In August, Hayley and I went to the UK to see the family and friends. It had been a long time since we visited and we really enjoyed it very much despite it was really a whirlwind trip. As part of our trip, we took some time to have a family holiday in Wales, more specifically in the Snowdonia National Park.
We spent some times in an old town called Dolgellau. (Don’t even ask me how to pronounce it! The Welsh speakers seems to swallows all the syllables!). Not too far from the town, there was an ruin of the Cymer Abbey.
On the many occasions that I went to Wales for holiday, they involved climbing up and down the mountains, ghylls and walking across the moorlands. This time, it was definitely great to see something different.
Walking up to the Abbey
The Abbey wasn’t too far from the Dolgellau itself and one can easily spend half an hour or so to slow stroll along the lovely Welsh country lanes and footpaths to get there. This was especially nice when one can pick some raspberries from the bushes. I have to say that was one of the highlights and rewards of the walk, and I couldn’t believe it had been many years since I had done that.
Apart from the raspberries, we came across a lot of sheep roaming the farms. It’s Wales, what do you expect! Hayley and I had to apologise to the sheep because we ate their friends every single night when we were in Wales and they were delicious. Yes, we had some beige lamb eating sessions since lamb is not common in Hong Kong.
Exploring the Abbey Ground
Surprisingly, the ruin of the Cymer Abbey was hidden behind a camper-van site. Although it was a ruin, it was really well preserved and very peaceful. We were the only people at the abbey.
Reading the sign next to the ruin, I was surprise how much history this abbey had. It was established by a bunch of Cistercian monks in 1158 and it was dedicated to Virgin Mary. Of course back in those day, they would have brewed and drank a lot of beer throughout the entire day! What a good life they had!
I bet their lord’s prayer went something like that:
Which art in barrels,
Hallowed be thy drink.
Thy will be drunk,
At home as it is in the tavern.
Give us this day our foamy head,
And forgive us our spillage,
As we forgive those who spill against us.
And lead us not to incarceration,
But deliver us from hangovers.
For thine is the beer, the bitter, and the lager.
OK, enough of my silliness. The abbey slowly felt to disrepair because of wars between the princes of the land and subsequently the dissolution of the church by Henry VIII.