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Bernard and Eira Wyns' visit to Cardiff Part 2 :

Dawn broke in the City of Cardiff  on the Friday, but I could not appreciate it myself. The Brains beer The Church of St John the Baptist  Cardiffmust be stronger than I thought. I left the crumply comfy bed at 10.00.a.m. having missed what my wife Eira Wyn said was an excellent breakfast ....albeit a continental breakfast.

Our visit was a mixture of business and pleasure and we set out to visit and photograph as many Cardiff attractions as possible.

We chose to visit the Civic Centre and Museum area in the morning. This is just a short walk from St Mary Street through the pedestrianised area that took us past the church of St John the Baptist. The church is next to the city centre's covered market, and is the oldest remaining mediaeval building in the city after Cardiff Castle, dating from the 12th century. A few minutes more and we were in the heart of the Civic Centre area, where we visited the Wales National Museum. I am afraid we had to "do" the Museum "Japanese tourist" style as time was pressing. A few pictures of the Museum and the Civic Centre and we crossed the road to Bute Park. Bute Park is a beautiful park adjacent to Cardiff Castle and running along side the River Taff. There are large areas of landscaped gardens and parkland with an abundance of mature trees and tree-lined avenues. We exited the Park near to the Castle's "animal wall" by mid day, and with the sun breaking through we arrived at the entrance to the famous Cardiff Castle.

We chose the internal tour of the "new" Castle which took about forty minutes. There are two Castles in Cardiff Civic Centre from Cathays ParkCardiff, the proper one that sits on the grassy hill dating from Norman times, and the "new" Castle the Victorian version built by Lord Bute. Unfortunately I am unable to show any pictures of the inside of the Castle as the powers that be do not allow pictures to be taken inside the new Castle rooms. This is a pathetic and petty rule that is common to many unenlightened galleries and museums. They, whether they be councils, museum directors, or government departments are payed by the people to be guardians of our historic artifacts and works of art. They have no right of copyright, with obvious exceptions such as with living artists, the objects belong to mankind and as such should be available to be seen by all. Non flash photography does no harm to the objects, and, when the pictures are posted on the internet, this makes them available to a greater audience. Caring for the objects is the primary concern of these bodies but bringing them to the attention of a wider audience is the second most important reason for their existence. They seem to forget that they are public servants and that there job is to serve the public, that is what they get paid for. Allowing photography will no doubt encourage more visitors to the museums and galleries and will bring in more monies to enable the better protection and conservation of these valuable historic objects. ( I will now step down from my soap box and carry on with the tour of Cardiff) (Latest Update ...I have just watched a television programme concerning museum Cardiff Castle Keep the proper Cardiff Castlecaretakers and there was a very interesting section concerning a curator in the Louvre Paris, he was berating visitors for taking pictures of the paintings. "Look at the beautiful paintings, do not take their picture" he cried. "Better the painting is in your heart than in your camera" I have to admit he has a very good point ! )

Cardiff Castle was owned by the Marquess of Bute and it might be said that he had more money than sense! He spent millions of pounds creating a Victorian version (see below) of a Medieval Gothic Castle. (Or is it a Hollywood version of a Victorian version of a Gothic version of a Medieval Castle?). The decorations are quite something and have to be seen to be believed, but I can't make up my mind whether I actually like them.

The nursery however would be nostalgic to many of my generation of post war babies with beautiful wall tiles depicting fables and nursery rhymes that would strike a chord with many who, like myself, were educated in the 1950's with old Victorian school books.

From the nursery the tour continues up into the tower. Remember to take your hiking boots as the stone spiral staircase is quite a climb. I can recommend the tour as there are some fantastic works on show, and once you get to the top of the tower you can even take pictures ....of the City.

We were on our final day in Cardiff and as we had already penciled in a visit to the waterfront for the afternoon it meant we had to pass on a visit to the Welsh Regiment Museum in the Castle grounds.

TIP ! Should you have plenty of time then it is worth noting that the entrance fee to the Castle allows you to exit the Castle, maybe for lunch or whatever, and to return later in the day.

TIP ! Cardiff Castle is well worth a visit but if you want to visit a real Medieval Castle visit Conwy Castle, North Wales.

Go to page 1-  Tourist Information Cardiff >
Go to page 2 -  Our trip to Cardiff >
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Please -- click on the pictures below -- for enlarged pictures of places we visited on part 2 of our visit to the City of Cardiff, Wales, UK.
© All pictures copyright Bernard Wellings
Museum of Wales Cardiff Cardiff Civic Centre
Museum of Wales Cardiff  
Cardiff Civic Centre
Cardiff Castle Moat at entrance to Bute Park Beautiful trees in Bute Park
Cardiff Castle Moat at the entrance to Bute Park  
Beautiful trees and autumn leaves in Bute Park
Cardiff Castle viewed  from Bute Park Mature trees in Bute Park
Cardiff Castle viewed from Bute Park  
Mature trees in Bute Park
War Memorial in Cathays Park And yet more trees in Bute Park close to the Gorsedd Stones
War Memorial in Cathays Park  
And yet more trees in Bute Park close to the Gorsedd Stones
Cardiff Civic Centre
Foyer of the Museum of Wales
Cardiff Civic Centre  
Foyer of the Museum of Wales

Go to page 4 -  Our trip to Cardiff >


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