Ddymuno pawb! No I am not still intoxicated from my eventful bachelor weekend in Cardiff, Wales. That meant ‘hello everyone’ in Welsh or at least so I believe. (apologies to any Welsh reading this and being offended) What a language right?! And there I was thinking Dutch was already a stupendously weird and difficult language. And that is coming from a Dutchman! In this first travel section I wish to cover my three day trip to Cardiff, covering the cities of Cardiff, Swansea and the Gower peninsula. I will try and refrain from making any sheep jokes.
First and foremost I would like to point out that the Welsh are kind tourist and customer friendly people, maybe some of you are thinking which Wales did he go to, but to me that was one thing that was stuck in my mind. Back home it’s hard to find a smile on a person’s face or get more out of store staff than the usual, what are you looking for?
Cardiff is a vibrant city that did not give me the feeling of getting lost in a major metropolis. It felt more like a large town. Made you feel like Daffyd Thomas could pop out any moment and tell you he really is the ‘only gay in the village’. (Little Britain pun)
And to be honest one thing that in general really sets the United Kingdom apart from my home country the Netherlands, is the social side and attitude of the people. I love how approachable and talkative most British are. I could walk into a pub and have a drink with complete strangers and practically leave the pub as friends. However back home you get treated as if I am dressed as a Nazi and walk into a synagogue. Over here, when you walk into a pub you first receive some angry faces looking at you, and if you think you can go talk to someone or become mates, well forget about it, they would rather push you back out the door. Now of course this is not everyone I am talking about, let’s be realistic, however generally the Dutch have an odd anti-social approach that bums me out a lot! I lived in the UK for almost 8 years and just miss the British attitude. Except for the whining about the weather.
Anyway back to Cardiff, where I happened to be for a bachelor weekend, as my best mate is getting married next month. Once in the town centre there is so much to see and do and especially ‘eat’!! We had dinner at the Smoke Haus, which was like an American meat feast all over. There were 6 of us and we ate a variety of chicken wings, spare ribs, and massive burgers. If you ever happen to go there then you should definitely try the Southern Comfort, its a burger, not the drink.
This burger was tremendous in taste but difficult to eat. It is a tower of delight that does not fit in your mouth properly. It was a proper dismantling project to get through the bun, thick fried chicken filet, bacon, onion, salad and cheese. Can you imagine there is a double burger version of this you can order as well?!! Bloody mental I tell you.
Cardiff has a bustling city centre with plenty of pubs, restaurants and clubs to go nuts in.
One of my favourites and also one of the activities of the bachelor trip was the visit to the Bierkeller. If you have ever been to the October Fest in Munich, Germany then you already had the taste of what you can expect at the Bierkeller. Consider it a British October Fest in miniature.
Imagine a relatively small stage in the back and in front a few rows of long wooden tables. I suggest reserving before coming here as especially in the weekends its jam-packed. Depending on the package you purchase you will receive what they call a ‘Stein’. One litre of beer and delight. Then around 9pm the Oompah band comes on stage and really gets the party going with catchy melodic German songs that will not leave you sitting still I tell you. We had a blast and anyone visiting Cardiff should spend 2 hours drinking and feasting at the Bierkeller.
The Gower Peninsula “Three Cliffs Bay”
Just over an hour’s drive from Cardiff after passing through the quaint coastal city of Swansea you get into the greenish heaven of the Gower Peninsula. Miles of green countryside ranging from hills to fields and forests. One of the places I visited for a walk was Three Cliffs Bay. After having parked up at the top of the hill at a camping site I walked down and when I say down, well the word steep does not do it justice. I however did not realise this until I had to walk back up. It was 25 degrees and well after getting back up the hill I was drenched in sweat. More importantly it was well worth it, below you see two impressions of Three Cliffs Bay and I wish had brought my swimming gear. Such tranquility and beauty.
In general driving through Wales does not get more picturesque, however what I did not find so relaxing were some of the winding roads on the Gower Peninsula. If you do not adequately know the width of your car you might find yourself coming home without side mirrors. It made you think twice about looking out the window because before you knew it there would be a 90 degrees bend coming up and the rear bumper of the car in front of you would be stuck on your front bumper. I am not Lewis Hamilton but I can tell you I made it out unscathed, which was a good thing considering I was driving a rental car.
Continuing on the topic of driving, I come from a country where there are many speed camera’s and speed check zones but lord almighty Wales is on a different level when it comes to that!!
You do not even have time to fart before you already find yourself in the next speed check zone. Funnily enough the lady at the rental car company specifically warned me for these. I still cannot believe I got a rental car (Toyota C-HR) for 44 gbp for three days!! Even the lady from Enterprise asked me how I got that bargain deal.
Go see it!
A few years ago I spent some days in the North of Wales which is just as green, a bit more mountainous and a beautiful piece of nature to travel through.
I can only suggest Wales as a holiday destination or even a 3-4 day trip.
So to finish I would like to say ‘siarad yn fuan’ or speak soon folks!