One of the most common places I visited on the train from visits to Bristol was the capital of Wales, Cardiff. It is another place that has seen a lot of renovation and building work .... and not just in recent times !! ....
|A welcome of flowers, banners and reconstruction work|
|Hopes of sporting glory .... floating away down the river !|
|Pinnacle of achievement|
Retracing my steps to the opposite corner of the bus station and the start of the shopping area, it was time to see a little of what Cardiff had to offer. The first street that I came to was the most interesting as it plays host to several Victorian shopping Arcades. I seemed to build up a relationship with a few shops in this area and one of the eight arcades I visited a lot was the 1887 Castle Arcade.
|Keeping away from the High street chain stores|
|Reflections -Mirrors and Glass|
|The wood that was left over ?!|
|"Hi Mr Kelly, what's new today"|
Nearby is the grand structure of Cardiff Castle (with an unfortunate sightseeing bus that would not move! ... but gives some colour to the photograph) which has a varied and strange history. Although there were several encampments and forts on this site since Roman times, it was not until the Norman era that a Castle keep was built. Soon after, during the later Norman period, the Castle Keep (interior building on a grassy mound) was rebuilt in stone. The Castle fell into the hands of a succession of Earls throughout the Middle Ages before ending up in the hands of John Stuart (3rd Earl of Bute) in the 18th century. He was responsible with his descendants for turning Cardiff from a sleepy fishing town into a major coal port during the following century.
The Castle was enlarged and refashioned into an Early Gothic style by the 2nd Marquis of Bute, while the 3rd Marquis, who was one of the richest men in Britain, continued with the project by turning it into a Medieval Palace with the help of Architect William Burges. The Clock Tower as a date example was constructed in 1869.
(It was unfortunate that the logistics of my Cardiff friday day out meant I had to be back on the 3pm train and I only ever visited the interior once on a saturday car trip much earlier than this occasion. The interior is a mixture of a Norman keep on a grassy mound with a guided tour of dark Middle Ages buildings depicting grand fire places and middle eastern architecture... most unusual probably best demonstrated by looking at google images interior cardiff castle )
|Gatekeeper - Keeping ancient people in .... & modern un-paying people out|
|Flying high above the others ... well it is Wales|
|"anyone seen my fish ?!"|
|"The changes I've seen over the years "|
The City Hall was built in 1906 and represents the best in Architecture of English Renaissance ...
|French Rugby team feeling at home in Cardiff.|
... on a street with a more unusual name !!
|Monochrome - Taking the fire out of the dragon !|
If you get the wrong impression of the place on arrival with the renovation ... then on departure, well only the welsh would get away with this ......