An Afternoon in Cardiff
If you are used to reading the articles on this website (not only mine, but all of them), you may know that during my small trip to London, I took the opportunity to visit Bristol (which you can read here) and Cardiff in a single day.
There are two types of travelers. First, those who like to take their time to visit and wander all around the city, loving to get lost in the heart of their destination. Then there are those who, like me, have been in what they call “family jail” for many years and that now run all around the world, trying to see as many things as possible in the small amount of time they have.
Thought, spending only an afternoon in Cardiff was almost enough for me. Not that I did not like the city (I loved it), but because you can see the most important spots quickly as they’re close to each other.
I left Bristol at 2 PM for Cardiff, and took a bus from Megabus (I highly recommend it in the UK). The weather was not really the best I could have expected, but I did not have the luxury to be demanding on this island. The bus went through what was like a highway on a bridge, in the middle of the sea, which was really cool, and then we reached Cardiff.
Fortunately, the sun came back allowing me to be amazed by the beauty of all the tulips that were surrounding the town hall. For a second I thought I just arrived in Amsterdam!
I left the bus stop, with no map, but comforted by the fact that I was in the city center and that I could easily get lost there. The Castle and its walls were impressive even thought I decided that it was maybe not worth £12 for the visit, and the pedestrian streets were full of people due to the nice weather. For the first time that day, I allowed myself to wander and to enjoy the cobbled streets that made me go back in time. Two adventures for the price of only one, who would have expected that? Not me.
But, believe it or not, I had a mission to accomplish. I did not came to Cardiff by coincidence or because the pictures on Google seemed nice. I came here because of one of my best friend who already went there, and left without taking any picture of the Waterfront hall, despite all his love for the city and the series where you can see it (yes, I’m talking about Doctor Who).
As only the biggest fans of the show may know, a few of the episodes were filmed in Cardiff, on the Mermaid Quay, where you can see the Waterfront Hall and a big waterfall monument (and the Roald Dahl Plass). There’s even a museum about Doctor Who, for those who didn’t know (on the Mermaid Quay too).
So, once I left Starbucks with two new City Mugs to add to my collection, I walked through the city center and managed to find the Quay. It was way easier than I thought. Maybe I had improved my orientation skills in Bristol (who knew). After a 20 minute walk, I reached it.
It was almost impossible not to find it. The Waterfront Hall was huge and impressive. Once again, to the not-so-tall me, I felt even smaller. I took many pictures for my best friend, and then I wandered on the sea walk (or ocean walk). The sun was still high in the sky, even if it didn’t really warm me and there were a lot of people enjoying the moment, as I did.
In every city where I go, I’m walking somewhere I never walked before and where I never thought I would ever walk, and every time that I’m taking my notebook out of my backpack to write in it, I feel blessed. Cardiff and its Mermaid Quay are absolutely gorgeous, probably one of my best trips, and one of the best afternoons I spent on Earth. When I wrote those words on the new blank page of my book, I felt that until then, I was empty. From that moment, I swore to fill myself with all of what the world had to offer. And boy, I know it’s a lot.
For my best friend, M.
By Kelly Videira