TOURING SOUTH WALES NATIONAL EISTEDDFOD
While in South Wales, we will visit the National Eisteddfod in Llanelli. The National Eisteddfod is traditionally held in the first week of August. Hundreds of tents, pavilions and little stands are erected in an open space to create the maes(field). The festival has a heavy druidic flavor, with the crowning and chairing ceremonies for the victorious poets being attended by bardsin flowing robes, dancing maidens, trumpet fanfares,and a symbolic Horn of Plenty.
DYLAN THOMAS SITES While we are in South Wales, we will visit places to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Dylan Thomas’s birth. Dylan Thomas was a Welsh poet and writer whose works include the poems “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” and “And Death Shall Have No Dominion,” the play for voices” Under Milk Wood,” and stories such as “A Child’s Christmas in Wales.”
IN 2014 WELSH HERITAGE WEEK OFFERS WELSH CLASSES AT NANT GWRTHEYRNIN WALES ANYONE OF ANY AGE IS WELCOME (Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.) A variety of classes is offered at Welsh Heritage Week (WHW). You choose the ones you want to take. Lots of fun, no pressure. The course in 2014 will be held in the Nant Gwrtheyrn language center, a magical place located in a former quarrying village on the northern coast of the Llyn Peninsula in North Wales. 2014
Course Itinerary July 27 through Aug. 1 – we will be based at Nant Gwrtheyrn – a restored quarry town on the Llyn Peninsula, North Wales. While there, we will have a classes. All meals are included while we are at the Nant.
Day 1 August 1st– Depart Nant for a choice of full day boat trip to Bardsey Island (weather permitting) or rail journey on Welsh Highland railway.
Day 2 August 2nd– Day tour of Snowdonia, Anglesey, Conwy
Day 3 August 3rd– Leisurely morning with option of attending Welsh chapel. In the afternoon participate in Gymanfa Ganu. We will be staying at the Celtic Royal Hotel in Caernarfon Day 1-3 – breakfast and dinner included.
Day 4 August 4th– Depart Caernarfon to travel through Beddgelert and Porthmadog to Harlech to visit impressive Harlech Castle. A possible further stop on the journey at the fascinating Quaker Museum in Dolgellau and at the harbor town of Aberaeron. Continue to South Wales and one’s next base in Wales’ second city Swansea. We will be spending the next 4 days at the Dragon Hotel.
Day 5 August 5th– A full day’s visit to the National Eisteddfod of Wales held in Llanelli
Day 6 August 6th– We start today’s tour by giving you a taste of the beautiful Gower Peninsula. Continue to Pembrokeshire by far the most Celtic corner of Wales. We visit Nevern Church and St. David’s Cathedral as well as some sites associated with Wales’ greatest Anglo Welsh poet – Dylan Thomas (2014 centenary of his birth) including the Boathouse and Browns Hotel in Laugharne which was his favorite “watering hole”.
Day 7 August 7th– Possible additional visit to the National Eisteddfod.
Day 8 August 8th– Depart Swansea for the Swansea Valley (possible visit – Dan yr Ogof Caves OR Rhondda Heritage Centre). Continue towards Cardiff and visit Penarth to see Joseph Parry’s grave before checking in for final 2 nights at the 5 star Hilton Hotel overlooking Cardiff Castle and the impressive Civic Centre.
Day 9 August 9th– A walking tour of Cardiff, followed by a visit to the Museum of Welsh Life at St. Fagen’s and a stop at Joseph Parry’s grave. A free afternoon for shopping and personal sightseeing. We shall bring the tour of Wales to its final highlight by having a personalized tour of Cardiff Castle prior to attending a Banquet at the Castle.
Day 10 August 10th– Early breakfast and departure over the Severn Bridge to Heathrow Airport.
Price includes 10 days luxury coach; Experienced tour guide; 9 hotel nights, full Welsh breakfast, dinner 3 nights in Caernarfon; Admissions/Entrance fees Price for this once in a lifetime trip $4500 (airfare NOT included) based on double occupancy WELSH LANGUAGE At all levels –complete beginner, fluent speaker, or somewhere in between –our Welsh language classes are fun and supportive, never overwhelming.
Prose and poetry competitionsin Welsh and English are adjudicated and winners are recognized in the WHW Eisteddfod.
MUSIC Ysgol Gân (Singing School): Learn to pronounce and sing traditional Welsh hymns in four-part harmony under the direction of an experienced conductor. The hymns are sung at Sunday’s Cymanfa Ganu. Welsh Folk Song Session: Learn folk and popular songs of Wales in a relaxed, informal atmosphere. Session Band: All instruments welcome. Learn to play traditional Welsh melodies and dance tunes, then play for the danceon Friday night. Harp: Take lessons at the Beginner or Intermediate/ Advanced level. Folk Dance: Learn Welsh folk dances emphasizing Welsh style and technique.For everyone, regardless of experience. Beginners are welcome.
TOURING NORTH WALES! During our second week in Wales, we will be traveling around the beautiful Welsh countryside. If the weather cooperates with us, we will be visiting Bardsey Island. Bardsey Island is called the “Island of 20,000 Saints.” The island has been an important religious site since the year 516. In medieval times it was a major center of pilgrimage. Bardsey Island is now as famous for its wildlife and rugged scenery. The spirituality and sacredness of the island, its relative remoteness and its legendary claim to bethe burial site of King Arthurhave given it a special place in the cultural life of Wales. On our way to South Wales for the National Eisteddfod, we will be stopping at Harlech Castle, a medieval fortification constructed atop a spur of rock close to the Irish Sea. From 1404 to 1409, the castle was the residence and military headquarters for Owain Glyndwr. Harlech is considered to be one of the “finest examples of late 13 th century military architecture in Europe.”
STAFF Rhodri Jones, Head Teacher:Long-time staff member and a native Welsh speaker from Cardiff. Experienced as an educator and his great sense of humor. Chris Jones, Folk Dance: Formerdirector of theawardwinning folk dance group Cwmni Dawns Werin Caerdydd and adjudicatorat the National and International Eisteddfodau in the last few years. Gareth Hughes Jones: An accomplished musician and music teacher, he conducted Côr Meibion Caernarfon and was a producer for Sain Records. He conducted the Cymanfa Ganu atthe 2012 Festival of Wales in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Beth Landmesser, Director firstname.lastname@example.org 570-814-7689 The Welsh Harp & Heritage Society of North America, Inc. The Welsh Harp & Heritage Society was established to promote Welsh culture through Wales’ national instrument, the harp, and its associated traditions. The tradition of the harp in Wales directly relates to many other Welsh traditions including singing, folk dancing, poetry, and, ultimately, the language itself. The society sponsors Welsh Heritage Week. Membership in the Welsh Harp & Heritage Society is for anyone with an interest in Welsh culture and heritage. Annual society dues are $20 for individual; $30 for family; $50 for sponsor; or $100 for patron. The Welsh Harp & Heritage Society is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization, so donations are taxdeductible and greatly appreciated. Donations may be sent to Judy Birkenhead, Treasurer; Apartment 301, 6038 Westchester Park Drive, College Park, MD 20740. Download the 2014 Course Brochure