Wales 2010 – Day 2

During the night, the revellers returned it batches, talking loudly and excitedly but though I was woken several times, the disturbance wasn’t too bad. During the earlier part of the night, the throb of music from a nearby club or disco could be felt rather than heard but it too ceased at some point.

Our rover tickets provide four days of rail travel but as train services are often disrupted over the weekend by engineering works, especially during bank holidays, we will make today a bus day.

Unsurprisingly, there were very few people about
Unsurprisingly, there were very few people about

Swansea bus station has been closed for rebuilding and buses therefore stop instead at various other points in the city. Fortunately, the tourist information office was able to supply a bus timetable and a map showing stops for the various destinations.


On leaving the hotel, we found it was a grey day, cold and very windy. Unsurprisingly, there were very few people about, though some of the shops were preparing to open.

Franco's Cafe was just open
Franco’s Cafe was just open

It looked as though finding breakfast was going to be difficult but after a while we happened upon Franco’s cafe, just open. Over breakfast, we planned where to go and where to find the bus to get us there.


We chose a bus that was going to Cardiff. We had to look around for it and when we found it, it was more like a coach than a bus. We were instructed to attach our seat belts which caused us some amusement because they were rather tight for us.

Art Deco lamps in Cardiff station concourse
Art Deco lamps in Cardiff station concourse

On arrival at Cardiff we took a coffee break in the station concourse where there is a coffee bar and I always admire the Art Deco lamps. Then we sought out a bus to the St Fagans National History Museum.

Kennixton Farmhouse, built 1610
Kennixton Farmhouse, built 1610

St Fagans collects historic buildings from all over Wales, rebuilds them on site and preserves them for the public to view. As an example, above is the Kennixton Farmhouse built in 1610 and furnished as it would have been around 1850. The red colour is an unusual feature in houses of this type.

Attic bedroom, Kennixton
Attic bedroom, Kennixton
(It was dark in there!)

This is the Blaen-waun post office – possibly the smallest in Wales – which, operated by a sole postmistress, played an important role in the community during WWII.

Blaen-waun post office
Blaen-waun post office
Inside the post office
Inside the post office

I think my favourite is the Gwalia general store and its shelves full of goods familiar to householders of the Victorian and Edwardian eras.

Gwalia general store
Gwalia general store
Inside the store
Inside the store

Or is it the tailor’s shop and workroom, full of clothing and accessories from a bygone era that I itched to try on?

The tailor's shop
The tailor’s shop
The tailor's workshop
The tailor’s workshop

After the exertions of exploring the buildings and the paddocks with different breeds of sheep and pigs, refreshment was obviously needed.

Not any old cream tea - a Welsh cream tea!
Not any old cream tea – a Welsh
cream tea!

Above the Gwalia store is a small but well run cafe where we ordered a cream tea. Not just any old cream tea, mind, but a Welsh cream tea! (Cornwall, eat your heart out!)

Rooting around is such joy
Rooting around is such joy

Of course, I enjoyed seeing the animals, both the unofficial ones like the crows and pigeons and the official inhabitants like the pigs and sheep.

The sweet contentment of chewing
The sweet contentment of chewing

There were many more fascinating things to see, more than I can cram in here and if St Fagans sounds interesting, do go and see it for yourself. It is a beautiful and wonderful place.

We took the bus back to Cardiff and went for a ride on the free bus. This follows a circular track and brought us back to the station.

Pica Pica
Pica Pica

We thought there would be more choice of places to eat here in Cardiff than back in Swansea so we set out to explore. We found Pica Pica where they serve small dishes in the manner of meze or tapas. You can have 6 items for £15. Now it so happens that they have 12 vegetarian dishes on the menu, so we ordered all of them between us! It was quite a culinary adventure but we managed to dispatch it all.

We then had 10 minutes to get back to the bus station to catch the next bus to Swansea. We made it with two minutes to spare, at a pace not comfortable on a full stomach!

Cardiff's Millennium Stadium
Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium

Now, though, we could relax and watch the light gently fading over the Welsh countryside.

The library, Oakdale Workmen's Institute, St Fagans
The library, Oakdale Workmen’s Institute, St Fagans

Copyright © 2010 SilverTiger, https://tigergrowl.wordpress.com, All rights reserved.

About SilverTiger

I live in Islington with my partner, "Tigger". I blog about our life and our travels, using my own photos for illustration.
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