At the beginning of may, Alan and I went on a cruise around some of the Canary Islands. Our first stop was Madeira, wher we had spent a fortnight's holiday a few years ago. We decided therefore, as it was so hot, just to visit a restaurant we liked and relaxed in the shade of a brolly to watch the world passing by. The next day we docked in Santa Cruze, Tenerife and went on a coach ride up to Mount Teidi. We saw the Garzia rock formations and the volcanic chimneys uncovered by years of erosion - very impressive. There was a cable car that took you to the summit of the mountain - but there was no guarentee that it would bring you down again! This was because the mist fell so quickly. We decided to give it a skip as it would take four hours to walk down, by which time our ship would have sailed off without us!
Our favourite island, from the ones we visited, was Lanzarote. Here, the landscape was awesome - created from different periods of volcanict eruptions. We had a camel ride up the Fire Mountains. These were made up of volcanic dust, but looked just like the sand hills we had camel rides on in Egypt.
We were then taken to a volcanic area where you could peer down a hole in the ground and see the burning lava at the bottom only about three feet under us! They then demonstrated pouring water down a metal pipe into the ground. This erupted then in the form of a geyser with a massive bang.Following this, we were given some sweet potatoes that were cooking over a grill above another open hole in the ground. Following this, we visited a vineyard for some wine tasting.
One of the nicest features of Lanzarote is that there are no buildings higher than two storeys allowed in the villages. Wish this had been applied on Anglesey years ago! This is due entirely to them taking the advice of a wonderful man named Cesar Manrique. He has produced all kinds of sculptures around the island and even built his house over lava bubbles, creating all kinds of fascinating underground rooms in it. After his death in 1992, his house has become a museum, open to the public. Near the coast is a cave complex that he has carved a theatre, swimming pool and night club into! Due to our walking difficulties, we were unable to visit this area. Do enter his name in a search engine for the full story this wonderful man.
Whilst on board during one of our at sea days, I organised an informal gathering for any U3A members who might be amongst our passengers. Alan and I were pleasantly surprised when 23 people turned up! We had an excellent meeting, with everyone in turn stating which U3A they belonged to and what lectures and activities they organised. The groups around London had about 4,000 members, which naturally they had to split into various groups according to their interests. This was the case with many other large groups also. Our Anglesey group has 120 members. Since we meet every week, about 60 is the normal attendance. This means that we have become very close social friends also, which is really nice. For anyone over 55 who might be interested, we meet at 10.15 every Friday at St. Ffraid’s Hall, Treaddur Bay, unless we have an arranged outing. Our website is: http://u3asites.org.uk/anglesey
Later in the month,, Alan and I enjoyed a visit to Cardiff. The weather was beautiful so we went by waterbus from the castle to Mermaid Quay in Cardiff Bay. Here, we enjoyed a lunchtime concert by local school children at the Millennium Centre and then caught the bus back to outside our hotel. Since we’d never been to the Millennium Stadium, we went on an organised tour of that another day. The young guide was excellent but with a strong Scottish accent!!?
One evening, we went to St. David’s Hall to Karl Jenkins’ concert. In the second half he played his new composition “ The Peacemakers”. It was amazing, especially with Côr Caerdydd and Howell’s school children choir blending so well with the orchestra.
Of course our visit to Cardiff wouldn’t be complete without a visit to see our friends in the Archaeology department at the National Museum. This time, we had the pleasure of seeing Mary Davis at work in the Conservation Lab. She had put up X-rays of some of the Llyn Cerrig Bach artefacts for us to see. The museum had bought a new small X-ray unit that it was possible to link up to her laptop. With this she could analyse the metallic content of each item she x-rayed.
Mary had also set up the small tongs under a microscope for us to see in detail. These will be amongst a large display of Llyn Cerrig Bach artefacts
coming up for display to Oriel Ynys Môn. This exhibition will be open to the general public on Saturday, July 14th. I am really excited about this!
Finally, I must commend all those who worked so hard to make sure that our village of Llanfaelog had a proper community celebration for the jubilee. There were activities of all kinds going throughout the afternoon on the green in front of the Hall. Since it was such a beautiful day, chairs had been placed around for those needing to sit to watch the activities and enjoy a tea and cup cake. They included such things as displays by Dog Handlers, a magician, limbo dancing, volunteers in stocks! etc. Two lovely young men played background music on steel drums. At 4pm the children sat down at tables laid out just likethe old traditional street party ones. To finish off, they were all presented with a commemorative mug. Congratulations therefore to ALL the organisers!
The Anglesey Walking Festival has been going for thirteen years by now. I was asked to meet the walkers as usual at Llyn Cerrig Bach, RAF Valley, on its first day. Thankfully, the lovely weather was still with us then, so we had a good crowd of nearly 30 walkers turning up at the lakeside. After my talk, Ian Simms, the local RSPB warden guided them around the area to study identify various flowers and birds.
The format of creating a blog entry has changed again! I'm the kind that refuses to read instructions but carry on blindly with the longer method of trail and error. Its been a real trial therefore getting this blog to look reasonable! Hence the terrible gap at the bottom I can't delete! - Eflyn