I have almost successfully completed April’s A-Z challenge as I add 26 locations to my bucket list of places that I’d like to visit. As I’ve said earlier, I am going to be a little tight on time (and I haven’t written up X, Y and Z yet) this week, but I do plan to finish!
According to the United States of America State Department, there are no countries that begin with a “W.” Another internet site (www.politicalresources.net) suggests there are three (Western Sahara, Wallis and Futuna and Western Samoa) and a fourth is an alternative name for Belarus (White Russia). I’ve never heard that White Russia that wasn’t either a drink or a party during the struggle for Russia following the fall of the Czar. As for Western Sahara, it seems to be a territory claimed by two other African countries (Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and Morocco). I never heard of Wallis and Futuna and Western Samoa is a part of Samoa and doesn’t seem to be any more of a country than West Virginia. I could choose a city (Warsaw would be one and I’d like to go there), but there is a country that begins with W, only it is a part of another much larger country—the United Kingdom. The country that I will add to my bucket list is Wales. It has a neat flag!
From everything I’ve seen Wales is beautiful. Of course, John Ford in his movie “How Green Was My Valley” placed that beauty in the past tense, but it appears that much beauty remains even though I am sure there are still places recovering from the worst of coal mining practices. But the coal created a number of railroads, a number of which still exist and run excursion steam trains through the countryside. So I can come into Wales a modern British Rail line (perhaps taking a stop along the way in Cornwall) and then see the countryside by trains pulled by coal burning steam locomotives. It would be a country to also explore by foot, among the hills and along the shoreline. There are ancient castles to explore (five along in Cardiff) and festivals to enjoy. Cardiff is one of the greenish cities, I’m told, with more green space per capita than anywhere else in Great Britain. I’d feast on lamb and drown my thirst in many of Cardiff’s pubs (before heading out into the countryside).
Until I visit, maybe I should watch “How Green was my Valley” again and read some Dylan Thomas poems (and hopefully I will visit before I go gently into that good night).