Don't the Welsh speak English?

Trip Start Aug 30, 2006
Trip End Jul 16, 2007

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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Was I not meant to visit Cardiff?

In October 2006, I bought a return ticket to Cardiff to watch the Wales vs Australia rugby match. I paid for the bus plus the game ticket. I couldn't go due to a clash in commitments (okay, I went to a movie premiere in London!!) so lost about 60 pounds.

Since then I've been wanting to go to Cardiff, so a few weeks ago Fiona and I booked our tickets. Well, after we booked our tickets we found out we had not 1 but 2 birthdays that we would miss out on. Then on Sunday Fiona's beloved Fremantle were playing at 5pm. So at the last minute we changed our ticket to come back earlier to make the game.

After all these signs, I was beginning to wonder if I was NOT meant to visit Cardiff?

But it was a great visit - beautiful sunshine, cackling birds, incomprehensible welsh, scary local girls, too much to drink, beautiful Cardiff Castle, shopping and the cleanest hostel yet.

Woke up at the decent hour of 7:30am and caught the 9:30am coach at Victoria Station. 3 hours and 10 minutes later (after some beautiful scenery of fields and fields of daffodils) we were in Cardiff. There was a girl on the bus who spoke loudly for about 45 minutes - ranting away ra ra ra. Couldn't sleep.

Welcome to cardiff

Took about 30 minutes to find our hostel which was about 10 minutes out of the city centre. But it was great value for money. It was called the Nomad and is pretty new. You could smell the fresh paint. We paid 13 pounds each for one night, and we got our own twin bed room. A sweet deal. Everything was new - the furniture, the carpet, the paint. I felt like I was in somebody's house as the kitchen drawers were filled jars and paperwork! Our floor had 2 bathrooms, which were huge and even had a bathtub!

Our hostel, the Nomad

IMPRESSION: I don't understand why toilets do not FLUSH properly over here. I am constantly pushing the lever for it to flush.

Fiona and I bought something quick from Sainsbury for lunch and then hit the shops in the main shopping street.

H&M, Primark and HMV to name a few. It seems like we have visited a H&M and Primark in every place we have visited.


It was a gloriously day - the sun was out and we were sweating while shopping. What a terrible day for me to wear black jeans and a black jacket!

After hitting the shops we went back to our private room at the hostel :)

We had some cheap alcoholic cider and dips and bread. Reminded me of how I used to do this on Friday nights with the girls back home. We got ready and went back out for some fun. Took some crazy photos in the hotel and, tipsy on the cider, headed out for some cardiff nightlife. hahaha

Taking photos in the hostel, slowly getting tipsy on the cheap cider

First stop was the Walkabout for a snakebite and dancing. I think we were the only Aussies. Fiona requested "Hunters and Collectors" for me but the DJ said that "Cardiff is in the middle of nowhere and we have not heard of any Aussie music". Well thats certainly no excuse cos they didn't have Bon Jovi either.

Snakebites at the Walkabout

Then went to another bar for a few minutes. This place was real dodgy with some bad music. We quickly left.

The third bar was a 80s bar called Reflex. It was decorated with pictures of Mr T and Wonder Woman, a technicolour tiled dance floor, cool graffitied toilets and music by Rick Astley and Bros. Ahhhh we were in 80s heaven.

Photos from the 80s bar - ahhhh heaven so cool:

Wonder Woman toilets

Dancing in the ladies toilets

Disabled toilets - Kylie and Jason?

The disabled toilet had a picture of Kylie and Jason. And the staircase to the toilets were decorated like the fun fair scene in the movie Grease.

FUNNY STORY: While queuing for the 80s bar Fiona filmed a couple of Welsh guys talking. So funny. Couldn't understand him.

Danced and sang to 80s music. We filmed ourselves singing When Will I be Famous by Bros. Haha. Gotta love that video camera :)

We stayed in here for a bit, happily reliving the 80s.

IMPRESSION: Cardiff girls are rough. Got a few dirty looks. There was one girl sitting on the toilet with the door open, I thought no one was in there and she slammed the door and started yelling (I didn't understand her cos she had a strong Welsh accent and was slurring).

The bar

Frankie says Relax

Dancing with some gay guys to 80s music.

Mr T

It was time to go home. We made a quick stop to McDonald's because we realised we hadn't had dinner. Was quite funny cos at this stage we were both drunk on the snakebites and filmed ourselves eating McDonald's and speaking Welsh. Gudydugudagydingadgiadlallya hehe
Took a quick photo of Fiona and a cardiff cop and then back to the hostel for some sleep.

FUNNY STORY: Had too much to drink and on the way back to the hostel I was chasing one of the cackling birds and videoing it. If you watch the video it is complete silence but you can hear my heels as I run after the bird. It flies off and I drunkily whisper "bye". Too funny. Fiona was laughing at me.

We woke up fairly early to check out.

We had breakfast at McDonald's (As Matthew warned me "there is nothing to eat in Cardiff but McDonald's - damn he was right)

We did some quick souvenir shopping and decided to go to Cardiff Castle. We joined a tour. It was amazing. Very beautiful. It was built around 1091 and apparently in 1776 it was bought by a very rich family, the Bute family.

The rooms we saw were lavishly decorated and very ornate and gorgous.

The tour guide was a prim and proper English man. Explaining the history in detail and at one point took up a stick and pointed to each person in a photo. Felt like I was back in school. I even videoed him as I really liked his accent. Haha.

Our very prim and proper tour guide showing us a family portrait and the children's nursery in the castle

It was a beautiful day and I wore my new H&M summer dress. WOW. A summer dress. Check out those WHITE legs.

Unfortunately we ran out of time so had to leave the tour early. A shame as it was a very beautiful castle. A big contrast to Oxford Castle, which was a prison, Cardiff Castle was very well maintained.

cardiff street

Beautiful fields of daffodils on the way back to London

We were back in London at 4pm and rushed to the Walkabout in Shepherd's Bush to watch Fiona's beloved Dockers get beaten by West Cost. Hehe. I sound like I know what I'm talking about yeh? I have never watched so much AFL footy before!!! That's what happens when you live with a footy fan.

I was happy to drink my snakebite (cutting down on that evil drink) and dancing on the packed dance floor. Lots of fun.
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Where I stayed

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