We went on to Cardiff for our final night on tour. As we drove from north wales down, I could see the welsh countryside. It looked like a mix
between Switzerland, the Scottish highlands and the English countryside! It also reminded me a little of home. It’s beautiful and green with rolling hills, streams, old Tudor houses or stone houses in little villages. There are lots of sheep, including black ones, white ones and piebald type spotted black and white ones, but all of them had white fleece. It was a pretty drive.
After we arrived we had an afternoon to explore. My first stop was Cardiff castle, and I found it most interesting hat the castle walls were converted into air bunkers for the 2nd world war. We went down there and they played radio broadcasts about being at war, air sirens to warn of a raid and the sounds of planes flying over. It echoed through the bunker. There was an old canteen and bunks that were bare, just as they would have been in the war days as it was expected that the public bring their own bedding. The walls were lined with lots of old posters from the war time, encouraging people to keep information to themselves, for women to join the ground army, and information on what to do in an air raid in various situations. I got chills every time the sirens blared through the tunnels.
After there, we went to the tower and the mansion and I explored those. The library in the mansion was very impressive, as were some of the decorated ceilings and staircases.
After I left the castle I browsed the markets and the shops.
I bought little Welsh flag for £1 ready to wave for the Wales vs Belgium football (soccer) game that night.
Things were starting to amp up around 4pm with Welshman in their welsh football gear waving flags were walking up the street flags, singing and chanting in Welsh.
I got ready for dinner at the hotel and headed out for a buffet dinner. It didn’t sit so well afterward but they did have amazing cocktails!
We went to a bar near our hotel to watch the game and we arrived during happy hour for 2 for 1 cocktails so the party continued! Wales smashed Belgium 3-1 and the atmosphere was amazing! Everyone cheered and jumped with every goal and the staff let off confetti poppers over the crowd. It’s probably the only time I’ve ever been excited by a football (soccer) game! We stayed there drinking and dancing after the victorious game.
The next morning I awoke to sad news with the passing of my beautiful grandmother. Tears flowed as I grieved the loss of a strong woman. The tour had to go on and we carried on back to London via Bath and Stonehenge. In Bath we did a quick walking tour, a simultaneous group cartwheel in the park, and then I spent some time on my own, remembering my Grandma. Having been in bath only 12 days before I was happy to have some quite time and let the hours roll by.
Stonehenge again was somewhere I had already been so I saved my pennies and just had a hot chocolate at the gift shop while the others went to see it. On to London where we said our goodbyes and most of us went our separate ways. I dropped my luggage off at home and went back to Earls court to the pub for dinner with the remaining stragglers of the tour for one last meal together. The boys watched the football but I didn’t care too much this time around and just chatted with everyone before heading home. It was “family games night” at my old house and I joined in with a game of celebrity heads when I arrived. So ended my final leg of my Britian/Ireland topdeck tour, and the last of my overseas adventures for this round, with only one day remaining in London before flying home to Aus. To all of the wonderful people I met on my travels, I want to thank you all. Your kindness and friendship, and random adventures made my travels what they were. I hope that we will cross paths again one day.
This almost concludes my “travel blog” for want of a better term. I will however write up a post of my time in London, having lived here for 3 months. Stay tuned for that one! Thanks Europe, thanks Britain, (and thanks to work back home for giving me extended time off) for an amazing adventure!