GOOD TIMES IN CARDIFF
Friday August 30, 2013 by Marietjie Snyman
All packed and ready to go. We left the Prestige offices in Shepherds Bush just after 6pm on a Friday evening. Leaving London we typically hit a bit of commuter traffic but otherwise the drive down to Wales went fairly quickly – we had snacks and good tunes to keep us going.
I’m not sure if it’s just me – but every time I go to Wales I can’t wait to see the Severn Bridge. The minute I see the bridge, I know we’re almost there! This time round was no different. It took us just under 3 hours to get to Cardiff and I’d been asking my driver (aka best friend) “are we there yet?” for the last 2 of them! To the great relief of both of us, we were almost there! Wales responded in greeting by pouring down some of its famous “can’t see a thing” rain. Managed to get through it with some skilful female driving and soon enough we were in Cardiff.
Fortunately, two days before we were due to arrive we got a really helpful email with check-in instructions. With this to hand it was pretty easy to find the apartment. We parked at Cardiff Central station just 500 metres away. Good value we thought: £9.00 for 24 hours with anytime access to the motor. Some of the other parking options had restricted access during certain hours we noticed.
Arriving at the apartment building we checked our arrival information. They operate a reception check-in service during office hours, after hours you’re given clear instructions on the self check-in process and a contact number. Surely even we couldn’t mess up from here! So we were through the front door via the code and once inside we negotiated the second code for the key safe. The envelope inside had our key! Yay!
We found our new pad to be on the 7th floor and after a quick look around we decided that it was time to get drun…whoops, sorry…explore Cardiff!
We decided to take a stroll to Cardiff Castle which on the face of it might appear pretty pointless as it was night time. However we really needed to stretch our legs and find some proper dinner. Little did we know the Castle was only about a 10 minute walk from the apartment….top location! We enjoyed a stroll through Cardiff taking in all the locals (hot boys) and night life (cold booze). Eventually we grabbed some food and returned to the apartment where we sat on the balcony with a well deserved glass of wine – BLISS!!
We woke up Saturday morning refreshed after a very comfortable sleep, and taking coffee on the balcony we planned our day....Explore….Shopping…Boys...Explore…Shopping…Booze...only joking!
We eventually started towards the castle once more and soon found ourselves getting “lost” down little alleyways with hidden antique markets. We strolled through Cardiff Central market (where I had my first Welsh Cake) and then made our way over to the mighty Millennium Stadium to look for a quick photo opportunity (and maybe some hunky rugby players?).
After lunch, we spent the rest of the afternoon on the Cardiff “strip”. So, to find it: Head towards Mill Lane/St Mary`s Street where you’ll be spoilt for choice. Bars, Pubs, Clubs…Restaurants…all of our favourite things!
We just kicked back and did some people watching as it appeared that the whole of Cardiff was out enjoying the sun! All too soon it was evening – but hey, we had our dancing shoes and so look out Cardiff as we took to the night!
The morning after the night before.
Sat on the balcony nursing a hangov…uh, coffee. Wishing the rain would go away.
Check out was by 11 handily. Just time to enjoy a warm shower and pack the bags. Bizarrely the rain stopped just in time for us to get to the car! Yay again.
We had one final stop before home time, the actual reason we’d come to Wales in the first place: to attend a christening in St Peters Church in Peterston-super-Ely. Before that, we thought we’d drive to Barry which only took us about 25 minutes. Which was when my friend pointed out thatGavin and Stacey is filmed in Barry - “oh what's occurring!” The Welsh weather was mortally miserable so we unfortunately didn’t get a chance to have a good look around.
Arriving at Peterston-super-Ely’s lovely little church we attended a most beautiful christening. I only found out later that this was also the filming location for (Gavin and Stacey’s Nessa`s ) wedding and also the christening of her baby. Okay enough with the name dropping, I know….
Around 4pm on Sunday we decided it was home time for us and we hit the long road home. We felt a little sad to be leaving – there was so much more we wanted to see and do but we had had a relaxing weekend and that’s exactly what we had wanted. The apartment was very comfortableand the little touches made all the difference. Personally I think Cardiff has something to offer for all ages and makes an absolutely perfect city break!
We’ll be back Cardiff – you haven’t seen the last of us.
More about our visit: http://bit.ly/CardiffPASvisit
Also have a look at our Cardiff City guide: http://bit.ly/pascardiff
Follow me on twitter @MarietjiePAS
Posted by Marietjie Snyman