Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Cardiff, Day One

I arrived in Cardiff Sunday night after five hours of travel (whine whine) and explored several highlights of the city yesterday with a friend yesterday. I realize that names are more helpful than “my friend” in these kinds of stories, but a mix of paranoia and privacy means I’m loathe to put up very many details about other people. I’ve settled on initials, so "B" took me around Cardiff and showed me some favorite spots. This post will be particularly picture-heavy, so be warned.

First up was Cardiff Castle, originally built even before the Normans showed up in the 11th century. Most of the original castle looks a bit crumbly, but the area is still lovely and typically British (or specifically Welsh, in this case).

Outside the gates

Inside. You can see the gate straight ahead.

What remains of the inner keep atop an earthen mound

The view from the top of the inner keep

View towards Cardiff itself
In addition to promenades and fortifications, the castle boasts some gorgeous rooms inside and a terrifically cheesy film recounting the history of the area in a series of ridiculous shots, including a group of rugby players turning into Norman (or perhaps Roman or something else) warriors.

Inside the "Arab Room"

Inside the banquet hall

The ceiling inside one of the rooms. I don't remember which one.
The castle also keeps falcons and owls. Their signage assured us that they have been bred in captivity and are accustomed to being tethered, but I’m not sure I could keep a falcon. They are beautiful, though.

I think a peacock, wandering the ground.


Cute little owl

Another cute little owl. Or maybe a falcon.

A falcon, I think

And a big owl. He kept squawking.
After the castle we went down to Cardiff Bay and the Mermaid Quay. Regrettably, no mermaids to be found. Finally, we went to the Doctor Who museum to fan-squee-out over the glory that is Gallifrey and the TARDIS. Or maybe that was just me. We walked through an exhibition of the Whovian worlds – Daleks, the TARDIS, the Weeping Angels, and nods to Spaceship UK, The End of Time, and The Big Bang. It was fabulous. I was glad to have a friend along because the Weeping Angels forest – with strobe lighting and darkness – was truly frightening.

Then came the museum exhibition, featuring props and costumes from fifty years of Doctor Who. It was very interesting to see how the Doctor’s clothing changed over the years, from the very formal almost-tux of the late 1950s through the leather jacket of the 2005 reboot. Also on display were various monster costumes – most Who villans are played by actors in costume instead of computer-generated effects. I got to hide inside a Dalek and move it around. I also learned how to walk like a Cyberman and a Scarecrow. We finished up the day by posing for pictures with the TARDIS as the background and I hope to get those pictures in my email sometime tomorrow morning. I’ll share them once I do.

A Dalek made of Legos!

Me and the TARDIS. No big deal.

Number Ten!!
That wraps up most of my pictures, but I will share the ridiculous "floating Jessica with a sonic screwdriver" pictures as soon as I have them.

1 comment:

  1. Ohhh the Doctor experience sounds marvelous. So jealous :-)