Recently, I travelled to South Wales and South-West England. I’d never been to South-West England before, but I had been to South Wales, in 2004.
That trip, in 2004, was to Cardiff for the World Cup Qualifier between Wales and Northern Ireland. I had such a fantastic time, and the match itself wasn’t bad.
Over the following ten years, i’d always wanted to visit Cardiff again. For various reasons, I just never got around to it.
Ten years on, it was another football match that would make me want to visit Cardiff again. Cardiff was chosen as the host venue for the 2014 European Super Cup Final, and i’d long earmarked this as an event to go to.
The game was on the Tuesday, but I flew out on the Sunday afternoon, to give me some time to travel around, instead of heading over on the day and only seeing the game.
Due to the difficulty of getting a hotel, I got one at Cardiff Airport, or so I thought. It had “Cardiff Airport” in the title, but it wasn’t actually at the airport. Not off to the best start.
Thankfully, there was a bus route to Cardiff City Centre outside the hotel, which was convenient. I was steps away from the boundaries of Barry, so I had the option of going there if I wanted.
I decided to spend Sunday night in Cardiff City Centre. Unsurprisingly, there wasn’t a lot happening, but it was good to get a bearing of the city and where to go.
Monday morning saw me have a lie-in, mainly due to the stormy weather outside. Eventually, I got up, and went into the City Centre, before getting the train to Bristol.
I’d always decided that if I was to go to Cardiff again, i’d fit in a trip to Bristol as well.
I got off at Temple Meads Station and just wandered about, exploring the city and getting lost in it.
Bristol is famous for it’s Street Art. I’d wanted to do the Street Art Tour, but unfortunately, it only runs on Thursdays and Saturdays.
That didn’t stop me though, and I stumbled upon some pieces. Of course, that will have it’s own blog.
Bristol is a nice city, and had some excellent canal walks on offer.
With a bit of time to spare, I headed to Bath, to see what it was like.
There is plenty to do in Bath, and plenty of Street Entertainment on offer. I had a visit to the Roman Baths, naturally.
From there, I headed back to Cardiff, having a look around the city centre, including the Millennium Stadium.
Tuesday, was always going to be my big Cardiff day, I headed to the City Centre. Unsurprisingly, the city had a Spanish invasion, it looked as though there was more Sevilla fans than Real Madrid fans.
There was no official Fan Park for the game, but both sets of fans were encouraged to congregate in specific areas of the city. Nobody really paid any attention to it.
I headed to Cardiff Fashion Quarter (I’d stumbled upon it on the Monday night and made a note to visit), a series of independent stores, as well as the various indoor markets in Cardiff. If you love music, you’ll love Kelly’s Records, whose stock takes up a lot of space.
I’d planned to visit Cardiff Bay, but I didn’t have the time unfortunately. It was a real pity too as I would have like to have seen it.
I headed back to the hotel to drop off my stuff and get ready to head to the match. Conveniently, there were shuttle buses arranged to take supporters from outside the Millennium Stadium to Cardiff City Stadium.
Cardiff City Stadium is a fantastic stadium, and I had a brilliant view, the only downside was that my seat was red (you know, Tan Out!!)
Like in 2004, football brought me to Cardiff. There’s good enough reasons to visit Cardiff if there isn’t a football match on. I would have like more time to explore South Wales even more.
Was great to visit Cardiff again. Hopefully, i’ll be back before 2024.