A Welsh weekend: the Lady of the Lake

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Wales is a land full of wonderful places and legends, the ones often linked to the others. On the north-western border of the Brecon-Beacon National Park there is, for example, Myddfai, a town that sits in a spectacular and magical corner of Carmarthenshire.
Myddfai became famous thanks to three healers, three brothers who lived in the thirteenth century and who are believed to be the founders of modern medicine. The source of their herbal medicine knowledge was their mother, the legendary "Lady of the Lake".
The story goes that a shepherd, who used to graze his cattle on the shores of the lake Llyn y Fan Fach, one day saw a beautiful woman arise from the water, and he fell madly in love with her. She agreed to marry him, with the conditions that he would not reveal her identity and that he would not hit her three times. Their marriage was fortunate, they raised three children and the woman proved to be a constant source of wealth, wisdom and knowledge.
Unfortunately, however, the shepherd broke his pledge and hit her three times: the Lady of the Lake left him in misery and despair, and went back to the water. Nonetheless, thanks to the herbal cures they learnt from their mother, the three children become the first in the long line of physicians from Myddfai, a tradition that lasted until the 18th century.

lake Llyn y Fan Fach

HOW TO REACH THE LLYN Y FAN FACH

The Llyn y Fan Fach is at a 40-minute walk from the car park just beyond the YHA Llanddeussant. The car park is at the bottom of the single track road reached by a poorly signposted road but, if you have a look at a map before departure, it will not be difficult to find the way.
The wide path that runs along the Afon Sawdde stream is not steep, but it’s a steady uphill climb and it passes next to a fish farm. Once you reach the lake, if you wish to continue the journey, you can climb the surrounding ridges taking the path on the right: although these mountains are not very high, the views are really beautiful. Their profiles sometimes look more Icelandic than British.
The trail, which runs along the Black Mountain following the edge of the cliffs, then leads to the lake Llyn y Fan Fawr, and the circular path that leads back to the parking lot is in total 15 km long.

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WHERE TO STAY

We opted for an enchanted place we found on Airbnb: an incredibly romantic wooden hut next to a creek, where we enjoyed a warm sunset and a magical night. A night without electricity, but with only solar light bulbs to read a book under the stars. Around us, the trees to which Dinah, our host, had hung old teapots, turned into colourful nests by blue tits and robins.

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