Friday, May 27, 2011

Cyfarchion o Gaerdydd!

View from Cardiff Bay
Today I decided to head to Cardiff for the day. Why? Well because it was 17 GBP return (which still seems like a good deal to me) and I had never been! Well also to do more walking in prep for my big walk... which is scarily really close. It definitely was a great time, with lots to be seen by both shopaholics and green space lovers alike.

First off-- shopping. Right near the Central Station there are huge shopping centers, St Davids and Queens Arcade. Along St. Marys street there are tons of additional stores and restaurants, including two of my favorites, Wagamama's and Nando's. Needless to say my mother could probably spend hours upon hours and a lot of my inheritance money here.

Then of course you have history, Cardiff Castle is at the end of the shopping HALLO. I am a bear.streets (you literally can't miss it, unless you consider castles just another part of hum-drum) . Built in 55 AD (that's pretty old) it has been used for many purposes and seen its share of interesting history. Don't forget to check out the animal wall adjacent to it (and Bute Park) which is one of the most photographed locations in Cardiff.

Bute Park is both tranquil and historic, an epic chunk of green space in the heart of Cardiff. It is a great place to picnic or just sit in the sun and read. There is also a watertaxi which can take you to Cardiff Bay for 3 GBP (adult).

Along the Coast near Mermaid's QuaySpeaking of the bay-- there is a 10KM walk around the Bay which is a great way to take in the environment and some pretty spectacular views. This walk is aptly named: Cardiff Bay Trail. All that walking though might drum up quite an appetite or thirst, no worry! Mermaid Quay (pronounced 'key' to all Americans, please let me save you the embarrassment at my expense) has a ton of different cafes, restaurants, and bars to wet your whistle or whet your appetite.

I however, opted for something completely different and went to The Cricketers for an early dinner. Located dangerously close to the Cricket Grounds (which happened to be having a huge match going on), they serve tasty local ales and upscale pub food. The ale I had was Evan Evan's 'CWRW'. Now I do not know what that means (well I just checked and it means 'BEER'... AWESOME), but I do know it went down perfectly with my spring vegetables with spicy couscous & yogurt. There are plenty of books to read and the waitstaff is very friendly and patient.

So, even though Welsh is one of the scariest languages I have come across (I am going to check Rosetta Stone and see if I can learn a thing or two!), Cardiff is definitely a place I would come to again. There is so much more to see (and eat!) I would be a fool not to!

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