Cardiff


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October 15th 2007
Published: October 16th 2007
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We got up early in the morning on the 14th October and went for a short walk down to the harbour to board our ferry to Fishguard. This ferry was slightly larger than the one to Belfast as it had cabins and multiple decks, however there were fewer eating options. We did however have our breakfast on the ship as it meant we didn't need to get up even earlier.

After we arrived at the Fishguard terminal which was again well integrated with the railway station, we had a 1 hour wait until the train arrived. In fact our whole afternoon was to be taken up by rail travel with three separate changes for some reason or another just to get to Cardiff. First we went to a place called Carmarthan where we changed to a second train, then we got a rail replacement bus from Swansea to Newbridge and then it was back onto another train to Cardiff. So while it wasn't the most convenient at least it was fairly cheap as we got another combined ferry/train ticket.

At Cardiff we stayed at another ETAP hotel, our first in the UK. We still had some pound stirling currency from Northern Ireland however every time we tried to use it in Wales we encountered trouble as the people there were not used to it as the Northern Irish money has different markings on it from the notes used in England and Wales. Eventually however it was always accepted.

Cardiff is quite a small town compared to the other UK capitals and it is quite easy to walk around. On the 15th October we visited the Cardiff Castle and did a guided tour which was very interesting. The guy who lived there and improved the castle to the way that it looks today (the third Marquis of Bute) made his money out of the coal industry, however after this was nationalised his descendents had no reason to remain in Cardiff so the castle was eventually donated to the local Council in 1947. The castle also features an old keep which remains from the 12th century as well as some remains of Roman fortifications.

From Cardiff we were catching a train to return to London to spend a final night with Roger and Helen before catching our plane back to Melbourne. What we were not expecting however was the cost of our train tickets which were £53 each for a journey of little more than 2 hours. Certainly a lot more expensive than the Melbourne equivalent of a trip to Ararat!

So that brings us to an end of our 3 month European trip. We have had a really busy and enjoyable time!

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