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Published: October 13th 2018
Saturday October 6 - We started the day relaxed, with about four hours before we needed to leave for the airport. It allowed us some time to finish packing, make space on the laptop for new photos, and pet the cats. We left at noon, and it was hard to say goodbye to the cats, as usual. I feel bad leaving them for two weeks without being able to explain, but not enough to stay home. The bus to the airport was quite packed, and the least comfortable ride I’ve taken there yet. Check-in was a breeze though, as it always is with KLM or Air France in Basel. No line to speak of, it’s quite nice.
Jeroen still hates flying, but he did pretty well. We flew to Amsterdam and then had another flight to Bristol. Both went fine. I saw a couple of teachers in the Basel airport before we left, and two were on our first flight. We arrived into Bristol on time and had to ask the information desk to phone the rental car agency to send the shuttle to pick us up. This was the beginning of the trip getting uncomfortable. I usually hate everything
about renting a car, and this was no exception. The shuttle took ages to get us, and we were just standing out in the windy cold while we waited. It didn’t take long to get back to the rental office, and it all looked good until they asked Jeroen, the main driver, for his credit card. He doesn’t have one. I booked the reservation in his name, since he would be driving, and used my card, since I have one. This was not acceptable, even if I was a second driver. They could not change the booking, since the pick-up time had passed (while we waited for them to pick us up). The only way to get the car was to pay a boatload more for insurance, which I am still angry about. I had the guy call the third party that I booked through, but she could not change it either. I’m sure they were both full of crap. She did offer to cancel the booking and book a new one, but it wasn’t any cheaper and would have taken two hours of waiting time. So frustrating. I eventually agreed and we got the second driver and a GPS
for “free”, but it costs so much more than I was expecting.
We left the rental car agency a little after 7pm and got into Cardiff around 8:15pm. We checked into the B&B, got our car parked along a side street and went to find some food. It’s quite a busy town and we are staying near the center, so it was fun, though cold, to walk around looking at our options. We ended up standing on the street eating fish and chips, watching lots of cold, half dressed girls in their twenties go out partying. I’m thinking I was in a much better position in my hiking boots. We came back and had an early night.
Sunday October 7 - I woke up early after a crappy night of sleep. I took the chance to cancel the next car booking for the second car of the trip next week, and rebook it so that it is in my name. It should go better than last night’s venture. We had the full cooked breakfast downstairs with the others who stayed here last night. It was so much food - eggs, bacon, sausage, beans, tomato...and that was after the
cereal. We didn’t talk too much to the others, but one of them did write down a walk we should do when we got to St. Davids later in the week.
We left to walk around a little after 9am, and headed for the Cardiff castle, which is a short walk away. The trouble is that today was the Cardiff half-marathon, and it was crowded. It took some time to walk there, and then it was closed to the public. We then walked over to the National Museum through packed streets, and waited until 10am when they opened. Only they didn’t. They too were closed for the event. So we decided to walk to the Cardiff Bay area, and that turned out to be a good decision. We ended up passing the marathoners on the way there and watching them for a bit. It was fun as many were dressed in crazy costumes. We visited some buildings there, including the National Assembly Building, Pierhead and Millenium Building. We walked back, stopped at the B&B for a quick break, and then started out again for round two. We walked a couple miles to the Llandaff Cathedral, through public garden after
public garden. I couldn’t believe how much green space there is. When we got to the cathedral, we checked it out and then walked through the cemetery. It was pretty awesome. Much of it is unkempt and looked fully haunted Halloween. We walked back again and it was about 4pm. We headed to a pizza place we had seen the night before, since we skipped lunch, but they were nearly full with a huge party, so we looked some more. I visited another church on the way and then we found a nearby pizza place and ate there. Starving to stuffed in no time flat. An early evening.
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