Arrived in Cardiff

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May 24th 2012
Published: May 24th 2012
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Good day again today! Only pitfall was my discovery that wearing a 40lb backpack on your sunburned shoulders/neck is an unfortunate experience. Ah well, it’s my own wrong doing.

Took a morning train back to Cardiff, where I’ll be spending the next few days. Ride was less than 2 hours, so I just read most of the way.

Once in Cardiff, I was pleasantly surprised to see the city is quite charming for its size – certainly not a concrete jungle. There seems to be a garden around every other corner, and I love the houses covered in vines and such... it’s a fairytale-feel.

I wandered around the City Centre for a bit – took note of some stores I’ll come back for. I then came across a group of about 12 older ladies... they were clumped and blocking the entire sidewalk. I sighed; I’m in no rush but I’d like to be able to move. As I squished through a few people, I realized they were clustered around Susan Boyle..! I tried not to laugh – like really, what are the chances? (Also, she was in a pink sweater and I just kept thinking of Umbridge in Harry Potter. Oops.)

Anyway, she was apologizing to the ladies saying she had to go (she’d been doing photographs with them). As I got out of the group, she too started to walk away so we were side by side for a few blocks. Of course, her following decide to, well, follow her - I felt bad, I mean she was polite in saying she had to get going and now they were just following her down the street lol. It was weird because they were only a couple feet behind us, so you could hear them gushing over her... but they weren't trying to talk WITH her, just about her.

When we got to a crosswalk and had to wait, I smiled at Boyle and told her my grandma was a fan haha. She said thanks and to say hi to her, and that was that. I turned at the next street, as her group of followers continued on following her to wherever she was going all the while still snapping photos of her as she walked. I do not envy celebrities for that... what a weird experience that must be.

After that fun, I went to the National Museum – the second floor was a gallery so I just skimmed through it... I’m not big on paintings even when they’re free. But the bottom floor is like most Natural History/Nature Museums, with animals, plants, history of people/evolution, dinosaurs etc. I really liked their spin on it though, doing an “Evolution of Wales” so tailoring it for here. And their wooly mammoth scared the crap out of me – none of the displays moved and then all of a sudden I see it move its trunk out of the corner of my eye and then trumpet. Not cool haha.

I also liked “Bertie the Bison” who had a sign: “Bertie the Bison is going bald. Please help us stop further damage by not touching him”. I love their signs in Wales.

I wandered around the area for a bit – there was a huge set of the Olympic Rings, so took some photos there. I then walked down to Cardiff Bay to look at some of the buildings, the quay and just to do some more wandering. Oh it was hot – you could see the haze looking out over the water to the buildings on the other side. It was a nice area though – tons of restaurants, cafes and such as well.

Back to the hostel after that! Tomorrow I’m headed out to a Castle and another museum if train/bus times work in my favour.

Oh yes! And the Olympic Torch Relay passes right near my hostel tomorrow night... I shall perhaps try and join the crowd, pretend to a local 😉


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