ALL THE THINGS ABOUT WALES:
Wales stands out from the rest of Britain by its language, Welsh, always spoken. Despite its consecutive consonants and its double “l”, which seems unpronounceable, Welsh is one of the Indo-European languages with Celtic roots. Its closest linguistic cousins are Cornish (Cornish language) and Breton. During the Roman occupation, Latin-Welsh bilingualism spread, the Latin influence still being perceptible. This language, whose structure was already entirely fixed in the sixth century, is one of the oldest in Europe. With the industrial revolution, many anglophones immigrated to this region. As a result, the number of Welsh speakers dropped from 80% to 50% during the 19th century. Today, only 20% of the population, mainly in the northwest and west, speak Welsh. Activists are trying to revive this language: it is now allowed to speak in court, several bilingual publications have appeared, the channel S4C (Channel 4 Wales) broadcasts daily programs in Welsh. AThe Welsh Language Board was set up in 1988. The Welsh Language Act passed in 1994 puts Welsh on an equal footing with English and prohibits discrimination against children. Welsh speaking people.
The Welsh cuisine is not very famous but it does exist. Leek, national symbol, is the base of many dishes but you can enjoy laverbread (a mixture of seaweed, oatmeal and bacon served on toast), rarebit (cheese on toast, all heightened with mustard and beer) and Glamorgan sausages, a tasty meat-free dish made from cheese, bread crumbs, herbs and leeks.
Wales: Sports and activities
Wales is an excellent destination for hiking. It has seven major routes, the most famous being the Pembrokeshire Coast Path and the Offa’s Dyke Path. The Cambrian Way, which stretches for 441 km, and the Glyndwr’s, 193 km long, are less crowded. The most challenging courses are around Snowdon Mountain and Brecon Beacons National Park. Pony trekkers can travel the Pembrokeshire Coast and Brecon Beacons National Park. Cyclists will enjoy strolling down quiet roads and rubbing against strange and challenging hills if they visit the Cambrian Mountains, the Black Mountains or the Brecon Beacons. The Pembrokeshire coast is however much flatter.
The southwestern coast has some good surf spots, including Porthcawl, Oxwich Bay, Rhossili, Manorbier, Freshwater West and Whitesands. Snowdonia is an excellent site for canoeing and white water rafting. Llangollen, on the Dee River, enjoys a very good reputation for canoeing. Making a houseboat cruise on the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal is a breeze: there are only six locks over a distance of 53 km. Finally, with its limestone caves, the Brecon Beacons will delight speleologists.
Bathed by the sea on three sides, Wales shares its only land border with England, to the east, along the Offa’s Dyke, this gigantic wall erected in the eighth century. It has two large glacial mountain systems deeply excavated by river valleys: the Black Mountains and Brecon Beacons in the south, and the Snowdonia Mountains in the northwest. Undulating heathlands stretch from Denbigh in the north to the Glamorgan valleys to the south and stop as impressive cliffs on the west coast. The population is concentrated mainly in the southeast, on the coast between Cardiff and Swansea and in the valleys north of Beacons.
Fauna and flora
Most of Wales was once covered with forests, mostly sessile oaks, but all that vegetation has practically disappeared today. Most trees have been decimated to develop agriculture, shipbuilding, charcoal production or the mining industry. Intensive grazing and the introduction of wild rhododendrons have hindered the regeneration of the original forests. Native ash trees, much more common than oaks, grow along streams, sheltering under their foliage primroses, violets and orchids. Wild cherries and maple fields are also part of the Welsh landscape. Fragile Arctic plants, such as the endemic Snowdon Lily, grow on the mountainsides.
Seabirds like to fly over the long Welsh coastline. Wales is home to 30% of the English population, while Grassholm has one of the largest colonies of gannets in the world. Inland, you may be able to see the only kites in Britain as well as the largest horseshoe bat, only visible in Wales and parts of England. Some specimens of red squirrels remain in this area and a colony of gray seals has settled on the west coast.