Exploring Cardiff

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust 

Cardiff, the Welsh capital is a known place for many travellers. A casual discussion with a friend lead to the creation of a travel plan to Cardiff and Llandudno (more about it in a later post). So, here I was waiting in the queue of Manchester Shudehill bus stop to board the bus for Cardiff. The Megabus service (https://uk.megabus.com/) runs daily buses from Manchester to Cardiff although the timings are different for weekdays and weekends. I must say the almost five-hour journey was strenuous, but the thousand thoughts that came to my mind while travelling made it less painful. 

I passed through Birmingham where the bus stopped for twenty minutes . After giving the passengers a chance to stretch their legs, it moved on to Bristol and finally reached Cardiff late in the afternoon. I now had even less than a day to visit the place as we had an early morning train for the next day. We decided to go where our road lead us. Our first destination was the Cardiff Castle. 

So, this was the grounds of the Castle. It was almost 3:30 pm so we decided to skip wandering around and head straight to the museum, which was beautiful and the Arab Room with its ornate ceilings caught my attention. This (below) is a photograph of the ceiling of the main hall of the Castle. The beautiful and ornate decor of the room made me want to settle there  and never leave the place. In fact, the walls had sculptures, paintings and murals all depicting the rich history of the city and the Castle.  

Thereafter, we headed to the watch tower (photograph below). On the way to the watchtower there was a beautiful moat and well. Let me share this with you, I have extreme ill luck falling over every moat I have visited till date. Thank God this was a nice one and prevented me from creating a hat-trick.

Its one steep climb to the top of the Watch tower but its all worth the amazing view from up there. We took some time in exploring the grounds of the castle which was hosting a small fair. From children’s archery to dressing up like the medieval men and women everything had its exemplifying aura. I captured this young kid with his mom playing happily in the castle grounds. 

“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveller is unaware. “- Martin Buber 

My friend and I are both fans of Doctor Who. Having known that the Doctor Who Adventure Centre is in Cardiff, how could we have not gone there. We started making our way to the Doctor Who Adventureland. On our way, we crossed the market place. It was buzzing with people and tourists. The colourful shops were tempting with its little curios. The small and cozy cafes were full of people enjoying a drink and evening snack. I present to you two of my most favourite shots from the market. 

I love bubbles. Many of us do. But such huge ones. . . Wow! 

This young man was teaching the little girl how to make beautiful earthenware. Though we wanted to stop and make one for ourselves , Doctor Who was calling us, so we decided to give it a skip. 

Interestingly, after looking several times at the map, getting lost, taking the parallel way round and asking about a few people, we reached the Doctor Who Experience . . . . ..  only to find out the last admissions were at 3:30 pm. *SIGH* . On the positive side, we could at least see the place from outside and with a little peek inside the blue windows we could see huge replicas of the Daleks. 

“We all become great explorers during our first few days in a new city, or a new love affair. “- Mignon McLaughlin
We decided to stop over at a pub in the Cardiff Bay to catch a drink, from where this photograph (below ) had been shot. 

Thereafter, we decided to wander around the Cardiff Bay. There were lots of activities to do considering that we went in the middle of the Cardiff festival. We had a great time viewing the city from the Barry Eye (Cardiff Eye). This was my first time getting up on an Eye and the view was amazing.  We attended the fair and saw some of the stalls. Most of the stalls were pirate themed and were ideal places for children to enjoy themselves in. Below is a photograph of the Cardiff Bay from the Eye. 

This (above) is a photograph of the Cardiff Festival near the bay. It was taken from the Eye again. 

“How often I found where I should be going only by setting out for somewhere else.”- R. Buckminster Fuller
 If you thought our journey was nearing the end of its time in Cardiff, you are wrong. It had just begun. We had to find our hostel. Though we had our maps with us, being new to the city and having found out that the roads have  really less road signs , we decided to go with our understanding of the map. The Result: We were lost in the middle of a highway with no footpath! Being a Sunday, there was not a soul in the streets to ask for directions. Thankfully we saw one hotel and asked for directions. But messed up again. We decided to start all over from the pierside. Luck was at our side when a nice fellow, whose run we disrupted , helped us find our way back. Even then, we had to walk for quite sometime to find our hostel. This photograph was taken while we were hunting for our hostel.

