On the western shore of Great Britain there lies a small principality with a long and tumultuous history - Wales. Here one can find one of the oldest cultures and languages in Europe, going back over 5,000 years. Reconstructed Celtic, Roman and Medieval villages give us a feeling of life in this land over the centuries.
We will visit Cardiff, the capital of the principality and once the largest coal shipping port in Britain. Then on to the coal fields of the southern valleys from which many Welsh emigrated to the United States in the last century. The valley of the Wye River is the location of the famed Tintern Abbey, immortalized by Wordsworth. Hay-On-Wye is a lively river town famous as having the largest number of used book stores in the world!
Mid-Wales is the agricultural heart of the country and we'll visit a farm, watch the sheep being sheared and marvel as a sheep dog controls his flock. Moving north, we will explore the ancient medieval castles and monasteries of Denbigh, Conwy and Caernarfon and learn of the story of St. Winifred. Anglesey Island, the most Welsh part of Wales, is the home of various cultural groups who perform traditional music and dances.
Western Wales features Snowdonia National Park as well as massive hydroelectric projects and traditional slate mines. We'll ride on one of several of Wales' famous narrow gauge trains through the Park to Devil's Falls. The southwest is the spiritual center of the region, where early Christian monks such as St. David converted the Celts. Finally, at Swansea, we will learn of Wales' most famous writer, Dylan Thomas and visit his former home.