The second place I visited in my time off before starting my new job was Cardiff.
To provide some backstory, I have been a massive fan of Doctor Who for many years. As a young teenager the show was very important to me and I still watch it when I need to be cheered up even now. Therefore, Cardiff is somewhere I have been eager to visit for many years as it has been heavily featured in Doctor Who, especially during the Russel T Davies era.
My first impressions of Cardiff were not as I had expected. For some reason, I had not imagined the city to be as big as it is or feel so much like a capital city as it does but I really liked the feeling of Cardiff and Wales in general as it was my first visit to the country itself.
One tip for anyone visiting Cardiff; the Tourist Info centre is not where the street directions say it is!! I spent a while walking up and down a street following signs for the Tourist Info centre, before going into a museum to ask where it was and being told that it had actually moved to an entirely different part of the city and the council just hadn’t removed the signs saying it was on that street…
During my day in Cardiff, I visited the National Museum. This large building is split into a Natural History museum and an Art Gallery. The Natural History museum was interesting but some of the exhibitions were unfortunately closed when I was there. The art gallery was very good however. Two exhibitions that I really enjoyed were a wonderful collection about Wales’ role in the First World War called ‘War’s Hell!’ The Battle of Mametz Wood in Art’. I was also absolutely enthralled by a video instalation called ‘The Attraction of Onlookers: Aberfan – An Anatomy of a Welsh Village’. I watched this for a very long time and would recommend anyone visiting this part of the country to make time to visit the Art Gallery section of the museum.
I could easily have spent the whole day in the Museum as there was so much to see, but I also really wanted to see the parts of the city that I had so connected with it through Doctor Who in my younger years.
To do this, I caught a 10 minute long, adorably small shuttle train to the quay area. Once there, I wandered around for a while, visiting the Norwegian Church, seeing the Millennium Centre, taking lots of photos and eating a piece of (below-average) cake. And then, all too soon, it was time to catch the train back to my new home of Bristol, safe in the knowledge that 13 year old me had just had the best time 🙂
And that is the story of my day in Cardiff where I fulfilled some (very modest) childhood ambitions and discovered that they truly do write EVERYTHING in Welsh in Wales.