Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Cardiff


  • My first night in Cardiff I had a cheese and marmalade sandwich with a Brains beer.  That’s a brand by the way – not a flavor or ingredient.  Alcohol really isn’t in my budget, but every time I inquire about a beer’s flavor I am given multiple free samples at which point I feel that I must order one even if it is served warm.
  • I think there was a rugby match at some point because the first night there were around fifteen middle-aged French men wearing jerseys and toasting each other in the hostel lobby.
  • I heard such a cacophony of bells coming from a tower during one evening walk that I was sure the Queen must have given birth to another child.
  • I hate my bank.
  • I lucked into a one on one tour of the living areas of Cardiff Castle and ended up having a very interesting conversation with the guide about the direction our countries headed after WWII.
  • I had my best experience of the trip so far in Cardiff Castle: I sat through an air raid audio simulation in a Norman tunnel in a castle that was used as a bomb shelter.  Being in the place they were, hearing the sounds they heard taught me more about what WWII was like for the citizens of Europe than reading any amount of books ever will.  The guide said that sometimes people had flashbacks during the simulation so they had to tone it down.
  • After talking to the Cardiff Castle guide and watching BBC, it is very clear how deeply most British value the “special” relationship their country has with America.  They seem to pay much, much more attention to what is going on across the Atlantic than what is going on across the English Channel.
  • I have tried many different ways to take 20 minute naps, but they always turn into 2 hour naps.  I’m about to just give in.
  • It’s really cool learning about local history in Europe because it is so rich.  From Stone Age to Roman invasions to fighting Napoleon, to creating a vast empire.  I found it interesting that Great Britain was a land of tribes that lived off the land until the Romans showed up and imposed new technologies and religion on them while exporting their natural resources considering what would happen a few years down the road in a different part of the world.
  • On my last evening I ate at a Chicken Sandwich restaurant where I had the option of different levels of spicy sauces.  I ended up asking for the second hottest one not because I really wanted a spicy meal but because as a Louisianian I couldn’t bring myself to order something mild in Great Britain.  It was indeed hot.
  • There was a McDonald’s across from my hostel advertising weekly specials for “Great Tastes of America”…
Skate park near Cardiff Bay

Near City Centre

Sailboats in Cardiff Bay.  I think they were racing.

Marina near wetland preserve.

Swan family in the midst of wetland preserve.



Along Bute Street.

City Hall

In Alexandra Gardens

View from Norman Keep in Cardiff Castle

American Flag flying on old Roman castle...does it get anymore badass than this?

Future shopping mall.  Kidding! Bute Park.

Cardiff Castle

Norman Keep in Cardiff Castle

Old WWII air raid shelter in Cardiff Castle

3 comments:

texascandler said...

I am with your Grandfather and we are enjoying your blog.

Keep up the good work.

texascandler said...

Its Memorial day weekend and so I found your comments on the air raid shelter timely. I have had some moments when the sacrifice others have made on my behalf have hit home. During several trips to Washington DC, I made the trek up the hill to the tomb of the unknown soldier. Then I have been to the Vietnam memorial wall with a friend from work who has a brother who died in Vietnam while flying medical evacuation helicopters. On another trip I stood on the Union lines at Gettysburg.

Ryan Fuller said...

Hey, glad you guys are enjoying the blog. It's amazing how must history happened here.

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