The Great Welsh Showdown – Day 1 – Cardiff Compressed

The one thing that stands fresh in my memory from the Welsh classes is the word they use for Memory stick / USB. In Welsh, it literally translates “Little memory”. Funny enough, the Welsh couldn’t come up with historic words for products that are being invented in the 21st century. So, they either refer to such things in English or look up the nearest connection. And voila – USB becomes Little memory.

So, what does Little memory have to do with Cardiff?

Normally, when I travel, I love to soak in a place for a couple of days, meeting people, visiting sights, drinking the local beer, lazing over coffee, pouring over maps and by the end of it, feeling like a local. Now, switch to the time spent in Cardiff. A couple of hours and nothing more. If normal travel can be compared to an external hard disk, then my experience in Cardiff fits in a small memory stick. And hence, Cardiff compressed…..

Here are the photo files neatly tucked away in the Cardiff compressed diary…

The Cardiff Castle… the grounds, the moat, the actual castle, the rooms, the climb, the flag… just everything you think you’ll find in a castle… its all here. Found them all, just Rapunzel was missing.

Wandering inside, the magnificent chandeliers in the banquett room blew me away. Actually, they transported me to a Mask of Zorro kind of setting with Banderas swinging on the them and landing precariously close to me.

Having learnt the Welsh basics in the morning, I was a litttle stressed that I’d forgotten how to say Thank you and Good bye. Then, this brilliant sculpture in the castle compeletely makes me reach Tipping point.Sculpture refers to multiple languages – Roman, Welsh, Egyptian… blah blah…. everything apparently that the owner of the Castle of Wales knew. Why am I saying owner? Damn! I refuse to call him King or Prince or whatever. How can he speak all these crazy foreign languages?

 In all this frustration, lets jump  from the epicentre of history to the modern part of Cardiff. What once used to be the docks now hosts some of the hip and happening clubs and restaurants and Cultural centres.

Check out the super famous Millenium centre in the Cardiff Bay area, which houses plays and concerts.  The copper roof and the limestone slated building on the side constrast each other fabulously… all in all a building that stands out even from across the bay.

Take a little walk down the Bay area walking path and you’ll get an even better view… along with the red structure, which is fairly Gothic. I would just say this looks like Red Square meets Copper Space machine in Wales.

And then, check out the Wales government building. Made completely out of glaass, a wooden roof, no electricity.. this is supposed to be a completely eco-friendly structure. Ventilation managed through underground channels, rainwater collected on the wooden roof and redirected to flush toilets, glass panes provising natural lighting and no requirement for electricity. Blah Blah! Anyway, what helps is that the Government can claim compete transparency, thanks to the Glass building. LOL.

Walk further down the Bay area and you’d see the replica of a Norwegian church. The original church is where Roald Dahl was baptised. By the way, did you guys know Roald Dahl was Welsh and born in Cardiff? If you did not, this is the time. Respect.

I just saw this pretty church with the giant wheel in the background and started humming Norwegian wood.

And then, you see the beautiful beautiful stone sculptures of sea creatures, all after Dylan Thomas’s poetry. For those who don’t know who Dylan Thomas is – read this.

And that’s us perched on one of the sea creatures, hiding it away from the rest of the world.

From prolific writers and romantic poets, from historic castles to nouveau architecture…. this little capital of Wales is a pot pourri.

And now for some humour…… just love the ice cream truck signs. Just the way its written “Miind that child” and “Stop, watch for children” made me smile. I’m sure they meant it with a concern for children. Now, let your imagination run wild.

And then, I saw this really funny book – “How to be a good husband”. Thought of a perfect gift for Roy. Especially, the Welsh seem to have been very kind to women and asked men to give leeway to everything a woman wants. I like that. My happiness was shortlived. Not too far away, actually 3 metres away was the other book and about 5 times the size of the first one – 101 things for the housewife to do.

Well, well. The Welsh were not very Women friendly as I had thought.

Anyway,  if you like some of these experiences, Visit Cardiff and enjoy them! If you did not like any of them, then visit the fake White Water rafting circuit in Cardiff. I’m sure it will change your mind.

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9 thoughts on “The Great Welsh Showdown – Day 1 – Cardiff Compressed

  1. Woww!! Did you also do that ‘speed-boat-thingy’ at Cardiff Bay? Btw, Aparna, that huge Millennium Centre, somethings inscribed at the top, isn’t it? What does it mean? The guide did tell us, but I never caught on to it!!All the best, once again!-Pallavi

  2. beautifully captured cardiff – including the ice cream truck and books! if you are going back to cardiff .. do visit the university and/or the talybont hostel. Cardiff is the mecca for media studies.

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