This month I am on a study abroad trip through Millennium Tours and this past weekend my friends and I went as a big group to Wales. The first thing we noticed was when we got off the train all the signs were in a different language that we had never seen. At first, we thought we had slept through our stop and got off at the wrong location, but thankfully one of the girls on our trip did some research before coming. We learned that Wales is a part of the Welsh republic, and they speak Welsh!
The first thing we did was walk to the Cardiff Castle. We decided not to do the guided tour of the castle due to our past experiences with guided tours and to save money. I was worried that I was going to regret not getting the guided tour because those groups had guides telling them facts about the castle, but I really did not regret it at all. We got the general admission tickets, and it got us into all the places we wanted to go into. It was also nice that we did not have a guide because we got to go at our own pace and look longer at certain things than other things.
By the time we got to the actual castle we were all on the verge of hangrey, but the beauty of the castle overtook the hunger. At about halfway up the castle the stairway got very narrow and steep, and it was terrifying. We pushed through and made it to the roof, and it was extremely pretty. When you compare the view to the Dover Castle’s view Dover wins in my opinion because Dover had more landscapes and water views, while Cardiff had more city views. Whichever one you like depends on your personal preference. Some of my friends preferred Cardiff while others preferred Dover.
At the end of every day my friends and I always ask the question of “what was your favorite thing we did today”. My favorite part of Cardiff was lunch! When we went it was a beautiful day, so we decided to have a picnic in Bute Park. We got some sandwiches and pastries from a place called Nata Café. The prices were great, and we each got tons of food. Next door to Nata there was a Welsh Cake store that we also tried because we have never had them. A Welsh Cake is similar to a mini pancake. They had three flavors when we went, traditional (cinnamon raisin), chocolate orange, and cinnamon. I got the cinnamon and traditional. Normally I do not enjoy raisins, but this Welsh Cake was to die for. Once we got our food, we made the short walk to Bute Park and sat under a tree. We chatted and ate our food. This park was insanely peaceful and beautiful.
Once we finished lunch, we heard that the walk along the riverbank was gorgeous, so we decided to do that. That recommendation was perfect because the riverbank was gorgeous. We walked through the park to the riverbank, and it was super relaxing. We got to meet some locals and play with them in the riverbank. The locals gave us some dinner recommendations, which we took. After doing the riverbank we went to a local bookstore, downtown to do some shopping, and The Natural Museum to look at some art. One of the shops we went to in downtown had keychains and postcard with words written in Welsh on them. The worker at the store translated the words for us and they meant the most beautiful things. At the end of the day Cardiff, Wales was a great time full of relaxing and learning about all different cultures. I recommend going to Wales if you are ever in the UK.