7.31.2013

Cardiff: The Tardis of Wales

Wait, wait, I didn't post about Wales yet? The experience that transcended time and space? Let's talk Cardiff. For starters, it has a castle right at the top of the city.

The castle, being invaded by the alien sportscraft landing behind it.

If you're in Cardiff, you probably should take the time to see Cardiff Castle (above). There is a wall and some battlements and a keep (see below). The keep (below) is exactly as old and rundown as it looks. But the Castle (above) is a castle.

Once a hardcore Norman fortress, the keep is now flagging.
But I'm talking about the castle. You wouldn't know looking at the bleak stones outside, but some rich people owned it! A coal baron's acquired it and died, and his son, with all the whimsy of a medieval enthusiast, hired some decorators.He liked color and medieval-style murals. If you don't go inside, you will miss things like this:

signs and ropes telling you not to touch things!
Which is nice and all, but you also get rooms like this:
"The Arab Room" designed by a guy who dropped acid through a kaleidoscope!
They also have some birds that would be happier if they were elsewhere.

Owl, performing "Howl", by Ginsberg.
Or maybe he was just telling me his fav. tv show.
But you didn't come to Cardiff to see a castle or listen to the hooters. You came there to see the Doctor Who Experience. You might worry it's disproportionately geared towards children. And it is. But don't let details like that get in the way of finding a blue police box. The Experience was an interactive funthrough, part animatronics, part Matt Smith  in a video. We, the "shoppers" were trying to save the Doctor from...well, I won't give you spoilers. But at the end is a museum of props and costumes and all of the Doctor's worst enemies.
It didn't work.
They had all kinds of models to demonstrate the progression through the gazillion years this show has been on the air.

It was close, but I was not exterminated. 
You can't get to The Experience without passing through Mermaid Quay. Well, you can, but it's right there. It's a nice place to hang out and have a drink in the sunshine, and smell the mix of sea breeze and evidence of lax drug control.

I don't light up, but a torchwood.

If you watch Torchwood, you can see a plot relevant memorial on Mermaid Quay. If you don't watch Torchwood, you can see the memorial anyway, but it's totally a spoiler in the middle of the street. Warning: spoiler below.

Warning: spoiler, but you already looked at it.
And all around Cardiff you can see bits and bobs of the Doctor. The variety of Victorian and futurist architecture is pretty conveniently located for filming.

But sometimes you just need stairs.

You're a Pandorkica.
And there are just generally a lot of stores around the places that are fun to look at. There is a chain in the UK called Americandy.

An improbable astronaut. 
Have I mentioned I miss space programs?
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