Images shot on Kodak Ultramax 400 in Lomography LC-Wide
I suppose if you’re going to base a little photo essay on a single train station, the one with the longest name in the world is as good a choice as any.
Not that I make a habit of visiting train stations just for the sake of visiting them and not actually getting on a train, but I was in the area so thought it a shame not to drop in and have a look at this one.
The eleven images I shot there on Kodak Ultramax 400 with the Lomo LC-Wide are nothing special though, so I’ll do my best to keep the words somewhat interesting for you. Okay?
What and where is Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch?
The small village of Llanfairpwll – also known as Llanfairpwllgwyngyll or Llanfair PG – sits on the isle of Anglesey, just off the northwest tip of Wales.
For all intents and purposes, there isn’t a great deal that separates it from the other picturesque villages nearby. And that’s probably why, back in the 1880s, it was decided that the extra -gogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch would be added to the name.
The idea was to make it something of a tourist attraction and even to give people a reason to get off the newly built train that ran from Holyhead to Chester.
This obviously worked because if it hadn’t have been for the whole long name thing, I wouldn’t have bothered driving in and giving it the thirty or so minutes I did on this day, having already spent much of it tramping around a lush green mountainside.
As seen on the train station sign, a rough pronunciation guide to Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch looks like this – llan-vire-pooll-gwin-gill-gore-ger-ih-queern-drorb-ooll-llandy-silio-gore-gore-goch.
If you want to hear it said how it should be though, I recommend this quick video here.
And as seen on the front of the nearby shop, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch roughly translates to St Mary’s Church in the Hollow of the White Hazel near a Rapid Whirlpool and the Church of St. Tysilio near the Red Cave, which is a pretty cool name in anyone’s language, I think.
As well as being the longest train station name in the world, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is also the longest place name in Europe. There are others across the world that have it beat in that respect, though.
For example, there’s a hill in New Zealand with the official moniker Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu, which is the place with the longest single-name on the planet.
The longest name of all though is the Thai name for Bangkok, which is one of my very favourite cities, incidentally one where I’ve spent a lot of time with the same friend I was with here in Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, and another great one for some photography.
When you see its official name – Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit – it makes sense why many locals just call it Krung Thep.
What was I doing in Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch?
In the summer of 2021 I took a trip to North Wales to spend a weekend with an old friend I’d met back in my days in Asia – including plenty of good times in Krung Thep.
The plan was to climb a mountain there called Tryfan, as well as spending time exploring the surrounding areas and probably have a day on the coast as well.
We were staying on Anglesey which meant we drove past Llanfairpwllgwyngyll any time we wanted to go across the bridge to the mainland and do anything there. Which we did every day.
So popping in and taking some photographs of the train station was not a huge detour or anything that took too much time that could have been spent elsewhere.
As it turned out, we decided against Tryfan on the morning we were supposed to be doing it; a decision based purely on the fact that we were completely unprepared to sensibly tackle it. But a morning wandering around the lower hills of Pen yr Ole Wen, just across the road and with great views of Tryfan, was plenty good enough.
The day-on-the-coast became a swift visit to Colwyn Bay followed by a drunken day and evening in Llandudno, which was also very enjoyable.
All in all, the trip to North Wales was a success, and this half an hour in Llanfairpwllgwyngyll was just a small section of it.
Wrapping up from Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch
So having told you all about this train station with the famously long name and a little story on what I was doing there, the only other thing to touch on as we wrap this up is the camera and film I used to shoot the images on this post.
The Lomo LC-Wide was the only film camera I took to North Wales, and it was nice to only have that one focal length to worry about the whole time I was there.
Shooting green landscapes and seaside towns all at 17mm was a lot of fun, and left me free to just compose and shoot rather than taking up mental energy deciding whether to zoom in or out or even change lenses. Although to be fair, I’ve not had to worry about that kind of thing for a few years now having shot with the Yashica Electro for so long.
As for the film – the Kodak Ultramax 400 – that I shot a couple of rolls of in Wales, it was actually only the second time I’d used any. I remember really liking it before, with a lot of my reasons explained in this full review.
I really liked the colours it gave me before – especially in a lot of the images on this post here. Looking at them now makes me hope I can back to Wuxi one day too. But let’s not dwell on that for too long.
It’s a good film wherever you shoot it. From Y, Alaska, to Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, Wales. 🙂
If you enjoyed that account from the most famous train station in Wales, why not have a look at some of these other film photo essays too:
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