Welcome to Cardiff

Greetings from a Travelodge hotel in the centre of Cardiff, Wales. I left home early this afternoon, jumped on a train, and began a journey that took me across the west of England, through a tunnel (or over a bridge – I didn’t notice), and into Wales. Thankfully Cardiff is just over the border, so it doesn’t take long at all. I amused myself with the dysfunctional antics of the family in the TV show “Casual” along the way. Thank the maker for Amazon Fire Tablets.

After walking out of the railway station in the wrong direction, I got my bearings with a little help from Google Maps, and began walking towards the castle. Yes, you read right, the castle. There is a whacking great castle in the middle of Cardiff – a real one. The original castle was built in the 11th century by the Normans, but it has been expanded on massively over the years – most notably in the 1800s when the owner hired the most noteable architects and landscapers of the day to prettify the place – leading to the red brick monstrosity that now dominates the centre of the city.

My hotel is in a street just around the corner from the castle – surrounded by faceless chain coffee shops, restaurants, clothes shops, and supermarkets. What can I say about the hotel? That’s it’s very, very basic? I can’t complain because the breakfasts are free, and you get free wifi for half an hour. I paid for two days worth up-front, and it seems fine for the web. Oh – there is a desk in the room, a comfortable chair, and the bed is clean – as is the bathroom. I’m easily pleased.

I always marvel at people who somehow justify staying in huge out-of-town hotels. Sure, they have gymnasiums, swimming pools, and under-floor heating, but they also cost four times as much per night as this place – and require a car journey back into the city to visit the client you’re here for. Idiocy.

After checking in I wandered around the local streets to find out where I migh have dinner. Given that I haven’t been feeling great all day (probably the after-effects of sunburn), I chose not to sit on my own in a restaurant – I found a supermarket, and filled a basket with salad, fruit, vitamin pills, and orange juice. Don’t judge me – I’ve drunk far too much alcohol and coffee recently anyway – it will be good to take a break from it.

My evening is going to consist of sitting here, shoes and socks off, catching up with the internet. If you start seeing comments, likes, hearts, or whatever else, you’ll know why.

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