Sunday, January 24, 2010

Tales of Bangor #5 - Of De- and Offences

It's amazing: I've been here for roughly a week now and have already done more exercise than the whole last semester in Vienna. Besides having been for a run twice with Rebecca and Fiepje, I have done a lot of walking with our little Erasmus-Group. We are all very keen to explore Bangor and its surroundings, if possible on foot (after all there's a budget to be kept in mind and we'd rather spend our money on food, clothes and other luxuries than on public transport).

Rebecca had found a variety of different paths all across and around Anglesey and we decided to take the closest, shortest one to Beaumaris. Despite the drizzle in the morning, Christine, Elzelien, Fiepje, Rebecca and me met at the student residence halls (about a mile out of town) and again went to Anglesey via Menai Bridge. Our nice walk through little towns and past green patches of land dotted by white, fluffy sheep and the occasional horse was brightened up by the sun and elongated by many, many stops for picture-taking, horse-stroking and lamb-admiring.

On Anglesey... still a bit misty.

Sheep... a rare sight

After about 3 hrs (for 4 miles) we reached the neat little coastal town and walked straight up to the castle. To our big surprise it was open (most sites open around Easter) and not even too expensive, so we crossed the bridge over the waterfilled moat and entered the outer defences.

Beaumaris castle was built by Edward I (like all the important castles in Wales) in 1294. The rectangular castle, which has never been completed, is surrounded by octagonal outer walls. As it is not too big it seems quite compact, though impressive, and gets most of its charm from the surrounding moat.

Castle and moat

Co-starring in this adventure: Elzelien, Rebecca, Christine and Fiepje (Thanks be given to Elze for supplying the pic.)

Courtyard seen from the gunners' walk

We nearly got lost in the internal passages that worm their way through the walls all around the castle, saw the little white-washed chapel, enjoyed the view from the gunners' walk atop the castle's walls and finally, joints frozen stiff and ravenously hungry burst into "Beau's Tea Room", a tiny tea room with space for hardly more than 15 people.

The decoration (exterior and interior) would have gone well with my previously mentioned mug and bed linen: pink, pink and pink again. (It's starting to get scary.) But it was cozy. We warmed our hands on a nice British cuppa tea and quelled the rumbling of our stomachs with high-quality food. (In my case that was a decent portion of fish&chips with the fish grilled instead of fried. YUMM!!! I can safely say that this was the very best fish and chips I've EVER had.)

My food. (Note the table cloth and colour of the napkin.)

The cake display looked like part of a museum.

Satisfied, refreshed and warmed up we left the Tearoom and Beaumaris 2 hours later. While Christine chose to take the bus back to Bangor, the rest of us set off at a brisk pace - trying to get home before it got dark and fighting against the cold.
After a miraculous 1 1/2 hours we were back at our starting point, not freezing any longer, but quite exhausted.

We agreed to meet in town a bit later to try one of the pubs. Our aim was the timber-framed "Yr Hen Glan" ("The Old Glan"), due to its colour also known as the yellow pub. According to my flatmates it is cheap, the food is good and it is generally a good place to be. The latter turned out to be incorrect (and we never got to judge on the former), but let me start at the beginning:

Following Friday's social evening that had especially been arranged for us Erasmus students lots of us got to know one another and we'd invited pretty much everyone we had met to join us at the pub. As a result a group of >10 international (mostly German) students entered the pub with the intention of having good conversations and a drink or two. Simple enough, but not easy to attain, as we should find out.
Miriam and Rebecca went to the bar, ordered drinks, got ID-d, showed their Personalausweise, got their drinks, paid. Two other girls did exactly the same but were refused the drinks, as the barman insisted he was only allowed to accept UK driving licenses, international passports and some other UK-document. So, many of us went home to fetch their passports.
The two girls (or somebody else from our group) tried again with their EU passports and, again, were refused drinks. They insisted that a EU-passport is a valid document and, surely, if international airports accepted it as an ID a pub must do so as well.

Do you want to know what answer they got?

"You're right, this is a EU passport. But we're not in the EU, so I cannot accept it."
He even went so far as to tell them to look it up in a history book if they didn't believe him (ironically, one of the 2 girls studies history).
That was when we left. And I'm not sure whether we'll come back again.


kathi said...

Ich mein, gut, er arbeitet in einer Bar, aber sogar dort muss man von Großbritanniens Mitgliedschaft in der EU gehört haben.

Kristina said...

Der war einfach nur Anti-Erasmus, glaub ich. Oder anti-Deutsch. Voll der Arsch. Meine flatmates habens gar nicht glauben koennen...

David said...

hmpf da steigen einem beim Lesen ja schon die Krausbirnen auf... ekelhafte Leute gibt's... :/

El-Mo said...

Ma... Trotteln gibt's echt überall. *kopf.schüttel*