Posts Tagged With: Cardiff

Cardiff – City and Castle

We had a bare 24 hours in Cardiff but managed to see quite a bit in the available time.

The forecast was not looking good but we checked out of our accommodation (luggage left at reception) and braved the drizzly rain while we went in search of breakfast.  We found Crumbs Kitchen which provided the gluten-free options I was looking for.  It was tucked in one of the many beautiful arcades which criss-cross the city blocks.

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We arrived just before 9am so had to wait until opening time.

Here is another view of Morgan Arcade.

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I did see a sign announcing that Cardiff was the ‘City of Arcades’ which I think was quite accurate as I have never seen so many memorable arcades in one city.

On the northern edge of the city retail precinct is the imposing Cardiff Castle so we decided that we had sufficient time to make a visit worthwhile.

This was our first view of the keep atop the motte.

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The castle precinct apparently dates from Roman times with parts of the perimeter wall built by the Romans.  Various structures were built and re-built during successive centuries, including the Normans and again , much later in the late 19th and into the early 20th century.

The view from the top of the keep.

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Part of the interior of the keep, including the very steep staircases we climbed to reach the top.  It was quite treacherous in the wet weather.

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The inside of much of the perimeter wall is surrounded by earth embankments.  This, combined with the massive thickness of the walls meant that this was a perfect place for air-raid shelters during WWII.

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Finally, we toured the Victorian house on the estate.  The opulent interiors were a sight to behold.

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Capital Cardiff

Cardiff is the capital of Wales and home of the National Assembly for Wales.

We arrived by train from Swansea, walked to our accommodation and then spent the afternoon discovering a little about this compact but interesting city.  A ride on the Aquabus – a modest 24 seat ferry – took us from Bute Park to Mermaid Quay on Cardiff Bay.

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A late lunch was the first thing on the agenda so we opted to have our main meal at Bellini’s, one of many eateries and restaurants lining the redevelopment of the old docks.

This imposing waterfront building beckoned so we took a closer look.

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The Pierhead has an interesting history and is closely linked to the development of Cardiff as a major port.  It now contains some historical artifacts and we were also able to view a 6 minute video of the history of the docks as ‘seen’ through the windows of the building.

Here is an interior view.

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Tucked around the other side of the Pierhead was a far less striking building, but an important one nevertheless – the National  Assembly for Wales .

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It is an interesting building which is predominately glass and slate when viewed from the outside.  The interior is open and airy with plenty of light-coloured timber which provides a beautiful contrast to the dark slate.  We were able to look around inside (after going through security) and saw the chamber and the golden sceptre which apparently was a gift from the government of New South Wales.

By this time the afternoon was drawing to an end so we decided to walk back to our accommodation via the city centre and discovered a few of the many arcades so decided to take a closer look the next day.





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Countdown – 7 Months

I realised this week that in 7months we will be in London at the beginning of our next overseas adventure.  In the 2 months since my last post we have organised a couple more things.

We booked our accommodation for the night in Cardiff.  As usual, we aimed to find somewhere that was fairly central.  We opted for a large chain hotel which is within walking distance of the train station were we will arrive from Swansea.  It is close to the city walking tour, the stadium as well as the departure point of the cruises to waterfront.  It will be a brief look around but we are looking forward to visiting Cardiff as it will actually be the only place on the trip which we have not been to previously.  The other places on our itinerary are London, Swansea and Cambridge.

The other thing we did was buy a lightweight down jacket for each of us from Uniqlo.  They squash up and can be rolled into quite a small carry bag,

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While it is not high-end fashion, I hope the jacket will not scream ‘tourist’ as I step outside the door.  I chose a mid-grey as it will co-ordinate with the other clothes I will be packing.  I will do a separate post at a later date about what I will be packing but it is mostly black, grey and red and of course, denim jeans.

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