While Geoff had a mostly relaxed day in, I took myself to Cardiff on the train. I had a wander around the city’s wonderful Victorian arcades, which are all looking very good these days, mostly occupied by independent retailers and more little cafes than seems possible. Here’s a typical arcade:
I spotted something odd above a doorway:
After pausing for an espresso and a toasted teacake in the Plan CafÃ© in the Morgan Arcade, which I always like to visit when I’m in Cardiff, I headed for Cardiff Castle:
I took the optional tour around the quite wonderful rooms – this was well worth the extra £3, as the guide really knew his stuff, and how to talk to a group. It helped that the group was quite small. More photos of the interiors will follow, but here’s a sample. This is known as the Arab Room:
And this charming chap is lurking in the ceiling outside the door to the Winter Smoking Room, apparently to scare away the ladies so they wouldn’t interrupt the gentlemen’s cigars. Or something:
After the tour, I walked through the undercroft which has been opened up to show how it looked when the tunnels were used as air raid shelters in World War II. This brought me out at the North Gate, which gave me a good angle on the Norman keep:
(That’s been given a bit of a tweak with Tonality Pro, in case you’re wondering)
One other item from the Castle that I don’t recall seeing on my previous visits is this sculpture called The Abandoned Solider, whose dedication plaque reads:
To honour those who have valiantly fought for our country but are not being treated as the heroes they are.
It was a bit dull and grey with light rain falling, so I had to use flash to capture it properly, which led me to this stark black and white treatment which I think works well.
After the tour, my creaky old legs were in need of a rest, so I had a sit down in the cafÃ©, which may have involved a Welsh cake. I then had a slow walk back to the station and got the next train back to Pencoed. And here I am, aching a bit after my longest walk in, err, oh. That’s after my longest walk of the year so far. Yay, etc.