72 Hours in Cardiff, Wales. #MarinaTravels

Castle Street, Cardiff.

When you think of a place you'd like to visit in this hot summer season, Cardiff, the capital city of Wales might not be the first choice that pops up in your head. I know, I know! We would all rather escape to some tropical beach with bartenders serving freshly made pina colada at this time of the year. But hey, for today, allow me to take you on a journey to the historic port city of Cardiff, and who knows, you might just find yourself looking up at the next plane tickets to this amazing city.

Though I was beyond excited to visit Cardiff, my train ride from Liverpool to Cardiff was nothing but smooth and peaceful. Started off with me missing my train (how unprofessional of me.), spent an unnecessarily expensive amount of money to repurchase my ticket. Then the nearly four and a half hour train ride was exhausting and I was feeling extra sleepy. However, the quaint view of the South West English countryside was rather pleasant.

Mermaid Quay and Pierhead Building

As soon as I got off the train, I headed straight to the famous water-front leisure district in Cardiff Bay - Mermaid Quay. Although it was a slightly rainy and cloudy day as you can see in my photos, a Saturday afternoon in Cardiff Bay was not a disappointment at all. Mermaid Quay was full of people and the vibe was lively and exciting. The area is scattered with nice bars, Cafes, good restaurants, and shops.

You could relax and hang out by the quay, enjoy the bay view and may even spot a swan or two! I also took a casual stroll down to the Pierhead Building, which was one of the cities of Cardiff's most familiar and recognizable landmarks. The French-Gothic Renaissance style red building was first built in 1897, was most recently re-opened to the public in 2010 as a Welsh history museum and exhibition. Another cool fact is that the clock on the building is unofficially known as the "Baby Big Ben" or the "Big Ben of Wales"

Cardiff Castle

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the Cardiff Castle. Being this up close to a part of the great history of Cardiff and Wales truly left me in awe. There's something about Medieval castles that are so fascinating to me. Oh well, it's probably because where I come from we don't get to see historic castles and mansions that often (at all )!

Cardiff Castle bears the typical Victorian Gothic Revival architectural style like so many historic landmarks in England and Wales. The castle looks as if it were frozen in time, back in the Medieval Times when the kings were conquering lands and great histories were being made. The inside of Cardiff Castle was even more magnificent looking. The stained glass windows in the castle's banqueting room, the exotic interior design of the Arab Room as well as the majestic-looking Norman Shell Keep were just a few highlights from my visit. You could really spend an entire day learning new things about the great history of Cardiff.

The Coal Exchange

Another Cardiff history worth learning was its glorious coal trading days. Situated in Mount Stuart Square in Butetown, The Coal Exchange or formerly known as the Coal and Shipping Exchange was once a busy place for trading in coal in Cardiff.

During the time when Cardiff was the biggest coal port in the world, it was estimated that around 10,000 people including coal merchants, ship owners and agents would come and go in this building making deals and agreements in the meeting hall of the Coal Exchange. It was at the Coal Exchange that the very first £1,000,000 cheque was signed in 1904.

The building has now been refurbished and turned into a luxury four-star hotel without changing the coal exchange history background. I was lucky enough to be given a tour in this historic building and learned a lot more about the beautiful capital of Wales.


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