We stayed at the YHA Cardiff which was an amazing hostel and I highly recommend it. Their website is http://www.yha.org.uk/ .

Having freshened up we decided to go out in the city for dinner. It was almost 9pm and thankfully my friend enquired if the city would be opened. Our friendly receptionist answered that being a Sunday it was difficult to find anything open. So, we had dinner at the hostel ordering it just a minute before their kitchen too closed 😛 .

Then we set out for my usual late- night travel walks. . . . . the last one was taken in London and then this one in Cardiff. The city was quiet, a stark contrast to what I saw in London. But the few pubs that were opened in the city -centre had rows of guests standing outside with drinks in their hands. After roaming aimlessly around the city for almost two hours, we decided to call it a day as we had to catch a 5 am train for the next day. Below is a photograph that I took at night. 

My next destination was even more thrilling -Llandudno. While Cardiff was in the extreme South, Llandudno was in the extreme North. But it was an amazing experience. More about Llandudno in my upcoming posts. I leave you today with a photo of the Cardiff Central station. It is empty because not many people board trains that early in the morning. But it signifies that the journey continues. . . . . 

Have you visited Cardiff before? Do let me know in your comments what you think of the place. 

Advertisements

107 Comments Add yours

  1. Gabi says:

    Cardiff looks incredibly beautiful and easy to visit, traveller-friendly. Unfortunately we don’t get really good offers from my city… I’d love to see it in springtime!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. anjuprakash says:

    Have heard a lot of great things about Cardiff, but haven’t yet gotten a chance to visit and explore! Im a HUGE doctor who fan, so cool they have an adventure land there!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you visit Cardiff one day., It is indeed a beautiful city and you would love it. also, if you are a Doctor Who fan do check the timings and preferably go in the mornings.

      Like

  3. Arielle Tipa says:

    This was beautiful! I’m from New York and have never been outside the US, and the UK has always been #1 on my dream destinations list. Thanks for whetting my appetite again! xx Arielle

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Im from India and I have only come to the UK for a year so trying to see as much big or small places as is possible. For me, the US is on the #1
      spot for my list of dream destinations. 🙂

      Like

  4. Amber says:

    I would love to visit someday, as I have never been!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you visit it soon and im sure you will not be disappointed by the city. 🙂

      Like

  5. This looks like such a fun visit! I’d love to get there one day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it is a fun visit. im sure you would love it. 🙂

      Like

  6. strawbosscombs says:

    So picturesque!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Reese Speaks says:

    Wales is another destination on my wish list to visit. You made it look so amazing. Thanks for sharing your post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank You. So happy that you liked it 🙂

      Like

  8. This is one great adventure. The pics made want to pack my bags and go there. I would love to see to the Doctor Who Experience. Thanks for the tip about their admission. xx

    http://www.prettyweirdbombshell.com/little-bouquet-vancouver/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome. hope at least you get to go inside and see it . 🙂

      Like

  9. trudy danso says:

    The pictures look stunning! I must say, I have to do some more exploring in the UK. I might just consider Cardiff as the next stop!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That would be awesome then. 🙂

      Like

  10. I absolutely fell in love with Cardiff when I visited! That was actually a decade ago so it was lovely to see your photos and discover what has and hasn’t changed. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome. Glad you liked it. 🙂 How much of it has actually changed?

      Like

  11. The fact that the Doctor Who Adventureland is there puts Cardiff on the top of my travel list. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. 🙂 Hope you get to see it. It should be amazing.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Ana De Jesus says:

    I would love to go to Cardiff, I have a friend that goes to uni out there and it is meant to be a fantastic place to explore as your post evidences.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Im sure you will love Cardiff. hope you get to see it some day . 🙂

      Like

  13. Dreammerin says:

    It needs to be on my bucket list! ;-)) It looks like a very nice trip! I like to visit your website – just an another very nice post!!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Vyjay Rao says:

    Cardiff holds the promise of a great travel experience. Its elegance and charm beckons alluringly. Hope to get there some day soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Im sure you wont be disappointed by what Cardiff has to offer.

