Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Cardiff I.i

So we've made it to Cardiff which is the capital of Wales and a pretty cool city. I'm liking Cardiff so far. We've visited Cardiff Castle and walked around the various government buildings. I actually took about 160 pictures that although I posted a ton of them online, I had a lot more! I tired to prune as much as I could, but I thought all 48 of the pictures were worth posting. Phew!

Cardiff Castle was cool. I especially enjoyed the interior tour of the castle. I'm sure it was all completely reconstructed, but it was just awesome. The ceilings were great - I love all the intricate details. And every fireplace had incredible carvings all around it. The library was lovely with all the old looking books and the big wooden bookcases. Very lovely. The keep of the castle was on a hill surrounded by a moat. Very fortress-esque. I nearly fell down the stairs twice while we were making our way to the top of the keep... The views are quite nice from the top. It's a pretty cool castle/fortress - I'm glad we decided to pay and go in (although I think admission was just a bit steep, although perhaps I'm actually just a bit cheap!).

Later on we saw the capital buildings (I think they were the capital buildings at least) which was cool. They have a nice, old look to them. And one building has a nice clock tower with a gold face. I managed to get a few flower shots around here. I love tulips. The highlight of the day was out dinner though. Chuck made a very good trade in the market so he decided to treat us to a pricier dinner than we would normally do. We ended up at a microbrewery called ZeroDegrees. A bit into our meal Chuck got us a couple of beers from the bar and caught the attention of a very friendly gentleman on 66 years. I know he was 66 because he made note of it several times throughout the night. He was interesting for several reasons, number one being that he actually lived in Ft. Lauderdale and Pompano Beach for a while back in the 70's. Small world huh?? Number two reason is that he was incredibly drunk. This led to overfriendliness. He pulled a chair up to our table not ten minutes after Chuck broke off conversation with him at the bar. Number three reason he was interesting is that he was a firecracker just itching to explode. When he sat down at our table our waiter basically asked him to leave us alone, but in a very polite way. The 66 year old became very indignant and ready to throw punches over the "audacity" of the waiter. We didn't want any trouble so we made eyes at the waiter letting him know it was fine if the man sat with us for just a bit. Throughout our conversation he would jump back to the topic of our waiter and how he'll "knock him out, that mother fucker," etc. Man, what a character. He even invited us to to stay at his place north of Cardiff if we wanted. Hah. Yeah right. Alone in Wales with a crazy old man. No thanks! So yes, he was an interesting fellow. Note: See below the massive number of pictures for our trip to Tintern Abbey.

Today we went to Tintern Abbey. To get there we had to take a 40 minute train ride to Chepstow and wait an hour for the bus to Tintern. The bus was an experience. It had to work incredibly hard to get through those hills, but we made it intact. It was freezing up there! And there was a light fog over the country side. Really beautiful. In fact, it was the perfect backdrop for the ruined abbey. That abbey is just incredible. It's not so impressive as you're working your way through the fallen remains of the kitchen and sleeping quarters, but once you step through the little stone door into the main chapel area it takes your breath away. The scale of the place is amazing and looks more like it was built for people twice our size. It just towers over you! I was really amazed by the whole thing. It was very cold though, so we didn't stay out too long before catching the bus and train back. It was nice to be able to visit such a grand sight in such a secluded, beautiful place.


  1. I'd say the entry fee was worth it - inside Cardiff Castle is stunning.

  2. Cardiff is one of the few places I've been in the world and I loved it. Glad you could visit too :)

  3. I'd say that Cardiff has been just about my favorite stay so far. It feels likes a real city without much pretentiousness - it's comfortable (but cold!). And inside Cardiff Castle really was amazing - I took too many pictures to be able to post them all!