Thursday March 20th I got to Cardiff, Wales at 5:45am. I stepped off the bus to silent streets. Jess had told me to look for a mall and find a Starbucks, where she would meet me at 7am. I looked to my right and saw what looked like a castle wall, and to my left were more modern buildings. I picked left and began walking. I found what seemed to be a outdoor mall after about 10 minutes of random selection and walking down unfamiliar streets, and shortly after I found myself at the Starbucks. After dropping my things at her flat, Jess and I took a walk into town, she had to leave at 8:30 because she had lots to do for college work, but she gave me an all-day bus pass and pointed me the direction of the city center. With that, I was off to wander Cardiff solo for the day. First stop was for my mom, who had been raving about my visiting the Cardiff castle since she found out I would be in Wales. I strolled around and came to the wall I had seen earlier this morning by my bus stop, to find it was indeed the castle wall. Walking in, I purchased my ticket in time for the first tour that began at 10am.
They had this little guy outside the castle. He was so cute, but it made me so sad to see him tied up all day for people to walk by and just look at.
After the castle I took to the city streets. I like that they’ve tried to keep traditional Cardiff style while becoming modern.
There are small corridors within the shopping center call Arcades, and I think they’re so cute!
This is Shaun. I walked by his shop and thought it was so neat. “Keep the Faith” does tattoos and haircuts for guys and their vibe is awesome. I just walked in based off the looks of the place and Shaun just started talking to me about what I was doing in Cardiff. After he asked me for my signature on an American dollar, I asked if I could photograph him, and so below are some shots of his shop. If you are ever in Cardiff, 100% go here. If not for a tattoo, at least a hair cut, and make sure to say hey to Shaun.
Someday I will try the afternoon tea that is such a big deal here in the UK. Perhaps in London.
I sprung one more time for a local treat. I got so excited when I saw Turkish Delight for the first time in real life. My fellow Narnia fans will approve of my excitement. I had only ever heard of the deliciousness via the Narnia movie, and so now I wanted to experience it first hand. I only spent 1 pound on a baggie of it, and I thoroughly back its goodness.
Friday March 21 – We slept in until 9:30 today. Well. I did. Jess was finishing up some of her homework so she was up really early. She’s a student here in Wales, playing basketball and doing getting her masters. We set off for Barry Island around 10:15am. We got there to find it was quite run down feeling. It had a lot of character though. We ran to the first chip shop we saw because it was pouring rain immediately. In case you ever get chips in the UK, chili is not what you think it is. It’s like chili peppers in sauce form. And your chips will be drown in it. And your mouth will burn if you go ahead and eat them anyway. After chips, the rain let up and so we walked around a bit.
SOOO many doggies running around. Jess was seconds from abducting one.
We saw some photos of the island from years ago when it was in its prime. I could see in the little town’s character it had probably once been the spot to go. I wished I could have seen it then. After a pot of tea with Jess, we decided to head back to town. I had told Jess about the tattoo shop I went to yesterday, and she wanted to have a look and maybe get something. There weren’t any openings for the day once we got there, but Shaun gave her his card, and I think it will be her treat to herself once all her schoolwork is done. I’m back at Jess’s room and in bed now, I have to be at the train station around 7:30 in the morning. Off to Bath Spa in England tomorrow!