Last year, Elena, one of our lovely bar staff, went to Aberystwyth (click here for how to pronounce it!) in Wales for a whole year on an Erasmus study scheme – and she even tried her hand at learning Welsh! As Wales has become a popular destination for many Germans in the last few years, we thought we’d ask her to tell us a little about it.
First, I have to ask – how was learning Welsh?
Difficult! I’ve forgotten everything, though I actually only did a one day intensive course. It’s a beautiful language though and I was very proud to be able to pronounce place names by the time I left.
Did you enjoy your time in Aberystwyth?
Yes! It was a real priviledge to live and study there, it’s a very beautiful place – the landscape was gorgeous.
What were the most noticeable cultural differences?
I was surprised how much Welsh was spoken on a day to day basis. And I was also surprised at how rich the cultural life was in small coastal villages – there were so many festivals and art galleries, even in tiny places! Another thing that was different was going out for a drink – in Britain people buy ’rounds’, instead of just paying for their own drinks. It feels much friendlier, but you do end up drinking more!
What about the food?
It was OK. I really liked the choice available for lunch, there’s a much bigger variety of sandwiches and salads than here. Oh, and I also loved the Welsh cakes, of course (These are something between a cake and bread, a bit like a flat scone with raisins).
Do you have any Top Tips for visiting Wales?
I would say if you love hiking, then avoid the crowds at Mount Snowdon and head for the town of Dolgellau in Southern Snowdonia, the walks and landscape are just as stunning.
Did you miss anything about Germany when you were in Wales?
And do you miss anything about Wales now you’re back in Leipzig?