      Like

  15. I’m now listing that place to my “Must-visit list!” There’s so many things to see there. Hoping I would get to visit one day. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a beautiful place and I hope you would like it 🙂

      Like

  16. Jessica Ayun says:

    That’s why I love Megabus. It offers affordable fares to really wonderful places. Haha. I am into Media studies and that, Cardiff University has been in my radar. At least to see it would make me feel contented. Hehe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I am a media studies masters student. I study in Manchester but to get a glimpse of the Uni in Cardiff would satisfy me too. 🙂

      Like

  17. Lipsa Das says:

    Hi, I got this Liebster award nomination, and I had it on top of my mind to nominate you for this. I love your posts and look out for them in my reader. Here is my nomination story.
    https://notallthingstouristy.wordpress.com/2016/09/21/yay-liebster-awards-2/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lipsa Das says:

        I will look forward to reading your answers to my questions and the blogs that you nominate 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Post coming up soon. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  18. lex says:

    like i always say, i get that hunger to visit places, when the post is so perfet and true, and this is an example of that perfect post..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank You, Glad you liked it. 🙂

      Like

  19. Once again a totally new place for me! It would be so great to be able to travel but unfortunately not possible at the moment. Actually I am travelling but not exploring new place. Hopefully later!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I do hope you take a break sometime soon in the future and travel to explore . Its so relaxing and at times almost works as a necessary break.

      Like

  20. I’ve never actually been to Cardiff but it looks like an awesome place to visit. would love to visit it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, its a beautiful place. You should try and make a trip if possible.

      Like

  21. Renne says:

    I love going to festivals when I travel. Did you plan your trip around the Cardiff festival or did it just happen to be going on when you went there? Lol @ you falling into moats. I’m clumsy too so I can relate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not exactly. It just happened to be going on there. We knew we had to visit the Bay and then the festival happened 🙂

      Like

  22. Marta says:

    It seems so atmospheric, and I love castles! Thank you for inspiration :*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome. Glad you liked it.

      Like

  23. I’ve never actually been to Cardiff but it looks like an awesome place to visit. Using the Megabus is a bit crappy, but it’s cheap and in most cases cheaper than the National Express so that’s good! I love the pics by the way!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Megabus is cheaper than National Express. Thanks for liking the pics.

      Like

  24. Bella WW says:

    I’ve never been to Cardiff, but I would definitely love exploring it. Your post surely inspired me to do so.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Im sure you would not be disappointed with Cardiff or any other place in Wales.

      Like

  25. I enjoy your photographs. They took me to places you’ve described in your writing. Thank you for introducing many of the cities and towns in England, including Cardif. A great reference when visiting England.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much that you liked my posts and photographs. Have you visited England before? If not , it would be a great trip to plan in the future. Its a lovely place and worth visiting.

      Like

  26. Anamika Ojha says:

    I love reading about your fun trips! Looks like you had an amazing time exploring the Cardiff! The Cardiff Castle looks amazing and gives the vibe of Cinderella’s Castle at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Orlando!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had a great time exploring Cardiff, yes. Im sure that Disney’s castles are also great. Been on my list for a long time, lets see when I finally get to see it.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Shane says:

    I honestly did not get to see enough ancient castles while in Europe. Cardiff looks straight from a fairy tale, I’m sold!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. there are so many castles in the UK. I have been to three myself- Warwick, Cardiff and Conwy. all of them were beautiful.

      Like

  28. Tamz says:

    This seems like a perfect day trip to little Cardiff with quite a few things to see and do. The castle is one place where I would spend most of my day. Very nicely compiled article this one. Glad you enjoyed your time out there

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a lot. Glad you liked it. 🙂

      Like

  29. Mar Pages says:

    What a fun trip! I would definitely have stopped to make some earthenware. I enjoy taking late night walks too, would love to take one in Cardiff and see how its like.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, I went on a sunday so mostly things were quiet. But Im not sure if the scene changes on the weekdays.

