Wales. The only things I know of it is the Welsh language being almost indecipherable, and its lovely vistas rivaling both the Peak and Lake Districts. It wasn’t until a friend of ours was getting married was when we decided that a road-trip to the West of England was in order. Our friend’s wedding was to take place nearby the small village of Beddgelert.

We drove for almost seven hours – with the final few entering into the mountainous ranges of the Snowdonia National Park. I am a sucker for mountain-range drives and this pleased me to no end. We departed early morning and arrived close to dusk. Large-road highways turned into two-landed roads that clung to mountain sides. By the time we arrived, the mist had paved way to a minor rain that dampened but did not drench.

Even by itself, Beddgellert was a small charming town. We stayed in a small inn which we soon made acquitance with another couple who were themselves annual guests to the national park. Beddgellert was unassuming and quiet – the entirety of it easily explored within fifteen minutes of a walk. This small town however, also served as a base for those interested in climbing the nearby mountain ranges.

Two key landmarks of note. The first is the town’s modest railway station that takes one to an hour-long railway ride to port town of Porthmadog. The second is the statue of the dog Gelert, a historical legend of the town. The brief but devastating tale is inscribed on a grave:

In the 13th century Llewelyn, prince of North Wales, had a palace at Beddgelert. One day he went hunting without Gelert, ‘The Faithful Hound’, who was unaccountably absent.

On Llewelyn’s return the truant, stained and smeared with blood, joyfully sprang to meet his master. The prince alarmed hastened to find his son, and saw the infant’s cot empty, the bedclothes and floor covered with blood.

The frantic father plunged his sword into the hound’s side, thinking it had killed his heir. The dog’s dying yell was answered by a child’s cry.

Llewelyn searched and discovered his boy unharmed, but nearby lay the body of a mighty wolf which Gelert had slain. The prince filled with remorse is said never to have smiled again. He buried Gelert here.

With some time to spare, we even managed to explore the nearby Sygun Copper Mine. Although there was a limit to what one can do in a curated former mine, the ascent was an interesting experience of itself.

And of course, we attended the lovely wedding of our friend. It was a barn wedding, personable and truly of one of my favourite weddings to date. This was my first British wedding (though I’m aware this is not a typical standard) and compared to the Malay-Asian ones I had attended thus far – the atmosphere was less formal, more laid-back and infinitely more intimate. Both my wife and I agreed that if we could have had a re-do of our wedding, we would want to capture this same atmosphere.

We even danced away the night to folk dancing and music!