Thursday, July 1, 2010

Cardiff, day 2

Couldn't get online yesterday because of problems with the hotel here in Cardiff, Wales. Anyway, let's backtrack a little.

In London, the dinner at the Italian joint was awesome. Football was on, so the packed place were feisty. I had vegetable lasagna, mashed potatoes, garlic bread and Lipton iced tea out of a bottle. Not too bad -- came out to something like 11 pounds.

Yesterday (Wednesday) I took the train from London to Cardiff. Glad the station was only three blocks from my hotel. And I found out why trash cans are few and far in-between in London: to cut down on terrorists dropping bombs in 'em. Smart.

The 2-hour train ride to Cardiff was uneventful. When I got here around noon, I decided to walk to the hotel since it's only three-tenths of a mile, but I couldn't find it at first. Kept walking up and down five-block St. Mary St., looking for it. Finally found it with the help of locals. I missed it because it's in the middle of the block, squeezed between two businesses. One of those buildings that's not impressive in the front, but it's bigger on the inside -- hey, just like Dr. Who's TARDIS!

My hotel's in what's called Cardiff Centre, so there are many restaurants and shops. I was in the mood for pizza but couldn't find a place that served slices, so I settled on joint where I got 2 meatballs and garlic breads; I asked for lemonade but the waitress gave me a Slice -- must be a UK thing 'cause that almost happened at the Italian cafe in London.

Then it was off to the Cardiff castle. Really impressive! I think I liked it more than the Tower of London because it wasn't so overwhelming. I'll post pics when I get back home, though unfortunately some turned out rubbish 'cause you couldn't use flash photography inside the castle. One that did turn out well was a window called Philadelphia. Apparently the family that lived there were uber religious and Philly is connected with the Bible . . . from John the Baptist, maybe?

For dinner, I ate at an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet, although it wasn't that good -- food left under the burners for too long. My thinking for going there was that the following day I'd be down at Cardiff Bay, where there are a bunch of posh restaurants, so that'll be an expensive meal. On the plus side, I had Chinese tea at the buffet and it was -- um, um -- tasty.

After dinner I went walking, looking for some club, but I left the second of my 2 maps back at the hotel, so I got a little lost. I didn't venture too far into that neighborhood. A little on the poverty side. Lots of businesses and homes "to let".

I got back to the hotel around nine and put on the telly. The BBC had one funny programme on called Mock of the Week, which was quite funny. Set up as a game show, it's basically a vehicle for comedians to make fun of the news. I think the producers are the same Brit cats who did Whose Line Is It Anyway?, which was quite evident in the last bit called "Things We'd Like to See", where the six comedians approached the mike for each topic, the first one being "Lines we'd like to see in the Bible" -- you won't find that on American television!

Right now it's a little before 10 a.m. on Thursday. It hasn't rained since I got there (there was a little shower in London my last full day there in the morning), so hopefully the sun reigns.

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