Does This Castle Have Wifi?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Wale, Wale, Wale, what do we have here...

Sara (you know, that person I mention in every other post) and I hopped on a mid-morning train from Bristol to Cardiff after an eye-rolling good coffee and almond croissant from Hart's Bakery by Temple Meads. Apologies for the lack of foodography, I was clearly hungry and on a mission that morning! I'll certainly be stopping there before a train journey again and will make a point to whip out my camera.

We arrived in a packed Cardiff Central Station to learn that not only was there an international rugby game taking place in the city, but Comic Con was also happening. There were makeshift gates, security officers, comic book characters, and spirited rugby fans galore. We quickly weaved our way through the crowds onto another train 25 minutes northwest to Caerphilly – which we got a kick out of saying like "carefully" with a horrendous twang.

Plopped right into the middle of the town, is this.

If you need a size reference, look to the bottom left and find the tiny human. And this is just the front entry.

The second-largest castle in all of Britain, and largest in Wales.

You heard the man...

This tower was hit by a bomb and leans a lot. But don't worry, this guy's got it covered.
For a mere £4.50 entry fee, you certainly get your money's worth. The castle and grounds are deceivingly massive as we spent over two hours climbing towers, crawling through low-lying door frames, watching the most hilariously gory cartoon educational film, and pretending to be in Game of Thrones.

Everybody loves a good catapult. 

Other than the two employees in the gift shop/entrance, you are left to your own devices in exploring the area. The worn down spiral staircases have no handrails, the flooding towers are left with no warnings. In America this would have lawsuit slapped all over it, but here it's "Use your common sense and deal with it." Love it. 

Wellies to the rescue.

Caerphilly ticked all boxes when it comes to what you want out of a castle. 

My impression from my first trip into Wales is that you visit for the castles, the countryside, and the history. On our way out we had to stop in Cardiff and I wanted to walk around since I had never been there before and we were hungry for lunch – Caerphilly didn't have a ton of options for food. Although Cardiff had a lush shopping district (did I use that word correctly yet?), everything is pretty new and corporation-dominated. Not that I'm a snob nor anti-chains, but I was hoping for something classically and uniquely Welsh. We ended up eating at Jamie's Italian, which we have here in Bristol but neither of us had ever been. It's hard to dislike pasta and bread. 

On the train ride home, aside from getting stuck in the under-ocean tunnel due to maintenance, we learned that Will and Kate were actually at that rugby match in Cardiff. We laughed and slammed our heads down at our missed opportunity. Where's Wifi when you need it?

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