In the late afternoon on Beltain, we gave a fond farewell to Glastonbury with the taste of a Hundred Monkeys still on our tongues…
That came out wrong…
I came away from Glastonbury with a greater appreciation of the area, and a couple of pasties from Burns the Bread stuffed in my pack. A few books, a pendant, and a ton of pictures will help me remember one of the most unexpectedly fantastic places that I’ve ever been.
Onward to the train(s) and our next stop. Castle Cary is the train station closest to Glastonbury, but it isn’t on one of the high speed lines that goes to Wales, so we had to switch trains at Wesbury with a very short layover of 11 minutes. The Westbury train station has 3 platforms, and according to the screens, our train was due on platform 1, but there was a confusing announcement, in a heavy accent, that it had switched platforms, so we went down the stairs under the tracks to pop up at platform 2 and onto a train… that was empty. An unintelligible Welsh announcement confuses us further, and we stare in bewilderment, unsure what to do.
A second announcement airs, and we can’t hear anything that even rhymes with Cardiff, and we see through the window that there is another train pulling up to platform 1… where we used to be, so we jump off the train that we are on, go back down the stairs, pop up on the platform and jump on the train just as it speeds away, hoping that it was going to Cardiff.
Turned out that it was, and we plopped into our seats and watched the Welsh countryside go by, vowing to extend our connection times in the future.
We arrived at a quirky B&B called Ty Rosa in the Grangetown district of Cardiff, and had a wonderful homemade supper. Paul and Stuart were very warm hosts with loads of information on the city and the area.
Being so close to the bay and central Cardiff, I decided to wander around the town to look at the sights, and possibly find a pub.
Downtown Cardiff was deserted, I maybe saw a dozen people, and almost no vehicles on the road at 10pm on a Thursday night. I walked down to the bay, touched the ocean, and then circled back past the Millennium Centre and the Millennium Stadium.
I also passed a local brewery called Brains, and wondered if the zombie apocalypse had reached Cardiff and the population was somewhere feeding on Brains…
so I piled into a pub called The Great Western, and ordered a few pints of the said Brains and chatted up some of the locals.
Turns out that Cardiff is suffering from the same thing that Winnipeg and other Canadian cities are. Limited parking and limited activities has pushed the nightlife away from the downtown areas and into the suburbs. Huge megalith sports and cultural facilities fail to draw people into the downtown at night except when there are concerts or sporting events on.
The Welsh Brains were tasty, and I had a couple of pints before realising that I had been awake for almost 36 hours and was turning into a zombie, so I piled out of the pub and back to the B&B, and slept the sleep of the dead.
The next morning we had breakfast, and flagged down a Cardiff Transit bus towards the Dr. Who experience.
I watch the show occasionally, and know what a Dalek is, but Z is a huge Whovian, and was very excited about this stop.
It starts out with a half hour animatronic adventure with the Doctor where he is stuck in a cube thingy and we have to help him get out of the thingy or some other bad guys will win… I think. There were moving platforms and projection and interactive aliens and a bit that was 3D.
Then we were ushered into a large exhibition room that had displays, some old sets, costumes, a few documentary movies, and other informative stuff.
The final part of the experience was the gift shop where they sold t-shirts and other Dr. Who souvenirs at very inflated prices. (There was a “Tom Baker” scarf that didn’t look anything like the Doctor’s scarf, going for £50 or $100 for instance.)
I picked up a couple of small bits and a T-shirt of K-9 that was on sale.
Following the experience, we set off for the train station and a direct train to Chepstow.