One of the Residence Life trips hosted by our housing unit was a trip to Cardiff, Wales. Considering the ticket was only £5, James and I each bought tickets.
On an early Saturday morning, James, Jocelyn, Sydney, Eli and I all met at the bus stop at school to take the coach to Cardiff. The ride itself was about 2.5 hours, and I’m quite sure everyone dozed off on our ride there.
We got to Cardiff around 11:30 am, and had until 4:30 to walk around the town and check out the Christmas Markets. The first thing we visited was the Cardiff Museum, which was free to enter. We spent maybe an hour walking around, looking all the exhibits. There was an exhibit dedicated to Ronald Dahl and all the children’s books he did. Another interesting exhibit we saw was the rock exhibit where we saw a piece of the moon, a piece of the oldest rock in the world and a piece of the oldest rock in Wales.
Following the museum, we made our way to Bute Park. The park is situated along the Cardiff Castle so it’s quite a lovely stroll seeing the park on one side and the Castle on the other. We saw a stone circle – much smaller than Stonehenge, and there was a perfectly situated picture frame so you could take a photo as if it was a framed photo. After the park we made our way to the front part of the castle and strolled along the castle wall, dubbed “animal wall” due to the variety of animal statues on the wall. There was a fee to enter the castle so we opted to just view it from the outside.
On this particular day there was an international rugby match between the Welsh team and a Japanese team, so the town itself was swarmed with people there for the match, not to mention those visiting the Christmas Market. Despite the crowds, we managed to make our way through the various arcades, essentially enclosed high streets between buildings and window shop. Upon one of the first stops, we found a Welsh cafe/restaurant where we bought a bag of Welsh Cakes. Welsh cakes basically taste like scones! It cost £1 for a bag of 5, so we all went in on the bag. Following the various arcades, we visited the Cardiff Market. Imagine a large warehouse flea market. There were a variety of cafes, knick knack stores, and street vendors.
After the market, we made our way down to the Cardiff Bay and Mermaid Quay area. The Millennium Centre is located here and was used as a film site for the popular tv show Dr. Who. Also located here is The Senedd, a Parliament House that is free to tour. The Mermaid Quay area is essentially a variety of shops and restaurants, I imagine it would be quite lovely on a summer day. After touring the Senedd we popped into the Millennium Centre so Eli could get coffee and James and I got a deck of Welsh branded cards.
Our last stop in Cardiff was to the Christmas market. We managed to get there around 3:30 pm and we spent the last hour strolling through the stalls. We came across a cheese stall and we sampled cheese from Wales. The Black Bomber cheese was delicious and if you ever come across it, you should definitely buy a block. I also purchased a Welsh handmade, glass blown ornament for James’ mom for Christmas! It was so interesting because we got to see them make the ornament on the spot for us!
After the market, we made our way back to the bus stop meeting point and snapped a few photos of the amusement park just near it. There were a large Ferris Wheel and even an ice skating rink!
At 5, we were back on our 2.5-hour journey to Exeter. You can be sure we were all passed out for the journey home.
Total cost for James and I: £10.40
- Bus tickets: £5 ea, £10 total
- Welsh cakes: £0.20 ea, £0.40 total
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