A Travellerspoint blog

Wales

Swansea, Mumbles, and Cardiff.

sunny 18 °C

Cardiff has been absolutely amazing. The sun has been out for the last two days, and I'm actually beaming I'm so happy. It's the weather; you can't be sad in the sun with good company.

Yesterday Chris, the local guy from the bar, and I met up at Central Station in Cardiff and went out to Swansea and Mumbles for the day. We got into Swansea and just walked around, and tried to figure out how to get to Mumbles, which felt impossible but we finally got it. There were cute dogs all over the place, so petting a couple of them made me happy happy, but also made me miss my rone. It's all good, dog time goes fast, right?

We finally found the right bus and hopped on for a quick ride to Mumbles. Walked around, looked in some book stores and such, and found the beach. Despite the clouds, it was refreshing to be near the ocean again. And Chris was great company. I never do anything with people I meet during the day, so it was a nice change. We found a pub to eat at, and had lunch after one of the hardest times I've had during my vegan life to order. It's all good, I just hate being fussy!
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Headed back towards Swansea, looked at some pricey Love Spoons - a traditional Welsh gift you give to people as wedding gifts, birthday presents, etc. They were nice, but too much, and I wouldn't know what to do with a big one! The clouds literally parted and it got super hot and sunny out, so we found a center area with all these steps in the middle of Swansea and sat for over an hour, chatting and tanning and people watching. Was very relaxing, and hot for a change!! A change that better stick!
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Then we headed back to Cardiff. There were 4 boys on a "bachelor party" in my room, so I had planned to get a few drinks with them last night, but ended up falling asleep in my jeans after putting my head on the pillow, no kidding. Woke up at midnight with a very hot laptop on my chest! The "bachelors party" is in quotations because I'm pretty sure they were bullshitting, but I still can't fully tell. They were an odd bunch for sure, but good entertainment at the least, and perma-drunk. James woke up literally sleeping on chips that he doesn't remember getting last night. Had quite a laugh at that this morning! All seemed very nice though, would have like to get to know them more. Anyways, today Chris and I had lunch at the Vegetarian Food Studio in Cardiff. We found it on a whim, in a more dodgy area, and had vegan Indian food. I just about killed Chris because it was soooo spicy, but after a jug of water and an "ice lolly" we survived. It's hilarious the words people use over here. Like I could listen to him talk all day it's so funny. Normal for him, but cool for me. A bit the other way around too, but I got more of a kick out of him for sure. We walked down to a park and watched some beer league cricket. It was awesome! Chris found the skill level highly embarassing, but I loved it. The very lazy outfielders made it even better.
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We then walked back towards my hostel, passing through a fair, which was loud but cool. Chris carried my bag to the train station, which was an awesome break, and after we parted ways I made my way to Bath. I had started reading a new book I picked up in Swansea, and blasted my music because I knew my train ride was over an hour and a half, but in-between songs when the conductor called out that we were in Salisbury, 45 minutes on the other side of Bath, I freaked out a little to say the least, as it was late on a Sunday night and I prayed I could get a train back! The conductor was really nice and told me to sprint to the other side of the tracks to catch the train in 2 minutes to Bath, which I promptly did. And the conductor on the other side even filled up my water bottle at the first stop we came to! So cute, such nice old conductor men helping out the frazzled, lost Canadian girl! I swear the patch on my bag gets me perks :) Anyways, I'm in Bath now, in the bar of my sweet hostel, waiting for tomorrow to head out and explore! My 12-bed hostel room is empty except for an aussie girl and a guy from London, Ontario, so I should have an amazing sleep, depending only on if the springs don't jab into my shoulders like they did last night. Hostel beds are not of good quality. Anyways Trevor, from Canada, and I had a good chat. His older brother works for TD as well! "In a call center not in India" lol. Anyways, off to bed, I've had a long but wonderful day :)

Posted by kmcveggie 14:45 Archived in Wales Tagged backpacking Comments (2)

Cardiff on the Town

rain 13 °C

Alright, so. Yesterday morning I got up and was very happy that my knee didn't hurt! So I got up and ready and headed out to Cardiff castle. I was slowly making my way there when I saw a crowd of people outside of the castle. Then I looked into the ticket office and saw a sign that said the castle was closed today! Anyways I hung around, waiting for some parade that people were talking about, and finally a huge brigade of war veterans from Afganistan came out, as well as a band, huge army tanks and trucks, and Prince Charles! Yep, saw P.C. again, we're pretty tight now, no big deal.
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It was really cool though all the locals were waving the Welsh flag and cheering and clapping at all the young guys who had just come back from war. Very cool, very sobering. Lots of people were crying and stuff it was quite cool. Then I wandered around some more and made lunch, then I caught the train down to Cardiff Bay. It was really cute down there, lots of cute restaurants, not quite as many cute shops as I thought there would be, but it was cute. Got to see the ocean so I was happy! Saw the church where Rhoald Dalh was baptized as well.
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I met up with Katy and Jazz, two aussie girls in my hostel room, and we got ready to go out for drinks. Francois, from South Africa, lives here and offered to show us a couple of cool places, so we headed out in the (suprise!) rain. I was the only smart one and brought my rain coat; it didn't quite go with my dress but at least I was dry! The first place Francois took us to was a SUPER cute little cocktail bar, all organic and really original drinks, and the best decor I've seen in a 'pub'. Really, really cute place. We had different kinds of blended mohitos and collins', and they were unreal. Very cute place, I can't say it enough!
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Next we went to O'Neils, an irish bar with some live music by a solo artist, playing guitar, bass drum, and this crazy like african drum too. He was very good, took requests from the crowd and everything, and played till after 1 am. So good! And cute too, but that's irrelevant... Anyways we met this guy Chris, from Cardiff, who was out with his very drunk dad and his dad's friends. Too funny! He was fully embarassed but laughed at his dad too, it was great. His dad's friends were Irish and Welsh, and they guessed I was from Canada, yay! The singer, on the other hand, though I was American (booo). Anyways Chris was consoling this crazy woman who had all her hash and rolling papers stolen, so we stole him away and he took us to Buffalo Bar, which was a pub inside a house, it was really cute. But before we got inside we saw this crazy barfight break out between one of the bouncers and a very drunk man. I don't even know what brought it on, but the drunken guy was trying to run through his friends holding him back, swinging at this bouncer, and then bouncer then proceeded to take his coat off, take his taser out (which Katy and I thought was a gun and we like gasped and looked at each other, but it wasn't), and get ready for this guy to come at him. It was actually quite scary, even his friends were like shit, he's gotta stop. Then the guy came around to the railing, and the bouncer leaned over and slapped him hard across the face, it was unreal! We all screamed a little, I definitely didn't see that coming. I thought the bouncer should of been the professional one and backed off, but nope! Anyways, really freaky, but we had 2 boys with us so we felt ok, and we stayed far away from it until we went inside. Once we got in it was really cute. We went out into the back garden, and Francois taught us this slaps drinking game that was so simple but really fun. Definitely bringing that one back! We hung out there until after 3 am, and then walked back to our hostel. Woke up this morning next to a cute guy I didn't know! Haha, but that's just the beauty of hostelling :)
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Posted by kmcveggie 00:16 Archived in Wales Tagged backpacking Comments (2)

