In this blog entry I will tell you about my visit to Roman Camp – a quite special place in Bangor – as well as the Chinese New Year celebration in Bangor and my trip to Beaumaris Castle, which includes a story about a very particular seagull! 🙂 I hope you enjoy reading it!
On a Sunday we went to a place called Roman Camp (thanks July for sending me there!!), which is not far away from the University and not that difficult to find. By the way, I have no idea why it is called Roman Camp, if I find it out one day I let you know 😉 . We simply had to walk a rather steep way up and we were there, in the middle of a huge area full of grass with a little hill in the middle. The view was amazing, one can see on the one side the Bangor pier and the island of Anglesey, on the other side even the snowy mountains of Snowdonia. Have a look at the photos I took there below to get an impression of that place.
Chinese New Year celebration
There is one thing I am quite sure about, namely that there are more speakers of Mandarin Chinese in Bangor than speakers of RP. Bangor has a remarkably large community of Chinese people, there is a Confucius Institute and I assume that is the reason why a Chinese New Year is held every year in the middle of the town. At first a bunch of people in Chinese clothes went in a parade around the cathedral and then through the town playing music instruments or carrying a dragon. The smaller children were particularly cute, I think most of them didn’t know where they were, what they are doing and why they are doing it. Have a look at the photos I took, there were several performances such as Kung Fu, traditional Chinese music and a show with awesome-looking dragons. All in all, it was a very colorful event giving me a fascinating insight into this part of Bangor’s community.
This time we went to another World Heritage Site – Beaumaris Castle. It is located in a town called Beaumaris (well of course) which is on the other side of the Menai Strait on Anglesey island. The castle was a bit (I just wanted to write ‘bit’ and ‘small’ and wrote bittle’ – why brain are you doing this?) smaller than Caernarfon and I feel far less transformed into a tourist attraction. There are only a few interactive elements such as the opportunity to build a small castle or a harp one can play on, one could really see that it is ‘the greatest castle never built’ – as it is called. King Edward I. did not finish the castle because the money for building it was needed elsewhere.
There is not that much that I can tell you about the castle itself, but certainly what happened there on the exact day I went there. But beware: It is a story of immense brutality, manhunt and French vocabulary. Read the story of ‘le goéland terrible’ (the terrible seagull).
Le goéland terrible
Once upon a time there was a seagull, it was very…..well, actually the story does not start with the seagull but now I have the obligatory ‘once upon a time’ as the beginning of my story, so it is a proper story. So this is the real beginning of the story: When I was checking out one of the towers of Beaumaris Castle, I heard someone shouting and all of sudden two friends from France came running towards the tower I was in, being chased by a seagull. Later they told me that they were running almost from the other side of the castle to this particular tower, the seagull behind them. I could only see them entering the tower, safely but surprised by the mischievous attack. But what had happened? One of the two had taken out something to eat from her backpack and the seagull wanted this particular item and chased her to grab a bite. Still in shock because of the unexpected attack we went into the tower to discover it and we talked about the incident. My friend from France ensured us that the French seagulls are not that mischievous (she is from Finistère, which is at the coast, and therefore knows about those animals) and that there are two terms for seagull – le goéland and la mouette. The goélands have a yellow beak as far as I understood. This particular one was a goéland and I named it ‘le goéland terrible’ after the incident.
But this is not the end of the story: When we were about to leave the tower someone was waiting for us at the exact same place as before: Le goéland terrible! Have a look at the photo below to see two friends with le goéland terrible, waiting there all the time while we were discovering the tower so that it can steal our food once we come out. One by one we went past it, everyone fearing another attack. In the end my friend from France – the original victim – shhhhd le goéland terrible away and we felt it was finally over. We were so wrong. Le goéland terrible continued to follow us to the entrance but eventually let us leave the castle unharmed. I have learned a lot from this incident: Never eat in the presence of seagulls, the two French words for seagull and I am now able to distinguish the two of them, isn’t that cool? All thanks to le goéland terrible.
After visiting Beaumaris Castle we went to a few shops in Beaumaris and to the beach, and then we ended up in a cute café in the center of the town – see photos below. In the late afternoon we took the bus home, seeing a lot of sheep and giggling because of the driver’s rather fast style of driving.
Another exciting week has passed, I hope you liked this blog entry and look already forward to my next one about playing football in the UK and my trip to Manchester. 🙂