48 Hours in the Welsh Capital Cardiff
Where: Cardiff. Wales, United Kingdom. Europe.
When: June 2008
What: Cardiff Castle, Traditional WelshWooden Spoons, Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay, River Taff, Cardiff Millennium Centre, Cardiff City Hall.
How: Driving, Taxi.
Country counter: +1 country
Illnesses or mishaps: Being accosted by drunk Welsh girls.
In the British Isles Wales has the almost unique quality of being both near and far from home. So near that you can visit for the weekend but so far in terms of it feeling a little, well, foreign. Bilingual signs across the country like "Araf" (Slow), "Heddlu" (Police) and "Ysgol" (School) serve to give Wales a distinct whiff of the abroad. In fact, for a person searching for a little respite from England, this all comes as welcome relief. There is something soothing and relaxing about Wales which is only matched by the warm, melodic accent of the Welsh people themselves. Expect to see the tricolour of red, white and green of the country's flag everywhere, the proliferation of which undoubtedly made more bounteous by a resurgent Welsh nationalism in light of the establishment of the new Welsh National Assembly based in Cardiff.
And it is to Cardiff, in South Wales, I headed one Spring weekend in 2008; it was high time that I saw some of the icons of this famed Land of the Red Dragon for myself.
The Cardiff Millennium Centre featuring the Welsh language.
The Victorian clock tower at Cardiff Castle.
The striking red terracotta of the Pierhead Building at Cardiff Bay.
Welsh folk dancers parade through Cardiff streets celebrating midsummer.
Overlooking Cardiff Bay.
travel tips, links & resources
- If you're short on time then hopping aboard one of Cardiff's tour buses is a quick and easy way of seeing the main sights. These things come into their own on cold, wet days in the city - weather for which Cardiff is renowned.
- For ideas on what to do and where to go in Cardiff, you can visit the official Visit Cardiff page here.
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