Chillin'

Cardiff Travel Blog

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Cardiff Castle clock tower

Man, I was tired. Family crises - tiring.  Family crises, 150 miles away, in an area you should be an expert in, with added emotional stuff-and-things - well, if this is adulthood, someone can take it and shove it up there left nostril. Sideways.  I needed a weekend!

Ruby and Lori, two of the loveliest people on travbuddy, were spending the weekend in Cardiff, and I decided that I would go through and see them.  Of course, I've only been to Cardiff once before, and I got a tad lost on my way into the city.  But without too many problems, I found myself in a car park and went off to meet them at the castle.  It was the MOST EXPENSIVE CAR PARK EVER.  80p every fifteen minutes - that's £3.

Cooking party!
20 an hour, or what it would cost to park in Swindon outlet village for three and a bit days.  I was feeling moderately sulky by the time I met the girls - mutter mutter, bloody NCP, mutter, bloody car park - and was getting seriously soggy too.  The day was not boding well, until I spoke to Lori, and she had a word with the Lovely Hostel Guy, and he said that I could leave the car at the hostel.  I was a little dubious about leaving the car, but it turned out to be right under a CCTV camera.  Hooray!  That was me completely unsulked and ready for lunch. 

Off we went to Nandos.  We were very hungry by this point, so we agreed to sit at the tiny table rather than wait.  On balance, this was not the best of ideas, as we also decided to have a whole chicken, two chips, a coleslaw and a large corn.

The prettiest gap I have ever seen!
  The end result was that we ended up with four knives and a cone of our very own on the floor.  The Nandos man was very nice about this - pointing out that in another 10 hours he'd have drunks to deal with, and at least we weren't dropping anything really nasty.  At some point I will have to photoshop the comedy photo of the mess...

Next, we decided to go shopping, not quite realising that it was almost four, and that Cardiff, being fairly small in the way of international capitals, shuts at six. 

It took us most of that time to get Lori out of the bookstore!  ;)  After a bit of shopping, we thought about what to do with the evening.  The rain rained.  And rained.  And rained.  Back at the hostel, we got out of our wet clothes, and went to the loungey-bar-ish part to think about it.

Aneurin Bevan, founder of the NHS, and really angry looking statue!
  It rained, and I totally embarrassed myself by being even worse than usual on the purple pool tables.  If there was a way to miss a ball, I did.  Then we watched some TV, read some magazines, and realised that it was about 9.30.  It's been months since I felt that relaxed! 

By this point, we were slightly hungry, but really, no more inclined to go out into the town.  It would have meant wearing proper shoes, for a start, and I think Ruby and Lori might have had a late one the night before, and I couldn't drink anyway and it was still pouring, and I was feeling seriously chilled.  So we thought about getting some dinner sorted instead, and Owen the Lovely Hostel Guy offered to cook.  Lori, Ruby and I went to the most random corner shop in the world - it smelt of socks, had about seven people hanging around behind the cashdesk, and had absolutely no vegetables at all.

Dinner. Ace!
  But it did have pasta sauce, so it was sort of a win.  Owen the Lovely Hostel Guy laughed at what we brought in - it was a bit like Ready Steady Cook - and after a brief bit of chat about how the Super Furry Animals used to drink in the hostel bar (damn, once again, I was born too late!), we put dinner on. 

at about 11 I drove home.  Ish.  For a start, the M4 isn't really well signposted out of Cardiff - it's like, why would you want to leave? - and I ended up rejoining the M4 about five junctions further west than I left it that morning.  Then the skies really opened - it was as close as rain gets to a white out, and I was scared witless.  Visibility came down to about three car lengths and the car was trying to skip sideways on the pooling water.  And they say you can't have an adventure holiday in the UK - there I was, pretty much rafting across Wales!  Luckily, by the time I reached the really exposed Severn Crossing, it was slowing down.  but the extra stress on Little Orange Car had meant that I was burning petrol at about twive the rate I normally did, and the light flicked on on the bridge.  There was no way that I could make it to the service station, and no guarantee that the pumps in Bristol would be open at almost midnight.  Luckily, I remembered that there was a 24 hour asda on the M5 - great, there's me with money, alone in an abandoned retail park at midnight.  See?  Britain is exciting!

But eventually, I got home, and tucked myself up in bed.  How much excitement can one person take?

Ruby has photos about this at http://www.travbuddy.com/travel-blogs/18516/Wooooohooooo-Sarahelaines-back-Cardiff-12

londonstudent says:
Absolutely!
Posted on: Mar 31, 2008
sarahelaine says:
good point - I'll correct the maths. But I think the point stands!
Posted on: Mar 30, 2008
londonstudent says:
Be fair - it's only £3.20 an hour :)
Posted on: Mar 30, 2008
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Cardiff Castle clock tower
Cardiff Castle clock tower
Cooking party!
Cooking party!
The prettiest gap I have ever seen!
The prettiest gap I have ever seen!
Aneurin Bevan, founder of the NHS,…
Aneurin Bevan, founder of the NHS…
Dinner.  Ace!
Dinner. Ace!
Cardiff
photo by: vulindlela