Thursday, October 20, 2011

Even More Wales

I never thought I'd have this much to say about Wales. Here are some shots from my afternoon at Cardiff Castle. It's so strange that the residents of Cardiff breeze past this castle with nary a second glance. It is a giant, towering, stone encampment that dominates the city skyline.

In the promotional video I learned that an area that was once a Roman army camp has evolved into tennis courts. There are the remains of an ancient priory in the park next door that is barely marked and littered with beer bottles. A chapel that was built in 1100 now stands opposite a mall.

Cardiff castle has sprawling lawns that lead to a man made moat and mound upon which rests an ancient Roman fort. I climbed three flights of imposing metal stairs to get to the courtyard. Then up two rickety wooden staircases to get to the tower. 
I paid money to climb these unsafe stairs. 

Then up a set of steep winding stairs to reach the zenith. It's times like this I remember that heights make me nervous. I was shaking as I stepped out on the gusting landing where I snapped the unimpressive picture seen below. 

Worth it! 

Then I went into the former residence of a long line of noble, possibly inbred, lords and earls and so forth. Because the place had been sacked, and bombed and burned the property went through several remodels. However there were still many impressive pieces inside.

What is arguably the creepy part of the grounds, at least when you're alone, is the WWII bunker. One of the outer walls was converted during the war to house the residents of Cardiff. That was useful because the city got bombed to smithereens at one point.

 But it is unnecessary and scary to be walking down a dark shadowy hallway then have the speech from The King's Speech begin blaring out of the speakers suddenly. And anyway it sounded better when Colin Firth said it. 

sound advice.

Finally here is a Roman firing wall that is now next to a gift shop and a cafe. Not nearly as imposing nowadays. 

My  final complaint of the post (I swear) is that I kept running into non-Welsh people my entire trip. This picture was taken by a Minnesota woman who lives and works in England. Lame. I met French people, Germans, Aussies and vaguely Eastern European people but hardly any Welsh folks.

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