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24 April 2013

time travel :: wales day three

day two is here

considering that night we slept above a pub, we had an amaaaaazing sleep. undisturbed and deep, in a comfy bed and no puppies there to wake us up. it was the best £30 we'd ever spent! we showered, re-packed and checked out, keen to get down to the restaurant to take total advantage of the wetherspoons breakky. there, we were greeted by the pungent aroma that is the seasoned alcoholic welsh male. it was, after all, only 11am. but, who am i to judge.

[insert un-sexy drool picture here]

with our mammoth breakfasts out of the way, we headed to the bus - keen to get to cardiff to check in to the next hotel, and prepare for some sunshiney fun with the girls! our room at the cardiff marriott was slightly bigger, but a lot more luxurious than the queen's head - it was a shame we were only there for one night! we met up with bex in the lobby and we three (while lp slept..) headed toward (what we thought was) cardiff bay, where we had booked in for a cycle tour of the city!

it should be noted, i was nervous about it. i haven't ridden a bike since i was a kid, and i know they say that you don't forget how, but i was more nervous that i wouldn't be able to keep up! i'm certainly not the fittest human specimen on the planet - i'm not the un-fittest either, but there was definitely a level of concern, especially considering the tour was 3.5 hours!...

after walking in the wrong direction for about 10 minutes, we asked some local policemen how to get where we were going. saying our thankyou's and retreating back the way we'd come, we knew we were pushing it for time; we were due to meet the guide at 1. we followed the 'safe' directions (which included straight, right, straight, look for the armadillo) in a bit of a hurry, working up a sweat and basking in the warm sun as we walked. we arrived with a few minutes to spare, and so grabbed some drinks and snacks in the nearby tesco.

we met with pol - our trusty belgian-born-welsh-married guide, who told us that the whole other party of four had cancelled too, so with the loss of lp it was just the four of us. we felt baaaad, man. at £15 each, he had in a matter of minutes lost  £75 thanks to too many hangovers. guiltily, we grabbed our bikes, and after a quick health and safety tutorial we were off!

we took the bute tour, which saw us  discover how cardiff became cardiff over two centuries, and the huge influence of the bute family. we visited bute park, cardiff castle, the docks, cycled along the taff, stopped in at a  number of historical monuments, and saw lots of puppies, daffodils and sun! it was brilliant!

riding was easy. riding for three and a half hours was harrrrd! the first hour and a bit was fine - easy, flat, and along a bike track. once we went on the roads and up and down hills, my thighs started to aaaaache! there were tight turns, walls that came out of nowhere, dogs and cars that needed avoiding but in general, a lot of laughs. it was genuinely the most fun i'd had in ages. but once it was over, i could hardly walk. so, we hopped on the bus to get back to the hotel, then sat the frick dowwwwwn. for a while. like, a couple hours. for real.

hours later, when hunger pains started to set in, we mutually agreed by text that wagamamas was the plan. we met in the reception - even lp awoke for the event! and literally walked 14 metres across the road, sat our asses down, and ate til we could eat no more. beer, wine and ramen bowls later, it was decided that the next step would involve some of the same, but with less ramen. in fact, no ramen, so we headed for - you guessed it! the walkabout.

circa 1am, boyfriend and i snuck out the back door, leaving bex and lp dancing with the belgian rugby team, and headed for chippy alley for chips and curry sauce; a welsh delicacy.

what a day!

the next morning, boyfriend and i helped ourselves to the amazing buffet breakfast, checked out, then met the girls for the long journey home. i say long, but i mean loooong. cue the rail disruptions from earlier in the weekend. we had to get 2 tubes and a bus home from paddington. and then all i wanted to do was sleeep.

we had an amazing weekend in wales, seeing new sights and making new friends.

best weekend in a long time!