Wales is often the overlooked country in the United Kingdom. This small country, wedged between Scotland and England is usually just the stepping stone to get to the Great Britain hot spots like London and Edinburgh, but it shouldn’t be! For a small country, Wales has so much to offer. It has the dramatic and beautiful national parks, with mountain ranges and miles of pristine coastline, and it has the years of history and charm, with the castles and archaeological landmarks (seemingly) every few feet. The food is spectacular, the people are warm and inviting (if a little hard to understand!); Wales will be surely be a highlight of your British adventure- you may just skip the other countries and stay here even longer!
Often historic castles that are open to tourists have been restored so much that it is hard to get a feel of what it was really like to live there. Not this one. Caernarfon Castle still retains much of its historical features and charm, which lends to a greater feeling of authenticity when walking through the narrow, stone-laden halls and climbing the rickety, steep tower stairs. Of course it has been preserved, and since it is a tourist hot spot, there is a museum to walk through, but the museum is well done and gives excellent information to Wales’ military past. The walled castle is stunning; walk up to the top of one of the towers and you get an entire view of the impressive building, as well as the surrounding town. Be sure to leave time to explore the town of Caernarfon itself; with colorful buildings, great music and delicious food, Caernarfon is everything a charming port town should be, with an impressive fortress smack-dab in the middle, of course.
Sports fans all over flock to the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Ultra-modern and architecturally stunning, come rugby game day, this stadium and the surrounding streets are overwhelmingly overflowing with crazy Welsh sports enthusiasts. Europe sports fans are passionate when it comes to soccer (or more appropriately, football), yet in Wales it is all about the rugby. They are fanatics and huge supporters of their team. Even if you don’t enjoy sports, be sure to come here for a game and soak in the atmosphere. Crowds grow hours before the game starts, spilling from the pubs out onto the street, singing, dancing and chanting loud enough for all of Wales to hear. It won’t be long before you are joining in on all the fun!
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