One of my resolutions for the summer is to go somewhere new.
Cardiff Day One 11/07/18
On Sunday I decided I wanted to go to Wales and a few hours later, I had booked a hostel and bought my train tickets.
On the wednesday, I set off on the train at 7:30am and trains are my jam! I love travelling by train, mostly because I don’t get travel sick haha. The four hour trip and 4 different trains, was a bit tiring, but for some strange reason I always feel comfortable traversing a train station (maybe it’s in my blood – my uncle drives trains and my granddad was a signal master haha).
I got to Cardiff too early to check in, so I wandered around. I went down to the Bay and saw the Millenium Stadium, which is pretty and huge. I walked past this several times because I couldn’t find the loo haha! As well, as this, I saw the Ianto Shrine. Ianto is my favourite character from Torchwood and my sister would kill me I hadn’t gone to see it. It’s a lovely place for fans to show their artwork, messages and feelings towards the character, however, it could be looked after better.
I then headed to the Hostel – Nomads. I, of course, got lost and walked so much… I probably would still be searching for it without the help of Google Maps haha
This is where things started to go downhill for my anxiety. The room was small and held 3 bunk beds. I’m a size 16, with all the grace of a dumpling. And the only bed left was a top bunk… I feel sorry for my friends for the messages I sent haha
I ended up going to see the receptionist and the lovely woman asked one of the people to swap with me. I was too happy to accept my mortification that I had to ask the receptionist haha
Oh and did I mention that all 5 beds were occupied by guys…
I was so sure on the first day that I was going to hate my time here and that if I didn’t feel good in the morning then I was heading home.
Cardiff Day Two 12/07/18
When you get up early, time seems to last longer haha
Surprisingly, I slept rather well. It took me a while to fall asleep (I’m blaming ‘sigh guy’ who just kept sighing so much and at one point I had to force myself to not laugh haha) and I got up early, but I felt rested.
I left the hostel at 8am and hopped onto a train to Caerphilly. I really wanted to visit the castle and of course, it’s under maintenance ^^” However, it’s still very beautiful!
I got back to Cardiff at 11am, so I decided to visit Cardiff Castle. I walked through Bute park, and eventually found the bloody entrance. I think I ended up walking round the castle, through the park haha
From the outside the castle looks large, however, there isn’t much in there. There is a lot of open space. However, it really is very pretty, especially the inside of the house. The library alone made me happy~
There are shelters in the castle walls, which I found strange, as they aren’t underground. However, the layout and little cafe area was something I’ve never seen. Music and radio speeches from the time played through the tunnels and it was so atmospheric.
There was also a little keep up a steep flight of steps. I love ruins, so this was fun!
As the castle only took an hour to go round, I took a little walk to the national museum. I went round the art galleries and the main exhibit. I love going around galleries! The main exhibit – Kizuna – was Japanese themed. There was even a cute little traditional garden.
Some of the artwork in the galleries was a bit boring (crockery is not something that inspires me haha), but there was some wonderful pieces!
I spent the late afternoon and evening in the lounge area, mainly because I felt uncomfortable sitting in the room with 5 shirtless guys haha
Cardiff Day Three 13/07/18
Buses and bus routes in Wales make no sense.
I decided to jump on a train and head to Port Talbot. Which probably wasn’t the best decision. I didn’t really like it, so I hopped on a bus to Neath.
Neath is a cute little town and there was a music festival going on. I wandered round and listened to a couple of the artists – Gerri (diva), Backroom Bluegrass band and Mike Greg (60’s).
I then went to Margam, to the Country Park and this was wonderful!! I spent most of my time in awe of the ruins by the Orangery. They were part of the Cistercian Abbey from 1147. Ruins are brilliant, it feels like you step back in time.
As I walked around this park I felt as though I was in a Jane Austen novel and despite my feet being incredibly annoyed at me, I was so happy!
However, waiting for an hour for a bus, and then spending nearly an hr on a bus – in the wrong direction for it to loop back – nearly gave me a mental breakdown.
And when I finally got back to Cardiff, I got lost again. This is due to the fact that the bus stops make no sense! When I finally found the bus I needed, it only took change. I had a £5 note…
The bus driver was a beautiful soul who let me in the bus, despite being £1 short. Bless this Welsh lady bus driver!
Cardiff Day Four 14/07/18
I went back to Caerphilly, thinking it would be open. Nope. However, the little town is pleasant to walk around and the castle was no less beautiful and breathtaking. And my god, there were so many geese!!
I then headed back to the hostel in the afternoon to chill. Mainly because my brain needed a bit of peace and I got sunburnt… in Wales!
Oh and 3 of the guys left, only to be replaced by 2 other guys. I swear, I don’t know whether to be happy of embarrassed at waking every morning to see sleeping topless guys in shorts haha
Cardiff Day Five 15/07/18
Returning to the Bay.
I wanted to just chill on Sunday, but the weather was lovely, so I decided to go for a walk. I had been to the bay on Wednesday, but there is a lot more to it than I saw.
I walked along the bay and saw so many dogs!! My life would be unbearable without dogs haha
There were amusement rides and little beaches on the bay. The views were so pretty!
Cardiff Day Six 16/07/18
A short trip to Swansea.
I took the train to Swansea, not knowing what is in Swansea. Of course, the one day that museum is closed is the day I go haha ^^”
However, there was another museum – National Waterfront Museum. It was interesting, but I didn’t spend much time there, mainly because I don’t really care about industry and old technology… The industrial revolution bores me.
I saw the Swansea castle, which is rather underwhelming and I nearly walked past it. To be honest, my visit wasn’t all that interesting and because of the bad weather, I went back to the hostel pretty early, around 2pm.
Day Seven 17/07/18
I had intended to go to Brecon, however when I got to Neath (after having a kind bus driver search for where I needed to be at the station), I had to wait an hour. I waited an hour. When the bus came, the driver said that no buses were going to Brecon because of a motorway accident…
Instead I went back to Margam County Park as I wanted to walk up to the Abbey ruins… that didn’t happen… I went to the park, but I got so lost along the trails, that I didn’t end up finding it haha ^^” in my defence there were no signs! I would never survive in the wilderness haha
So it hasn’t been the last day I was hoping for, but overall the trip has been really good, especially for my anxiety and simply as another stepping stone of making myself a better and more stable person ^^ ♥
Thanks for reading! I hope you are having a lovely day~
Definitely an interesting adventure. From the pictures, Wales does have a colorful history, despite the fact that when I tell people that I would love to visit Wales, their responses are, “there is nothing to see in Wales.” I guess with better planning, there will be much to see.
Here is to being a better and morr stable person. 👊👊👊
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Wales has a lot of heritage, as well as some lovely natural parks! 🙂 Thanks!
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i think it was a marvelous adventure for you to take by yourself. a friend along might have made it even more enjoyable. you’ve filled your memory bank and it will always be there, forevermore. john