I warn you before I start, this post is picture heavy! :-D So, as you might know, I'm starting as a student nurse at Cardiff University on Monday and decided that I would do a trial run this morning to make sure the train and bus would arrive on time. Of course this was all a big excuse to spend some time roaming around Cardiff for fun, so that is of course what I did! The picture above shows Cardiff Central train station, and the picture below is the view as you walk out of the station...
For those not familiar with Welsh, the words often seem to appear in reverse order so the Welsh words above actually read 'Square Central Cardiff' rather than 'Cardiff Central Square' (Caerdydd is Cardiff in Welsh)
St David's Day (the national day of the patron saint of Wales) is fast approaching on March 1st, which explains the Welsh flags up and down the street! You can also see Cardiff Castle in the background. It really was quite quiet today! The schoolchildren have a week off this week and it was raining hard, so maybe they were all staying indoors!
The picture below shows one of the many little shopping arcades in Cardiff, there are LOTS of these and they often have interesting little independent shops for you to poke around in :) (yes that is Homer Simpson half-dressed as some sort of animal over on the right)
This next picture shows the Millenium Stadium (home of lots of international rugby games and slightly over my head! lol)
In the next picture, you can see a side-street view of the stadium; I love how it is so far across the street it's almost touching the building opposite! It looks like a spaceship that just landed there one day.
This next picture is part of a new shopping complex that was built quite recently called St. David's (or Dewi Sant if you can read the writing!)
One of the things I find interesting about Cardiff is how you find new and old right next door to each other; this is a perfect example! The older, rather ornate buildings in the background right next to the new shopping complex and an enormous modern sculpture.
The picture below is the entrance to the Queen's Arcade (another shopping mall!) and is usually overflowing with shoppers (where is everybody!) - again, notice the Welsh flag making an appearance :)
This is a closer view of Cardiff Castle; as with the picture of the sculpture I mentioned previously, the very old castle is right on a busy street with lots of shops! Also in this picture, you can see large daffodils attached to the lamp posts; for those who don't know the daffodil is the Welsh national flower, so I'm guessing this is also in preparation for St David's Day next week.
Well, I walked round and round in the rain today getting my bearings (I have no sense of direction and don't know Cardiff well!) and by lunchtime I was ready for a sit-down! I managed to find this enormous pub called The Gatekeeper which was practically empty :)
...so I found myself a table tucked out of the way right by the window and sat down with a glass of wine - bliss!
The Gatekeeper is one of a chain of pubs that we also have in the town I live in, but had never noticed Welsh specials on the menu before! Guess this is what happens when you get more tourists (after all, Cardiff IS the Welsh capital! lol)
I decided not to go for any of those! Mainly because it was a choice of meat (which I don't eat) or cheese on toast (which is basically what Welsh rarebit is!) and I fancied something different :) got sucked in by talk of Reggae Reggae sauce and mushrooms...
...and this is what a 'Gourmet Vegetable Burger' looks like :)
Actually it wasn't bad! Left the bread and most of the chips though, the stack in the bun itself was really quite filling! Got given a free copy of The Times while wandering around Cardiff so had a read about David Bowie while I was munching :)
I did some more wandering after lunch, and then shortly before my train was due I found this place:-
Jacob's Antiques! Three floors of it!!
I'm sorry the pics are fuzzy but you get the idea (was trying to take them slyly but the place was full of different traders so it was difficult!)
While I was here I came across this rather wonderful discovery - these are photographs which are printed/mounted on card, and they were designed to be placed in a viewer to give something of a 3D effect
There were 12 of them altogether and the lady originally said they were £1 each, but kindly gave me all 12 for £10 :) I'm hoping to be able to be brave, and to use them in some vintage-style pieces, but I often have all the best intentions and then find I just keep them in a safe place! lol
The lady I was speaking to also had a beautiful old photo album there that was about 120 years old with all the original photos still in it; it was in wonderful condition but I'm afraid too rich for my blood! I am going to be a student, have to keep reminding myself ;)
So anyway, I missed my train! And the next one wasn't for another 40 mins so I carried on exploring! In one of the little arcades I found this shop window that I loved :)This close-up shows the French-themed vintage style stuff in the display, very pretty! Love that postcard purse :)
Wandering along a bit further I found a shop called 'A Vintage Affair' which was absolutely packed with lots of treasures! Again apologies for the pics :/
I will be visiting here again! Everything from jewellery to crockery to fabrics to postcards, loved it!
I decided to go back to the train station a little earlier this time!
I love how train stations always look so old-fashioned, don't you?
And that was my day! I will be posting Art Journal Friday at The Scrappy Tree today so keep an eye out for that if you have some time to play with your supplies this weekend, I look forward to seeing you there :)