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Wales

Although Wales is a fully-fledged member-country of Great Britain it has a storied past that involves independence, and at times, influence from the much larger nation of England. In its earliest years there was a sporadic and sparse population in Wales that were dependent on pastoral equipment and a primitive agriculture industry. After the advancement in technologies during the Industrial Revolution, raw resource extraction replaced farming as the major economic driving-force.

In contemporary times, Wales has witnessed a consistent retrenchment of coal mining while other resource-related industries still have a presence in the economy. Subsequently, Wales has supplemented the economic value of the coal-mining industry with tourism as it has become a very popular destination for those interested in the rich cultural fabrics of Europe.

de_0096_wales - Ruined medieval castle landscape with dramatic sky

Attractions

Wales is a virtual paradise for those looking to keep themselves busy and see as many tourist destinations as a lack of sleep will allow. There are national parks galore, which are especially unique because there are specific parks depending on whether you wish to have a view of other mountain ranges or a wonderful view of the ocean. You can also enjoy the scenic views under the ocean as well as some superb locations for diving enthusiasts.
If hiking through the mountains or swimming through the sea are not your forte then there are also several landmarks and historical sites to visit in Wales. Perhaps one of the best known landmarks to visit would be the North Wales Castles, which offer a variety of stunning historic infrastructure. There are also exists a great number of museums to visit if you would like to educate yourself further on the history of Wales.

Lastly, there are number of festivals and folk events that take place in Wales if you are hoping to mix it up with some of the locals. Or, if socializing at a party is not your milieu, you can try a nice relaxing game of golf at the popular Celtic Manor Resort where you need to call ahead to get a time booked for teeing off.

de_0097_wales - Rhossili Beach

Local Food & Drink

Wales is a country that certainly enjoys using a high volume of fresh produce and content in their cooking. Additionally, it is very common to find meals focused on lamb and rabbit throughout Wales. There is also the usual variety of fast and convenient foods available to people of which pizza is perhaps the most notable. Dessert is not a huge sensation, but there are a number of breads, cakes and other sweets that the Welsh people enjoy.
Whiskey is definitely one of the most popular beverages across the entire country of Wales. There are also local beers and wines (specifically a great number of lagers), but whiskey by far remains the most popular choice for tourists and locals alike in Wales.

de_0098_wales - Cardiff Castle, Wales

Safety

Not only is Wales regarded as one of the safest geographical areas belonging to Great Britain, but statistics suggest that violent crime is continuing to decline throughout the country. However, there are often several disturbances of the peace in large urban areas typically fuelled by alcohol consumption and subsequently handled by local law enforcement.

Although there can be some violent weather from time to time, weather conditions are generally good and driving conditions are held in fairly high regard as well. The only area of sensitivity to be cautious with is the nuances that exist between English and Welsh culture as it can result in great disrespect for your hosts.