With not much time and my partner having his own thing to do the things we got up to were pretty limited but as well as going down to Cardiff Bay. But I thought I would share a few things with you to help provide you with a bit more information should a trip to Cardiff ever be on the cards.
We went for a walk around Bute Park. Located across from our hotel we decided to go walk through the trees, spot the castles moat and try to look at some stones that remained from an old friary. We seen some stones but there was no little sign and they were across some boggy mud so it those were them they were very disappointing.
There was beauty in Bute Park though and given how many people we spotted walking through it was a surprise to not see any litter on the floor. The trees were all so old and were clearly part of an impressive woodland that surrounded the castle for hunting, foraging and additional protection.
As well as walking around the back of the castle we also spotted the front and the main entrance tourists would use now to go and explore the internal history. Whilst an impressive stucture it did not seem as grand as many castles I have encountered over the years and the giant bauble Christmas tree outside did nothing for it (though it stood at 20ft not the promised 20metres- luckily).
If we had more time together or I had more time alone then I would have gone in to explore the castle and learn about it and the surrounding area. If a trip to Cardiff was suggested again without other commitments visiting the castle seems like one of the main things to do as a tourist and it is always good to learn a bit more history.
Another place to learn about the history of Cardiff and Wales would have been the National Museum. This is where my partners event was taking place and I thought after going around the centre there would be a chance to pop in and walk around the section (much like the British Museum in London) but it turns out they host events every Monday and as a result close it to members of the public. The building was large with a lot of detailing around the entire building and presumably contains a lot of interesting stuff so this is somewhere I would look to visit on a return trip to the city.
So instead of doing anything typically tourist I ended up discovering the many shopping centres which merge into others and split into lots of directions causing me to come out in completely unexpected places and sitting in a park waiting for my partner to be finished.
Whilst in the park I witness a gull jumping up and down to try get worms and bugs out from the ground. This is something I have seen many times before amongst various birds but seeing this rather large gull doing it on crunchy autumnal leaves made me chuckle and took my mind off the cold as the sun moved behind a building for a few moments.
My main shopping was done in the Dr Martens store. Yes I could have done this shopping in London but local stores that sell DMs do not do the style I want and the nearest official brances are all in Central London so it made sense as I walked past to try and get some shoes to replace my four year old and quickly falling apart ones.
After trying on several sizes and discovering how the creases in the ones I had on my feet were caused by them being too big I opted for the same size (an eight) as I could not get my foot in a seven but opted for insoles which bring the shoe down about half a size anyway. As any DM wearer will appreciate I am now hobbling around and switching between the old and new ones whilst breaking in these soft leather black pascal boots.
Around 2pm my partner was done and we had three hours before we needed to be at the coach station. As we would not be getting back to our flat until about 10pm we opted to have our main meal in Cardiff and then to walk around a little bit more and around sections I had previously missed.
I was not particularly hungry after such a big breakfast and instead went for a bacon and cheese beefburger with chips whilst my partner went for a tikka masala curry. Both were tasty enough, in fact the burger had a decent quality of cheese which is a rare thing in most restaurants, and helped to warm the stomach and fill the little hole of hunger.
Whilst rushed we had a great time and there is clearly enough to do to fill a proper whole tourists weekend up. Where would you recommend going in the city or are you thinking about planning a visit there?