Jun 08 2006

This one time, in Cardiff…

by in United Kingdom, Western Europe

It’s been a year since I actually went on this trip to Cardiff, but I’m finally getting around to uploading the photos. Yeah, yeah, I know…lazy.

The trip to Cardiff was due entirely to Crystal’s insistence that we venture out of London and see a different part of the UK. I, myself, was content to stay in dear old London, but she found a bus company that specialized in day trips, so Crystal, Taline, Mathias and I signed up for the trip to Cardiff. Why Cardiff? I have no idea. All I know is, I found myself standing outside Victoria station at 7am on a Saturday, completely hungover from an excess of Strongbow the night before, and nursing a hot tea. Once everyone arrived, we hopped on an old, decrepit bus that I’m quite sure was used to shuttle Londoners back and forth from the countryside in the 1950s. Cardiff, here we come.

England/Wales bridge:

England/Wales bridge

Our tour guide was an Australian. That’s right, a goddamn Australian was leading us to Cardiff, and she had no idea what she was talking about. Couldn’t they have least gotten someone from, oh, I don’t know, WALES? She would try to pronounce some of the Welsh places and names (Wales has its own language) and it was like nails on a chalkboard.

Once we arrived in Cardiff, the bus dropped us off in front of the Welsh Lovespoon gallery, which proudly displayed an American flag….HELL YEAH AMERICA!

Cardiff Lovespoon Gallery

We didn’t really know what we were going to see in Cardiff, so we opted to get on the “hop on/hop off” bus:

We sat on the top, even thought it was freezing outside:

We saw some really interesting sights, like these Texaco storage tanks:

Thirty minutes into the tour, we were wondering why nobody was hopping off the bus. Dammit, people, what’s the point of a hop-on/hop-off bus if everyone just rides around on the bus all day? We pledged to show these riders some American and German resolve, and hop-off the bus at the next stop, which happened to be the harbour. Of course, we were the only ones that got off the bus, and, I’m sure, the only ones to ever actually “hop off” the “hop on/hop off” bus tour of Cardiff in its entire operational history.

The harbour was a pretty typical harbour…water, boats, stores, restaurants:

Cardiff Harbour

By the time we reached the harbour, it was almost 11am. Time for a pint. We headed to the nearby pub for a breakfast of Strongbow and chips (french fries) with mayo. After breakfast, we decided to hop back onto the bus because there wasn’t much going on at the harbour. The only problem with the hop on/hop off bus is that it only runs every 30 or so minutes, so we had a long wait ahead of us. Damn, so that’s why no one ever hops off the damn bus. When the bus finally picked us up again, we continued our tour of Cardiff’s sights:

Cardiff Hard Rock Cafe

Cardiff Stadium

Of course, we had to visit the castle in Cardiff. The tour of the castle’s interior was actually pretty interesting…afterwards we climbed to the top of the keep:

Cardiff Castle

Obligatory American pose:

Can I take one home?:

Peacocks roamed freely:


All this riding around on the bus, drinking, and climbing to the top of the keep had made us quite hungry, so we went off in search of the medieval restaurant. Our Australian tour guide, you see, had assured us that there was a medieval themed restaurant at the castle. We were actually quite excited at the prospect of eating at a medieval restaurant, as we envisioned costumed wenches serving us plastic mugs full of Pepsi and giant chicken legs with a side of potatoes a la Medieval Times. Well, our guide was a goddamn liar. There was no medieval restaurant, only a small cafe that sold pre-packaged sandwiches and quiche (QUICHE! What the hell is medieval about quiche?!) I settled for some tea and Welsh tea cakes, which, although certainly tasty, couldn’t take the place of a huge piece of roasted meat. No, I wasn’t bitter at all:

Before hopping back onto the bus for the trip back to London, I bought some mini-Welsh flags so that we could remember our incredible trip to Cardiff. Goodbye, Cardiff!

Welsh flag

The rest of the photos from that trip can be found here. I have about 150 more photos from my year in London that I need to upoad…I’m sure I’ll accomplish that within the next decade or so.

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2 Responses to This one time, in Cardiff…

  1. From Crystal:

    See? didn’t you have a wonderful time?? You forgot to mention that Mathias wanted us to join those kayakers for the Cardiff Kayak Festival.
    I was hoping to see Charlotte Church at the pub . . .:(

    Posted on June 9, 2006 at 3:33 pm #
  2. From Sajjad:

    i love welsh coz my sweet heart is living there

    Posted on September 9, 2012 at 9:28 am #
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