      Like

  30. verushka143 says:

    I have been to Cardiff but was a short weekend stay. The castle is beautiful and love the indoor market. Wish I went back to explore more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had stayed there for only a day . I too wish I had some time to explore the place better. 🙂

      Like

  31. Yay! I only see Cardiff on TV especially on Doctor Who! Such a beautiful place for fun and new learnings 🙂

    For Urban Women

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes , Cardiff is indeed very beautiful.

      Like

  32. Joanna says:

    I haven’t visited Cardiff before but it’s on my list, I want to go and explore Wales sometimes soon. I guess that even if it’s a big city, by night it gets empty, same as my little town in Dorset. Cardiff looks lovely, I didn’t know there was an “eye”, similar with the one in London.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In the UK whichever city I have been to has an Eye. Interestingly, Manchester too had one but it was removed a month before I came and will be installed a month after I leave 😛

      Like

  33. Tae says:

    Such a bummer about missing Dr. Who! How crazy for it to close that early — and you could’ve made pottery. Oh well, the price of travel is that it doesn’t always go perfectly, right? Cardiff looks like a fun place with lots of cultural things to do 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah hard luck it closed so early, but at least I could get a glimpse from the outside. 🙂

      Like

  34. Bethanny Sudibyo says:

    Such a fun experience! I haven’t seen all the Dr.Who series but I definitely love the show. I envy you for having to go there! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I havent seen all of them either only David Tennant and Matt Smith ones. I stopped after Peter Cappaldi came in.

      Like

  35. Welsh isn’t high in my list as I still have to go to see England and London of course. Although your exploration journey really makes me want to travel to discover Cardiff!

    http://www.AdventureFaktory.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Wales wasnt first in my list either. But I had been to London and Glasgow . As i dont belong to the UK or Europe by birth, I would have restrcitions in going to Ireland. So, Wales was the last in my list and it had to be done. 🙂

      Like

  36. Amandas_Wanderlust says:

    Oh wow, the Dr Who Centre must have been fun. I forgot that it is now produced in Cardiff. I have a friend who used to live there and it is a great city. I love staying in YHA hostels. They have improved so much over the years. Glad you enjoyed the

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, the YHa hostels were the best hostels that I have ever stayed in. Great atmosphere. Though we got pretty lost int rying to find it, but the people out there were great and helpful.

      Like

  37. I’m sold on the Dr Who centre! That’s such a shame they had a cut-off though. I would have been on my knees begging them for even the tiniest look around! I wonder what’s inside? A wax model of David Tennant? I’d pay big money for that ha ha! But seriously, Cardiff Castle looks incredible. Would love to visit, never been.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, from the outside we could get a tiny glimpse and I saw huge models of the Daleks. I would definitely love to no if theres a wax model of any of the doctor Whos inside. High time Madame Tussauds gets one 😛 ! Anyway, if you do visit it would love to hear of your experience.:)

      Like

  38. Ami Bhat says:

    On my last trip to London, we almost planned Cardiff but then, could not make it there. If I had known then about how amazing it is, I would have made some alterations to fit this in. One day does not seem sufficient here. Thanks for sharing it all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh sorry to hear that you could not make it. If you get a chance you should try it. Its great. in fact, cardiff and snowdonia are the most famous places in Wales but since we could not make it to snowdonia we chose llandudno instead and got to see three attractions in a day -conwy, llandudno and deganwy village. 🙂

      Like

  39. theglobeater says:

    Bus journeys can be extremely tiring I must say, but I always feels thrilled when I finally get to the destination that I forget about being worn out and just want to explore! From all the things you got to do in just an afternoon I guess it was the same for you! haha 🙂
    I love your shots, especially the one of the little girl learning how to make a clay pot. It really conveys a feeling of tranquility and joy to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Happy to know you liked my photos. I quite agree once you reach the destination the curiosity to explore is more than the tiredness and the fatigue of the journey.

