Cardiff, Wales

Chelsea and I have been seriously sick off and on for what seems like the past 6 weeks, so life has been a little slow while we try and recover.  Although, we have still managed to visit some new places and try new things.  About three months ago, Chelsea promised to take me out of town for my birthday, but the catch was that it would be a complete surprise to me.  Those that know me know that I almost always ruin Christmas (read: spoil surprises), so it is with great pleasure that I admit to being completely surprised when she announced that we were going to Wales for my birthday weekend about an hour before our train left.

Wales was on our list of places to visit, and she figured that Cardiff was a great place to spend a short weekend.  Cardiff is the capital city of Wales, and like many cities here, has industrial roots.  Lucky for us, it also has a very busy nightlife and big shopping area, so we had plenty to keep us entertained for the weekend.

I’m not sure what the draw of a big Ferris Wheel is in the center of a city, but I suppose it is supposed to give some great views akin to those on the London Eye.  This ride looked a little lackluster, so we just stuck with admiring how cool it looked when lit up at night.

This picture is supposed to show the giant stone wall surrounding the Cardiff Castle.  To be honest, at this point we are a little castled-out so, we skipped the opportunity to walk around, and will have to be content with this poor representation.  I’m sure it is neat though.

Here is one of the many long pedestrian malls full of shops that we walked along.  It turns out that I was the only one to do some shopping, but I suppose that is fair on a birthday weekend trip right?

We even managed to stop during the day to try a pasty.  While neither of us chose a the traditional steak and onion pasty, our selections were quite good, and a big improvement to any of the Northern Michigan pasties we were used to.  We might even be inclined to get another one at some point.

Other than the Castle and shopping, Cardiff is also home to the famous and spectacular Millennium rugby stadium.  Unfortunately we didn’t get a tour, and missed the match that weekend, but it was certainly an impressive structure.

And of course I cannot say that we went to Wales without mentioning the Welsh language.  The only Welsh we heard was at the train station when they recording announced the trains in English and Welsh.  All of the street signs were also dual language, and as you may be able to see above, we couldn’t really make sense of the language.  Lots of consonants, double letters, and more consonants.   So maybe we did hear it spoken out on the town, and mistook it for lots of throat clearing.

Overall we had a great weekend full of plenty of good food and drinks.  Cardiff is a fun city to visit for a short weekend, but I probably wouldn’t spend a ton of time there.  More importantly, it was an awesome place for a birthday surprise weekend.  Thanks Chelsea!

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