island, cared for by the wardens. You are basically walking in their pasture and they keep their distance. Or, did until I came up behind one who just flattened his ears despite my clicking (well, guess my clicking wasn’t in Welsh — and they aren’t trained after all). I had to move to the side and that got him out of the path.
I spent most of the day there.
I reluctantly left and set off for Holyhead to drop off the car. Took the train back to Bangor and got lost in Bangor trying to find the main bus terminal. No problem, just asked a couple of college students (the town is home to Bangor University) who escorted me to the right road. The terminal is in the retail area which was having a huge market. Vendors had set up tents in an area with no through traffic. I found a farmer selling produce and he had leeks (hadn’t been able to find single small ones for soup). So I picked up leeks, potatoes and an old-style carrot (lighter in color and not as sweet).
By the time I had the veggies cut up, it started to rain. Great time for soup!