Gwersyll yr Urdd Glanllyn is a residential centre owned and operated by yr Urdd, Wales' Welsh language youth movement beside the shores of Llyn Tegid or Bala Lake in North Wales. Founded in 1922 when the Welsh language was very much under threat, the original aim of protecting the language has been expanded to encompass an active and dynamic youth movement.
|Mistar Urdd (on right) the mascot of Yr Urdd photographed |
with some some of his ardent admirers
When not in demand by Urdd groups, Glanllyn and its excellent facilities can be booked privately and thus the RWYC rowers decided to head off to Bala for a weekend of rowing at the end of November. With 14 rowers in attendance, all 3 of the club's Celtic Longboats were called into use for what turned out to be a fantastic weekend in every respect - even the Celtic weather Gods smiled upon our happy group. All arrived for evening meal on the Friday and then kicked off the weekend with 10-pin bowling at the centre's on site facility. Despite some varied initial scoring, all raised their game by the evening's end and had a great time into the bargain.
Saturday dawned misty but dry and windless, perfect rowing conditions on still water. Glanllyn is located at the Western end of Llyn Tegid with Bala town 3.5 miles away at the Eastern end. So, the obvious first goal was to row the lake end to end which we did in en echelon flotilla.
|Rowers go Forth|
|What a flotilla - not a wave in sight!|
In no time at all we had swept the length of the lake and found a cafe at the water's edge. In no time at all we were up to our eyeballs in hot chocolate, tea, coffee, cakes and senseless conversation. Replenishment complete, we headed back out onto the water and mingled with the few kayaks and canoes that had appeared. The sight of 3 Celtic Longboats on the lake must have been a novelty to other local users as it was smiles and waves all round.
|Smiles all round on Macsen - Elin, Pete, Trevor, Sarah & Bethan|
After lunch at Glanllyn it was back out onto the lake and this time, the chance to explore the shoreline in more detail. Attempts to navigate upstream at the input were thwarted by shallow waters so the boats pushed on to visit a beach on the South shore and then on up to the Eastern end once again. By now the morning mists had burnt off to give a sunny afternoon of perfect rowing. There had been the Wales v South Africa game to sorely tempt some rowers to stay indoors but in the end, none could resist the lure of the water. With the failing light all 3 boats headed back to Glanllyn. A quick swim in the on site pool sharpened appetites for dinner and a cosy evening of conversation and imbibing.
Sunday dawned as beautifully as Saturday with the boats being launched in beautiful light. A final lap of the lake (and visit to the cafe) ensued with all agreeing that we had been blessed with the weather and our choice of venue.
|Launching on Sunday morning|
|Branwen goes forth|
With rowing complete and boats stowed, we all had a final lunch and headed for home. Angie, Mike and Pete squeezed in a cycle around the lake and then too departed. An excellent weekend in every respect and I imagine, a regular event in our rowing calendar. Great also to have Sally and Pete along from Beaumaris and Wiseman's Bridge clubs respectively. Many thanks to Elin for making the arrangements and to the wonderful staff of Glanllyn for their help, support and can do attitude.
|Glanllyn 28-30 November 2014: Mike, Angie, Martin, Trevor, Pete, Brian, Pete, Helen, Elin, Sarah,|
Sally, Bethan and Neil (behind the lens - Cadi)