Cardiff, where is it? In South Wales. What is it? The capital of Wales. Do you need to know any more? No. Do you need to visit? Definitely not.
What used to be a friendly, interesting city with it’s own unique feel is long gone.It really is quite a shame, because Cardiff used to be a pretty beautiful place with lot’s of interesting music venues and green space. Sadly poor urban planning and a strong desire to build flats on anything interesting or historic has put paid to that. It used to have a thriving live music scene but they’ve turned most of the venue’s into flats. Take a walk along Richmond Road or Cardiff Point and they’ve even started turning most of the dilapidated terraced houses previously converted into flats into more flats.
If want to do a sight seeing tour I recommend driving. The amount of traffic lights and congestion means you’ll have ample time to view all the new flats being built in City Quarter, Cardiff Point and anywhere else where is a square cm of land to build on. If you want variety there’s also lots of purpose built student flats being built. Another 3,500 or so units of them opening this academic year.
If you want to play a concert at the Millennium Stadium the council will ask one question. Do you want to shut the whole city down? If you answer yes – I’m looking at you Coldplay, Robbie Williams and other fools, the Council will close most of the city centre roads down to prevent the inhabitants getting home.
Pick your day wisely, maybe visit on an Easter Sunday when all the shops are closed and there’s no one about and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how generic and featureless the city centre is. However wait until an average working day and you’ll be unpleasantly surprised at how busy, overcrowded and generic and featureless the city centre is.
Alternatively take a walk down the bay and be surprised at how it’s like every other out of town bar / restaurant ‘destination’ you’ve ever visited.
Cardiff makes a lot of being a major European City and has developed close ties with Bejing, Mogadishu, Islamabad and Damascus.
Cycling is encouraged but there appears to be a rule that only the back wheel is allowed to touch the pavement and the bike riders need to aim their bike, either actively or mistakenly, towards pedestrians.
St Fagan’s National Museum of History is well worth a visit though and some of the surrounding towns like Caerphilly and Penarth are nice.
However if you want to live in a city in South Wales, Newport is the place to be. If you know Newport you probably realise you don’t want to live in South Wales.
Oh I forgot to mention the rain. It will be lots of it.