Last weekend I combined two of my passions – travel and Civilization – with a remarkable trip to Wales! I visited Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, the place with the longest name ever (in Europe) and the second longest name in the world! Then I climbed Mount Snowdon (“The Tomb”) and did some more Wales-Sightseeing.
Itinerary for a weekend in Wales
Day 0: Stay in Llanfairpwllgwyngyll for the night
Llanfairpwllgwyngyll is only the short name. The official name of the village is Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. There’s not much to be seen in the village, but the train station features an (incredibly loooooong) sign revealing not only Llanfairpwllgwyngylls full name, but also it’s correct English pronunciation.
Day 1: Hike up Mt. Snowdon
Mount Snowdon in Snowdonia sounds like a fairy tale mountain in a fantasy kingdom. But it’s real. Snowdon comes from Saxon “Snow Dun” meaning snow hill. However the Welsh name Yr Wyddfa is much cooler, as it means “The Tomb”! Snowdonia National Park is the 3rd biggest in the United Kingdom and it’s amazing, even in January! I took the Miner’s Track, which I found the most diverse way up, looking at the map. You pass by two Llyns (Welsh for lake) and you’re walking on the sunny side of the ridge. Plan 6 hours for the walk. I did it in 4.5h, but if you’re with a group you might take a bit longer chitchatting here and there 🙂
After an exhausting day I was looking for a nice restaurant in Porthmadog. I didn’t find one! A blessing because that lead me to Caernaforn, which is a beautiful small town, featuring Caernaforn Castle, a medieval fortress and UNESCO World Heritage site. Not far from the castle I discovered Blas, a cozy little and incredibly good restaurant where I treated myself with a well-deserved Llanfair fillet steak.
Day 2: North-Wales Sightseeing
The second day was a lot of driving to see the Horseshoe Falls (rather disappointing) and yet another World Heritage site: The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal. An incredible feat of engineering, considering it was built more around 1800!!! In order to connect two canals in this mining area, engineers built this Aqueduct, spanning the valley of River Dee on a length of more than 300 meters and a height of 38 meters! Impressive! And walking across it was a bit scary, too!
The tank still full, I decided to bring the day to a close in Aberystwyth, a holiday resort at the west coast of Wales. A stroll along the promenade from north (Constitution Hill, with a nice view of the city) to south (ruins of Aberystwyth Castle), helped to wind down…
Map of the trip
To be fair: If I hadn’t gotten lost between Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Aberystwyth I could have saved more than 30 miles! But hey: At least this way I saw more beautiful Welsh countryside! Here’s my trip on Google Maps.
Itinerary for the Steam Achievement
Here’s how you easily get the Longest Name Ever Steam Achievement and some guidance on which other achievements to push forward while doing so. Of course the latter is optional, but hey: How many easy settler games do you want to play?
Longest. Name. Ever.
Unlocked: 26 Jan 2014 @ 5:20am
Have the city of Llanfairpwllgwyngyll in your empire.
Compared to other Steam Achievements, this one is incredibly easy. On the other hand it has quite a high effort. Meaning: You don’t need to be incredibly lucky to get it or play very skillful, but you have to invest a bit of time:
You can not “manually” found this city, by naming your new city Llanfairpwllgwyngyll. The character limit kicks in way before. You’ll have to play the Celts and found 33 cities. The 33rd will be Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, as of the List of Celtic Cities on wikia.
German and French names of this Steam Achievement:
DE: Was. Für. Ein. Name.
FR: Voyelle. Voyelle. Voyelle.
The obvious suggestion for getting this the quickest possible way: Play a game on a big-enough sized map (Standard should suffice) with only 1 opponent and just build cities. As in normal games on a decent level of difficulty you will almost never have an empire this BIG, you can also use this game to speed up several other achievements:
The Appian Way
Unlocked: 25 Jan, 2014 @ 9:00am
Build 1000 roads, across any number of playthroughs.
Use the sheer force of your army of Workers, to build roads, tear them down the next turn, and build them again. This is a nice side quest, but you’ll get this achievement sooner or later anyway.
God Is Great
Unlocked: 26 Jan 2014 @ 4:57am
Construct 1000 Temples, across any number of playthroughs.
This would certainly take ages if played normally. With your huge number of cities you can get this one easily in your Celts game: Go through all your cities, sell every single Temple and build a new one. In most developed cities in the end-game this will only take 1 turn. So you should get this Steam Achievement quite fast.
Unlocked: 26 Jan 2014 @ 5:37am
Build 1000 mines, across any number of playthroughs.
Same as above: I was using my Workers to build 15-20 mines in parallel.
Unlocked: 7 Jun 2014 @ 10:59am
Chop down 1000 forest tiles, across any number of playthroughs.
If you choose one solid land mass with loads of forest (I think the climate settings determine this), it will definitely help with the Paul Bunyan Steam Achievement. I didn’t quite get this in this game, because 1000 forest tiles are MASSIVE. But I chopped down half the map of my Celts game 🙂
Unlocked: 9 Apr 2014 @ 10:15pm
Purchase 1000 tiles, across any number of playthroughs.
Purchasing 1000 tiles can take a goddamn while, especially since every purchase gets more expensive. Use this game and your super powerful (settler difficulty) economy to buy all tiles around your newly founded cities. You certainly won’t get all the way to this achievement, but will make great progress!