This morning we headed off to Cardiff, a little later than planned admittedly as we all overslept a little. We found good parking in Sophia Park and walked out past Cardiff Castle ready for our tour of the Millenium Stadium. Despite the late start, we were still a little early, so found a seat in a small cafe for the biggest hot chocolate I have ever seen in my life! (You'd have loved it, Terry - very reminiscent of the the old "Victorian" in Christchurch! heheh)
We went for a walk after that through the shopping centre of Cariff (Queen Street? I'll have to check my map). * gulp * So many people!! After putting much needed money into my phone, we went out past Cardiff University where my father studied, looked at the town hall / council offices building, passed by a winter carnival (complete with outdoor skating rink - no, I didn't risk my back on it! LOL) and then on to the stadium for the tour.
The tour took us down into the changing rooms, out the players entrance into the stadium itself and into the middle of the pitch. The guide did this with a full sound track playing of a crowd cheering as though we were the players! (The effect was spoiled a little though as the turf had been lifted in preparation for another event, but hey, standing in the middle of the stadium playing area was freaky!)
We then went right up the top to roof level and then into the corporate boxes (which can be hired for a mere 100 000 pounds a year!!) Lastly, we got to sit in the royal box...! Nice seats they have up there. Not like the cheap plastic ones the common people get to sit on, believe me!
The shop was closed at the stadium, but the guide directed us to a nearby shop which was selling rugby gear and I now own a prized WRU rugby shirt.
Well, I own it until I get back to NZ and my son claims it as his Christmas present! * sigh *
A trip to another nearby shop, a Welsh crafts shop, yielded a couple of very nice wee souvenirs, then it was back home for tea and a quiet (almost) pint!
My cousin Alun, and Sandra, are picking me up tomorrow to spend the day with them, and we are going back up Clydach Vale, where Alun knows the houses Mum and Aunty Ol lived in, and to look at other places related to Mum's life, in the same way I have been spending time looking at Dad's life in the Rhondda. We'll do a bit of forward planning for next week, and on Friday I go to the Heritage Park here in the Rhondda. (http://www.rhonddaheritagepark.com)
It has been suggested I should go along to a local rugby match on Saturday, too. Cool!
But time is running out in the Rhondda... Only a few days left.