Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Last Two Days

I have been a little derelict in my blogging. I was extremely tired yesterday after a long week, so I fell a bit behind. We started our day in Dublin early. Try 6:00 a..m. early. We got ready to go to Wales, eating breakfast at around 6:30. Frank, our coach driver, drove us to Dublin port. We saw the large ship the Ulysses in port. We pulled up to the port and took a few pictures with Frank. We all felt a twinge of sadness in leaving Ireland. We got checked in (I led the check-in, as always) and waited for our boat, the Swift, named after Jonathan Swift of Dublin (I got a picture next to his birthplace on our three hour walking tour of Dublin). We took the boat for about two hours. After getting off the boat, I felt like we were in a very beautiful place. I loved seeing the red dragon everywhere off the boat. All of the signs were in Welsh as well! We met our coach driver at the airport. His name is Tony and he is from London. After getting the coach loaded up, he reminded us of the safety rules. Safety rules? Ireland must be a little bit more relaxed about safety rules. We drove to the longest town name in Wales/ the world (my instincts tell me that the full name of Bangkok is longer). Llanfair (Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch) is clearly a touristy place. It has a few things, but it mostly attracts tourists curious to see the sign of the city. I went to the Co-Op to get something to eat. I found some Welsh cakes. They were delicious! They reminded me of when the Welsh teacher at BYU, Susan Woods, came to visit us in class winter semester.We drove to see Conwy castle and explore the city of Conwy. The castle was nice. We got some good pictures, and we also got to see a little bit of the city. The Welsh countryside is green, but it is a different green than Ireland. There are sheep everywhere. I love the look of the houses. We then drove to our hostel in Llandudno, a beach town where Alice Liddell's family used to spend their summers. 

When we were driving into the city, we saw many statues of Alice in Wonderland. After getting settled in the hostel, a hostel owned by Lithuanians, we took a trip to Asda. I bought some food with Katie, Liz, and Matthew, so we could share food for the Sabbath. We bought the things we needed for sandwiches and salad. After that, we went home to rest. The hostel is homey, but crowded. There is barely enough space in our room to move, let alone be comfortable. I am getting eager to not be on the road. 

Today, we got ready for Church. Church was pretty good. The branch was in Colwyn Bay, a small town nearby Llandudno. Sacrament meeting was from the seminary program. The youth here seem very well-spoken. The Sunday School lesson was a bit harder for me. I dislike the story of the milk and cream with the Marshes. I do not feel that it is historically accurate. The Marshes left the Church over more complicated matters than that. Also, I do not like the "choose to be offended" rhetoric that is perpetuated in the Church. The lesson after that was a combined lesson on the missionary broadcast and on the British Legion. One woman used the phrase "I'm pants at knitting," meaning "I am horrible at knitting." After returning home, we ate and took a nap. Then a few of us went to the beach and an Alice in Wonderland park. It was a beautiful view. I feel very attached to Wales. I hope to be able to return someday. I would love to be able to come back and stay for longer than we are here. We also had a musical fireside where the Gardners invited some people from Spain and Pakistan to attend. Someone sang "The Streets of London." I loved hearing that in an LDS building. The men from Spain were very friendly. One of them was an architect from Sevilla who came here to learn English in order to find a better job. The Gardners also invited some of our neighbors in the hostel. They were from Pakistan, but had lived in the United States. The musical fireside ended and we headed home. We had some dinner and now I am getting ready to go to bed. Tomorrow, it is off to Snowdonia and Cardiff!

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