Cardiff city is the capital of Wales and this is where I take you today!
An hour away from Swansea (THE place to be), the city have a population of 315 000 people. The city has been built on the edge of the Bristol Chanel and the Taf river (Taff in English).
If you are ready to go, I would like to start where everything precisely started: Cardiff Castle.
The site has been chosen by the Romans for its proximity to the sea. This fortress made of wood has been built to prepare the futures assaults in the region. We can find some walls vestiges of this occupation, thanks to the excavation realized in the 19th century. The Romans left in 480 and the fort stayed abandoned for 600 years. The Normans arrived in the 11th century and started the construction of their medieval castle that we can see today at the centre of the castle. Look at is proper, the stronghold of Robert Courteheuse (that use also to be its prison), Normandy duke and son of William the Conqueror!
It's only during the reign of Owain Glyndŵr, at the beginning of the 15th century that the castle went back to the Welsh. The castle knew a succession of lords and have been witness of important episodes of the United-Kingdom history such as the war of the roses. I spare you the story of the Clare's, Despenser's, Warwick's and other families, to bring you directly of the Bute Marquis in 1868. This wealthy family influence transformed the city from a quiet harbour into one of the main centres of the Industrial Revolution.
The building has been redesigned at this period to become what we can see today.
The park along the castle has been also designed by the Bute Marquis and named after him.
Now that you know a bit better how this city has been built,
I would suggest you to have a look at the city centre.
This city has almost a rugby religion and we can see all around the main street the flags of the six nation's tournament: England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales.
At the city heart, the second highest building of Cardiff stands: the Welsh pride, the rugby temple also called the Millennium Stadium.
It can welcome 74 500 spectators and possesses a retractable roof in case of bad weather (who said that it was raining in Wales?).
This is me, earning my armour.
I would also like to give my special version of the classic Cardiff Stadium picture:
Today's lunch is at Jamie's Oliver restaurant. He is a famous British cook giving popular TV shows and one of his restaurants is precisely in Cardiff. The food was expensive as expected, but not the taste. I am happy to cross "Eat at Jamie's Oliver" of my TODO list.
Before the city gets dark I would like to show you the industrial economic centre of the city: Cardiff Bay. It is twenty minutes away from the city and it was a very important place for the coal transport. It was extracted from the South Wales mines and favoured the prosperity of the city. Famous monuments such as the Town Hall, the Law Court or the National Museum of Wales are the witnesses of this period.
Today the harbour has been rebuilt as a cultural and administrative place. You can enjoy a walk along the Bay and have a look at the Pierhead building.
You can also enjoy the Wales National orchestra at the Millennium Centre.
or the Millenium dome in Greenwich, le Lloyd's Building in London...
I only spent a day there, but I am already in love with this city. J
I will have to go back, should it be only to visit the National Museum of Wales that possesses one of the most beautiful collection of paintings from the impressionist art movement.
If you ever meet someone wearing a T-shirt "I love the 'diff", do not look further, it's a Cardiff lover…