Cardiff In 2 Days

After we finally got our assessment done Riccardo invited me to tag along to London for exhibitions we were looking for hosts on couchsurfing and all but no one got back to us in time and I wasn't really feeling it seeing as I've been to London a while ago I wanted to visit other places but I didn't know where.

So I went on CouchSurfing and asked for suggestions and looked for potential hosts and that's when Chilly got back to my last-min request welcoming me to Cardiff. I immediately looked up megabus and the ticket was only £5 one way (my bus to london was £1.50 tho!!) I really wanted to get out of Bristol it was very sudden but I thought why not. 

10th Dec // Sat

I did some quick research the night before and had a few places I wanted to visit in mind.

First stop National Museum Cardiff it was really near to the bus stop I got off at but I should have got off one stop earlier which was the Cardiff University one so I could make it to this performance at 12pm but when I rushed there the receptionist didn't know anything about it (pretty sure it was the right place) so I had to miss it but the exhibition artesmundi7 itself was spectacular and worth starving.  

I was so hungry that I wasn't even sure if I was hungry anymore by the time I got out of the museum. Fortunately Cardiff Central Market was just around the corner. It's an indoor wet + dry market located in the city centre shopping mall area and it took me some time to find it (one of the entrances is opposite St John's The Baptist Church). I walked around and ended up having a cheap scotched egg that tasted so-so and some sweet moroccan pastries that were too sweet for my liking, to top it off the vendors weren't really friendly. But I supposed the food in the indoor market was cheaper than the christmas booths outside.

Oh did I mention it rained for the whole day since I arrived at noon?? So I was basically soaked and wet even though I had my windbreaker on. After walking around Cardiff Christmast Market I tried to find ArcadeCardiff gallery that I wanted to visit but I got so lost with all the malls cramped together and the insane crowd despite the rain and without proper directions on the gallery page so I decided to message them on fb to ask where exactly is their location and they only replied 8 days later...

So yeah I spent like an hour looking for it and still couldn't find it in the end. Only afterwards I got to know it is actually inside the shopping centre Queens Arcade when my host Chilly pointed it to me. I passed by the section but didn't notice it because there was no obvious sign ugh. I texted them again to let them know what a pain it was to look for them but apparently they still hadn't updated their info. This is when I really think it's really important to put out accurate and up-to-date info on social media especially if you want to get out there.

If anyone wants to know how to get there the easiest way is to go through New Look entrance at Queens St (next to no1 currency at Queens St) and look for the exit to the inside of the shopping mall, arcadecardiff is just by the elevator. Ok I found this useful ground floor store map on the Queens Arcade website which might explain it best.

It was Chilly's day off but she insisted on meeting up with me in the city centre, eager to show me around Cardiff Bay. Unfortunately the weather was shit so we missed the sunset (sun sets around 4pm during winter). I took the bus from city centre to Millennium Centre (£1.80 single, £3.60 a day to go) to meet up with her. Her considerate and easy-going personality immediately surfaced when she offered me her umbrella while she put on her jacket hood instead. We went to get some change at Greggs and chatted for a bit and that's when she said I can call her Chilly instead of Csilla - everyone does.

Not knowing where to go at the time, I happily followed Chilly's suggestions. First we went back to city centre where she showed me where ArcadeCardiff gallery was (see Queens Arcade ground floor store map) and then we headed to Cardiff Winter Wonderland watching people play roller coaster and ice-skate (sod out so we couldn't skate). 

Then Chilly brought me to City Road, a street with a lot of affordable multiracial cuisines to offer. Chilly's brother Peter works at the Sainsbusy's just right down the street so we decided to visit him. By pranking him. Yep. Apparently Peter got a lot of Chinese students coming up to him asking about Nectar Card but they weren't good in English, Chilly thought it would be funny to watch how he'd deal with it and I was down for the prank after knowing he wouldn't be mad because he is a prank master himself. I was all nervous and shit but I did it and afterwards Peter was so impressed we tricked him and we were all laughing about it.

Back in Chilly's place, she made beef burgers (I'm a fail vegetarian), taught me how to play pool and had fun exploring my snapchap filters. I also met her lovely mother who gave me cheek kisses when she found out it was my birthday yesterday. The guest room was really big and tidy, the bed was a water bed which unfortunately wasn't suitable for my "titanium back" so I slept on the couch instead (truly couchsurfing yo).

11th Dec // Sunday

Woke up to a beautiful and cold morning, patted a fat cat in someone's lawn while on my way to the bus stop.

Today's first stop the Riverside Farmers' Market which happens every Sunday from 10am - 2pm, it's a lovely little market that focuses on bringing the healthiest and freshest possible products to visitors, they sell stuff like organic vegetables, homemade herbs and spices, artisan cheeses, vegan cakes, craft beer etc. I read on TripAdvisor that the Indian breakfast was good for a 4 quid so I ordered one in vegetarian, it included a paratha, an onion bhaji, a samosa with hot curry and mint sauce, perfect for a cold morning!

After breakfast I walked to Chapter Arts Centre to see the other exhibits of artesmundi7. It was about 25 minutes away and I found £1 strawberries on the way which I ate without washing and didn't realise until later today. Chapter is like an artsy community, they have a gallery, a cafe and a bar, a theatre, a retail shop etc and there was a lot of people at the cafe when I was there, seemed like they serve good stuff. The gallery didn't open till 12pm so I sat down and browsed through my leaflets and brochures. On my way back I got a £4 reversible grandpa jacket at a Cancer Research charity shop they were so much cheaper than other charity stores I wish I had gotten more coats but I didn't wanna carry them around. 

Before heading back to city centre I took a stroll at Bute Park and it was so lovely nature makes me so happy! There are different attractions and cafes in the park there is even an Education Centre, dogs are also welcomed as there are loads of litter bins around.

As much as I wanted to stay in the park longer I needed to eat something so I went to Cardiff Central Market (again) it was about 4pm and they weren't many food stalls open anymore got a welsh cake from Cardiff Bakestones for 30p probably should have tried other flavours as well. Then I wandered for a bit and double confirmed I actually didn't like how touristy Cardiff city centre was. Being surrounded by consumerism  I went into Primark myself and got two items but for cheap. Then I went to take a look at ArcadeCardiff expecting to do one last gallery visit before I leave but they are closed on Sundays! Oh well!

Chilly didn't get off work till 7pm so I waited for her at Winter Wonderland. Again the skate rink was sold out so no skating tonight. The food there smelt so good but I refrained myself from spending since I've still got my (unwashed) strawberries and they were mostly meaty anyway. God it's so hard to be travelling on budget!

It was like another hour till my bus so Chilly suggested we go to the couchsurfing meetup at NosDa (near to the Riverside Farmers' Market). It was like a jamming session and we were early. Also Chilly had to leave early so there was this period that I was just sitting all alone praying that the wait staff wouldn't notice me cause all I wanted is for time to pass.

It was a spontaneous trip but I'm glad I did it. I would definitely go back for nearby towns like Barry though.

Fujicolor c200 - Olymus mju ii 
developed and scanned by Bristol Cameras

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