Saturday, July 3, 2010

Cardiff, Wales

Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore!  To say Cardiff was a change of pace from the Cotswolds would be an understatement.  I must say I'm a bit biased towards the English and find them to be a friendlier and more welcoming lot than the Welsh.  To be fair our only interaction with Welsh was in Cardiff but even in London, I found the English to be more to my liking.

We got into town a little before dinner and took a taxi to Cardiff Bay.  Yes, I know we had a car but driving in Cardiff was a bit taxing...again, the Welsh were very quick to toot their horns at me and with all the construction in town, Penny was constantly "recalculating" because of the wrong turns I was taking.  Our driver was a bit chatty...not a Welshman -- he was an Afghan and been in Wales for almost 5 years.

We had a great dinner at Bayside Brasserie with terrific views of the bay.  One of the servers found out we were from South Carolina and came over to talk with us...he's getting ready for a trip to Myrtle Beach.  Our driver going back to the hotel thought he was in Indy 500 and I must say the front seat felt like the suicide seat...almost kissed the ground when we were back at the Marriott!

Saturday morning we were up and out to catch the city's hop-on/hop-off tour and make our way to Cardiff Castle.  Being the perfect planner, we arrived just in time for the guided tour (actually is was pure luck but it sounds good).  The rooms we were able to visit were beautiful and though renovated in the Victorian Era, they have the look of the Medieval Period.  Here are a few pics which do not do the castle justice but a glimpse nonetheless.

Winter Smoking Room
The theme of the room was time and all throughout the room you notice various depictions of time through the seasons, day, week and zodiac.


Children's Day Nursery
The nursery of Victorian children was definitely a bit darker and more intellectual than our modern day nurseries.  These as some of the wall coverings in the nursery depicting nursery rhymes. 

Arab Room - ladies only
The window covering to the left was really for show as the room was 2 levels from the ground but in Islamic culture, it would have prevent men from seeing women but still allowing them to talk.  The photo on the right is the ceiling.

Dining Room
It was your basic medieval dining room.  The little touches were interesting.  In the lower left corner of the mantle piece to the left is a man in prison.

Marquess of Bute Sleeping Chamber
It was customary for the man to have a single bed and his wife to have the double bed.  Of course, her room was on the other side of the castle and it would have been a long walk for him to call on her...and she may have refused him...could explain why they only had 4 children ;)  The Marquess had his own private bathroom which was a sign of true wealth.

Roof Top Garden
Very traditional during Victorian Era...however, because the ladies thought it was better to stay very pale, this was very rarely used.  The beavers on the fountain would dispense the water.

Family Private Dining Room
The fireplace mantle is the story of Sarah and Abraham.  Sarah is chuckling as she's told by the angels she's pregnant.  The hole in the middle of the dining table was a for a grape vine so the family could have fresh grapes when they liked during dinner.

No comments:

Post a Comment