Wednesday, July 13, 2016

48 hours in Cardiff

After what can only be described as a stressful few weeks, a girly weekend away couldn’t have come at a better time.

Destination: Cardiff
Plan of action: Wing it

After grabbing cheap Megabus tickets online and booking to stay in a strangers house (also known as Airbnb) we headed to Wales on a Friday evening unsure of what to expect.

The four hour bus journey was certainly an experience. On the way there we were feeling rather optimistic about the whole ordeal and it turned out to be quite fun. We made a few friends, heard some extremely pessimistic views of Cardiff from the locals, but on the whole it made the journey go fairly quickly. The bus back to London however, slowly made me regret being such a cheapskate. We had the pleasure of children running around the bus and throwing up in the aisle, which was enough to make anybody never want to ride the bus again. Costing £10 for a round trip… your bank account would thank you for the sacrifice.

Luckily, the bus trip was made worth it by the beauty of Cardiff. We spent the weekend being the luckiest girls in town. Firstly by the fact that our Airbnb host was laid back and absolutely wonderful (plus she had a beautiful doggie named Pip who I wanted to sneak home in my suitcase). And secondly, because the weather forecast predicted rain for the entire weekend – yet we missed every downpour and seemed to be outside for every spot of sunshine… just call me Frano Selak.

Cardiff city centre has every shop your heart could desire but was a vast contrast to the hustle and bustle of London. Its calmer, slower pace was the perfect break from the intense pressure to run to work every morning alongside the London commuters. The locals are insanely friendly, smiling to strangers in the street doesn’t make you look like a crazy person and chatting on public transport is perfectly acceptable… who knew that was possible?

The people of Cardiff however, know how to party, and sadly we just weren’t up to the challenge. We had a great night in Missoula (the music was on point, though sadly no T-Swizzle) but I headed home at 1am and still spent the following morning nursing a hangover – I have never felt so old!

I’d love to go back, I feel like the city has so much more to offer. With a car in tow next time, it would be nice to visit the lands of Brecon Beacon and climb the Pen y Fan.

The next year is going to be filled with trips to beautiful cities in the UK. There is just so much the country has to offer and yet I have explored so little of it.

Live music and markets | Cardiff Bay had some great live music on Saturday, it definitely seemed like the busiest place in the city but the atmosphere was perfect for a sunny afternoon. You can wander the markets, grab a beer and sit and people watch – my favourite past time.
Time and Beef | My favourite spot of the weekend! A burger joint where you make your own meal by ticking all the boxes. No need to feel like a fusspot for requesting a meal without specific ingredients. The price is reasonable and Steve who owns the place is the nicest guy on the planet – we told him we were from out of town and he drew us a map with a list of recommendations. The hot chocolate comes in jars and they serve breakfast. What’s not to love?
Treetop adventure golf | I’m not a fan of golf, I never normally find it fun… but this turned out to be a great way to kill a couple of hours before our bus home. I was basically playing with two professionals so it felt a little like I was a toddler on a day trip with the parents… but I like to think for a second-timer I wasn’t too terrible. N.B. There are singing toads halfway round the course…
they’re great.
Speedboat around Cardiff Bay | We did the boat blast for 15 minutes and it was great fun. I also gave the driver my GoPro and he kindly filmed our trip for me. If you don’t like water maybe give this one a miss, the girl next to me was on the verge of having a panic attack. It’s super-fast, and you will get soaked.


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