24 Hours In Cardiff

Here is my assessment of Cardiff after a 24 hour visit. My husband has been working there this week. With Mum visiting, she very kindly minded the children so I could pay him a visit.

I arrived and could not move my limbs for the cold, so warmed up by a fire before heading out. Oh, look! This is the fire I sat beside. Is this an interesting post or what??

If you say “Cardiff” to me, I think of a castle and a stadium where I’ve always wanted to watch a rugby game. With my husband working, I took myself to the castle. On the way I spotted some Wallabies (this is the Australian rugby team) who were lovely.  But look at Rob Horne (middle) – he clearly thought I was nuts.  Just because I chased them down the street going “Oy, Wallabies, stop!! Can I take your photo… stop!! OY!”  I mean, really.

“How could you tell we are Wallabies?”

One of them offered to take a photo of me with the other two. I declined, but in truth I’d love a photo of the Wallabies all lifting me up. My husband has a bit to do with them because of his work, so I asked if he could arrange this for me. He said, “I’ll see what I can do” which is his way of saying, “No way.  And you are ridiculous.”

Oh come on, you can’t blame me can you?

The castle was just fantastic, I loved every minute there.

That night, I had a drink in a swanky bar waiting for the man to finish work. It’s a funny thing going to a bar by yourself, you definitely get noticed. I got the odd sympathetic glance, and looks which I interpreted as “are hookers wearing jeans these days?” The man finished work, we had a great dinner, more wine and a wonderful time. But I have to ask – how do people go out on such cold nights wearing next to nothing? They’re necking a bottle of vodka beforehand, surely?

I had the following morning to look around before getting the train back to London. The Christmas markets were beautiful, with people standing around drinking mulled wine. I am really coming around to Christmas in cold weather. It has a very distinct feel and aroma, and I absolutely love it.

I had a wonder around Cardiff Markets, buying a dragon for my charm bracelet and some second hand books.

I had my first ever Welsh cakes. The woman cooking them was coughing up her lungs, so it was a risky purchase. But so worth it.

In Australia, I see all those souvenir shops and wonder who would want a little koala ashtray. Well, the tables have turned. I loved the souvenir shops in Cardiff. It’s interesting though, while you’ll see fridge magnets and so on, all espousing how great it is to be Welsh, you’ll never see that in England. Sure, you’ll see plenty of patriotic British gear, but – correct me if I’m wrong – you just don’t see “proud to be English” teatowels. Is that fair to say?

The vintage shops are just the best, and you could easily spend a few days rummaging around them.

Please humour me and check out my new (well, new from the 1940s) teapot for £6. Bargain. Something with such character doesn’t need to be pretty.

But why didn’t I buy this for Christmas?

I don’t know why I didn’t time the trip better. I was there for just one night, and the following day the Wallabies were to play Wales. That is why my husband was in Cardiff. Am I an idiot or what??

Speaking of rugby, I found a great rugby shop and nearly bought a few bits and pieces. Then I decided I really can’t buy Aussie rugby gear in Wales – it’s not right. Instead I bought my son a Welsh rugby ball. He has now declared his allegiance to the Welsh team, and said “I will never ever ever go for the Wallabies again.” We beat Wales today and he was sobbing – completely inconsolable. What have I done??

Anyway, I was impressed with Cardiff.

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