      Like

  40. Tami says:

    I was aware there was another “Cardiff” out there, but hadn’t realized it was in Wales. I live in southern California, and here we have Cardiff-by-the-Sea. I have no idea what the connection is, if any, but I see no resemblance between the two. How cool that you got to explore the real Cardiff — love the castle and the “Eye”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thats interesting to know there is another Cardiff. I had heard about it once or twice but dont know a lot about it. I hope to get to see it too one day. 🙂

      Like

  41. After living in the UK for a year you no longer get surprised by the ridiculous closing time of many things. Anyway, even though I have been to Bristol (and I didn’t really enjoyed it), it seems like Cardiff is quite special itself. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. i mean 3 : 30 pm is not a great time for closing an Adventureland. But rules are rules and what can one do. i made a brief stopover at Bristol city centre. since I have never really visited the place Im not too sure how Bristol is. but Cardiff has quite a lot of things to do and one can enjoy to the fullest.

      Like

  42. Chris says:

    LOL, we stayed in the YHA Hostel in Cardiff back in 2013!

    I think Cardiff is an underrated little city and we were really lucky to head up to Caerphilly Castle as well.

    Such a shame you weren’t able to get up there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, we had a strict schedule considering that me and my friend came from different part of England and met up in Cardiff for this vacation. We now we missed quite a few things, but we were happy to be able to make the trip and enjoy so many things. 🙂

      Like

  43. GeekGirlGoes says:

    You did really well squeezing in so much into just one day! Also, I loved the quotes you interspersed into the piece – very inspiring! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. We were very tight with our schedule. Im sure we missed a lot, but no point in crying for what we missed; we should rather be thankful for all the great things we did instead 🙂

      Like

  44. We have been to Cardiff as a part of our UK trip and we planned Bristol as a base. 5 hours travel certainly is hectic and much of your time looks like have been spent in travelling. Cardiff Castle and Bay are definitely not to miss and looks like you had a great time exploring them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. I agree we spent quite sometime travelling but our plans were according to the availability of people from completely different parts of UK. So, here and there we had to adjust a bit. Though we got less time to see, I have no regrets. 🙂

      Like

  45. Your post has a lovely mix of history, architecture and everyday fun…something to suit every taste. It seems you enjoy all these aspects equally.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. I am not much of a single themes trip person like only wildlife or only luxury. 🙂 I like a mix of everything . Touristy and non-touristy as well.

      Like

  46. Um, you had me at Doctor Who! So jealous that you got to go to a Doctor Who adventure land!! I didn’t even know that was a thing!

    Like

    1. I just noticed you said they closed at 3:30!! I hope you get to go back ):

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope so too, but looking at my schedule right now, it seems a little impossible. 🙂

        Like

  47. I’ve never yet been to Cardiff, but it is definitely on my list. My plan for next year is definitely to discover more of the UK, the past year I’ve basically only explored Scotland xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh. thats quite the opposite. I have explored more of the UK. I have been to Glasgow only once and that too for a day.

      Like

  48. The Tiny Book says:

    I’ve never been to Cardiff but this post is so attractive and enticing, there are plenty of wonderful photo spots and activities to enjoy, I’d really love to visit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes there are some great places. I hope you visit Cardiff in person some day and im sure you will have an amazing experience.

      Like

      1. The Tiny Book says:

        I do hope so too!!

        Liked by 1 person

  49. John Rodgers says:

    The photographs and information was really helpful. I have read about the English, Irish, French and now the Welsh today. I think I have been in Asia too long, now I am really ready for a European swing. The photo of the ceiling was so nice and I am sorry you missed Dr. Who. I know that would have been a great exhibit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have been living in Asia for the past 15 years (India to be precise). This is just a year that im in the UK for higher studies. So I dont want to miss any part of the country. 🙂 Yes its sad we couldnt make it to the Doctor Who but at least we saw it from outside. 🙂

      Like

  50. I remember visiting Cardiff a couple of years ago: it’s such an upbeat and vibrant city! lovely photos: the castle is so beautiful, isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. The castle is amazing. 🙂

      Like

  51. I have never been to Cardiff! I may use this post as a tour guide 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Im sure you will like it. If you have time try to visit the Cardiff University even if you get a glimpse from the outside. Its one of the best for media studies and overall in the UK. I didnt get a chance to see it cause I had less time to explore the city and also it was way too far on the opposite direction from the city centre.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I always considered graduating in Media Studies, so maybe I will give it a chance! Thanks for letting me know 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s