Photo Locale of the Month – July 2016

Where does the time go? It was exactly five years ago that I was in London, Paris, and Cardiff. I had invited my friend Steve to tag along, as it was his first trip to Europe and my third time in London and fourth time in Paris. Cardiff, however, was a first for both of us. I had once passed through the Welsh countryside by train en route to London, but had never alighted in Wales. When Steve suggested adding Cardiff onto the itinerary, who was I to disagree?

Our hostel, NosDa, was set back from the River Taff and directly across the water from Millennium Stadium. I would imagine the area to be quite raucous during a Cardiff City Football Club game, but we lucked into having the whole place to ourselves despite visiting during high season. An easy walk from NosDa Hostel took us to the city’s main tourist attraction (aside from the footy arena), Cardiff Castle.

Cardiff Castle 8

The classic medieval tower, above, is decorated with city colors and is Cardiff’s iconic equivalent to London’s Big Ben.

Cardiff Castle 15

The castle walls are fully intact, and inside them lies this even more medieval castle keep. It is believed that the keep was built by Norman invaders during the 11th century.

Cardiff Castle 28

View from the castle keep, part one. The dome on the upper right is part of the Cardiff National Museum – free and worth a visit as well!

Cardiff Castle 29

View from the castle keep, part two. Millennium Stadium dominates the cityscape from just across the road, while the Victorian Gothic mansion in the photo houses the state apartments.

Cardiff Castle 43

The state apartments are open for visiting. You shouldn’t expect Versailles-style opulence; the digs here are more in the style of “medieval hunting lodge,” if that is in fact a style. Witness the dining room, above, with its simple chandeliers and beamed wooden ceiling.

Cardiff Castle 64

Wales, along with the rest of the UK, has seen its fair share of wartime atrocities. A exhibition hall along the southern wall houses an impressive regimental museum featuring WWI-area gas masks, among other items.

Cardiff Castle 37

This mobile cannon dates back to WWII…while the gringo dates back to 1975.

Cardiff Castle 66

The grounds cover several acres. Can you find the docent, dressed in hangman’s attire near the guillotine, in this picture?

Cardiff Castle 73

Union Jack and air raid shelter.

Tree moth 2

This friendly moth was taking a siesta on one of the trees lining an outside wall.

Cardiff Castle 94

Cardiff is rather sleepy come nightfall, but Cardiff Castle casts an memorable spell by moonlight. My visit here was a highlight of our July, 2011 Eurotrip.

All pictures were taken with a Nikon DSLR camera. All images are the property of GringoPotpourri unless credited otherwise, and should be used with permission only.


Author: gringopotpourri

Gringo - aka Scott - was born outside of Chicago and has lived most of his life in or around big cities. He spent two years of his adult life in Mexico City (talk about big cities!) and fell in love with Mexican food and culture all while weathering the challenges of life in a city with over 20 million people. Life's unpredictable journey has since brought him to Tennessee, where he is close to family and to the natural beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains. Scott also enjoys movies, hiking, top ten lists, and travel in general.

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