I've done nothing in Cardiff...

sunny 16 °C

Thought I'd update this real quick. So far I've been in Cardiff 2 nights, and yesterday morning I popped my knee out WHILE shopping (a sign??) so I did absolutely nothing all day except lounge around in the hostel, and iceing my knee. Not fun! But I'm on my way out the door to explore, and my knee feels fine today. And I see sun poking out, so hopefully today will make up for yesterday!!

Posted by kmcveggie 02:00 Archived in Wales Tagged disabilities Comments (0)

Liverpool-- "Here Comes the Sun"... but not for long!

overcast 15 °C

WOW! Sorry for the late update, but there was NO wifi in Liverpool. Ok, there was, but it was either expensive, or didn't work, or I actually couldn't find it anywhere! But anyways I'll update this baby now lol..

I got into Liverpool in the middle of a very sunny day! So I quickly checked into my YHA hostel (boooo) with ten pound wifi for 24 hours (double booooooooooo) and headed out to Albert Dock to walk around. It was a beautiful day, something I totally took for granted, but really enjoyed walking around and soaking up that bit of vitamin D. I went into the Merseyside Museum as well, and looked at exhibits on the Titanic, Lithuania, and the International Slavery museum. It was all really cool. After that I went to Liverpool ONE, a huge outdoor shopping complex, but I didn't buy anything. Aren't you proud?!
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Yesterday morning I got up, had breakfast, and didn't let the pouring rain stop me from going out and walking the town. I went to the Cathedral; I guess it's the biggest one in the UK or something? It was pretty big! Had tons of different chambers and halls and stuff, it was beautiful. I also walked around in the gardens, which was more like a very organized, sort of decorative graveyard. It wasn't a regular graveyard, though. Most of the graves were around the edge of the walkways and stuff, and I kept wondering if they had to move a bunch of the graves to make the gardens, because I'm sure they weren't buried that way in the late 1800's, which was what most of the headstones read. It's so sad there are so many kids who died back then, and you see so many huge headstones of lists of kids from a family who all died under the age of 2. It seems like the parents just kept trying to have kids, even though they would have 10 who died. It's really sad! I also saw gravestones for the orphanages of Liverpool, where a lot fo kids died between 5 and 15. It's really hard to imagine what life was like back then!
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I then found a vegetarian cafe called The Egg, where I had an awesome lunch. I kept wandering around the city, eventually making it back down to the docks to go to The Beatles Story museum, which was really cool. I lied and said I was a student to get 4 pounds off the admission price, which I haven't done since I got here, but just couldn't resist! It was a huge difference compared to most places, and the guy didn't even question me so whatever. Probably won't do it again though, I was literally sweating after. I can't lie for the life of me!

The museum was really cool, really, really well done. I (shamefully) know absolutely nothing about The Beatles, past The Yellow Submarine and that Paul McCartney's vegetarian (all that matters really :)). But I learned a ton about them and it was cool, because after they go through their whole story together, there are little rooms dedicated to them separately that go through their own individual successes, so that was neat. I really enjoyed the museum and all the cool music and crazy videos from when they were in their prime.
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That night I made some dinner, then I had a crazy, overwhelming urge to go to the gym, and there was one down the street so I got all ready to go, only to find out that they were just building a gym down the road. Damn. I went for a power walk anyways, which led me to the theater, which led me to watching "The Proposal" which was really cute! There were some dumb parts, but overall I laughed a ton, so I was happy. It was the first time I had to walk home alone in the dark though, but I stayed under streetlights and made it safe and sound.

This morning I made the almost 7 hour train/wait/train/wait/etc.... trek from Liverpool to Cardiff, so once I got in I was exhausted, and in some serious internet surfing time, so I did just that. I finally got up and got some sushi at a really cute little sushi bar where it comes on a conveyor belt and you just take what you want it was so cute! Apparently they're everywhere but I thought it was the coolest thing. Anyways, finally heading off to bed now, having a bit of a longer stay in Cardiff so that'll be nice!
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Posted by kmcveggie 13:53 Archived in Wales Tagged tourist_sites Comments (1)

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