It is very difficult to blog because I have limited internet access, so this entry will be brief. I visited Cardiff for the weekend with 7 friends. It was a very nice trip. We saw the bay, which reminded me of the water at home. It was very beautiful and sunny for once! Seeing a lot of the scenery here makes me realize how privileged I am to live in such a beautiful part of the world. The only place thus far that has compared with Seattle’s beauty was Paris, which is a much different kind of beauty. At home we have tons of sparkling water and gorgeous mountains. We have sandy beaches and all sorts of green forests. Here, beaches are rocky and there are no mountains. Katie, who is the English woman I live with told me it was uphill to the underground station and honestly I didn’t even notice! There is a slight slope but compared to the hills of Seattle, it was nothing.

We saw Cardiff castle,which was very interesting. The outer part was built by a wealthy man in the early 19th century and lavishly decorated. Honestly, this place is what too much money looked like. Our tour guide was entertaining and sarcastic. I liked listening to him speak. He could speak fluent Welsh and said several phrases and then translated them for us. The inner part of the castle was an old Norman castle from the 11th century. That night we went to a local pub near our hostel, choosing to forgo the louder, trendier, and more expensive pubs in the center of the city. There was karaoke and an older Welsh man bought us a round of drinks. It was very fun and entertaining. I liked the welsh accent. They roll their R’s and say mosaic as mo-sake. The Welsh we met are very friendly, more warm than your typical Londoner. Though to be honest, considering the size of London people are fairly polite and always willing to help you if you need directions or a hand with your luggage. I love getting asked for directions because it makes me feel like a native. One time I helped a woman carry her luggage up the steps of the tube station because I know how it feels to lug your luggage around.

The link to the castle is www.cardiffcastle.com if you want to see pictures or learn more.

Originally published 4/28/08