Lora and I have now completed one leg of our journey! We moved from England to Wales! Our first stop? Cardiff.
Cardiff is the capital of Wales and is located in southern part of the region. It’s a reasonably sized city that feels small. Tourist hoards haven’t seemed to have found and transformed it yet, which gives Cardiff a chance to display its own virtues. During my time in the city, we visited Cardiff Market, and which had local shops, cafes and restaurants a, local produce, and butcher shops. It was super cute to explore and quiet relaxing.
Right across from the Market and one of the biggest tourist sites in Cardiff was the Castle. Cardiff Castle is beautiful. It consists of the old moat and castle wall surrounding the original tower in the middle. To one side of the grounds inside the wall is a great house built by the third Marquess of Bute, John Crichton-Stuart.
The castle was originally a Roman Fort built between 50-400 AD. The foundations of the tower and walls are leftover from this Fort. Later, the Normans built the tower and walls we see today on top of the Roman foundations during the tenth through twelfth centuries. This castle is really odd because in the middle of the 18th century, the castle fell into the hands of the first Marquess and the Marquesses family. When John Crichton-Stuart (the third Marquess) inherited the castle, he hired William Burges, an architect, to design and renovate the castle house.
The house that Burges designed is the epitome of luxury, containing everything from a clock tower to a rooftop garden (right). Gold leaf was included in each room along with various forms of marble, granite, and other expensive stones. The tile work in the rooftop garden created scenes of beauty along the walls and floors. Each room contained words in a different language, one of the 21 John Crichton-Stuart spoke fluently. The rooftop garden used Hebrew, while his bedroom used Greek. Even the bathroom was updated, possessing a flushing toilet.
The house tour alone made the entire trip to Cardiff worthwhile (and it was already pretty great). To explore Cardiff Castle cost £13 ($18.23). They have two tours for an extra £4 ($5.61) each for the house tour (one Lora and I went on) and for the clock tower tour. I highly recommend the tours because the inside of the house is magnificent! The tower tour is most likely just as rewarding. For more information, visit the Cardiff Castle website.
Overall, Cardiff was a wonderful and relaxing adventure. It was nice to have a break from popular tourist destinations, and this is the perfect place to do that. If you have time on your trip to the United Kingdom, please visit Cardiff.
(I take all my own pictures)