It all happened unexpected, Gwilym aka M0B1US, visited my Wales page and asked when I was going back. Funny enough, we were going the following week, after 6 months we wanted to visit the family and celebrate Stace´s birthday with them.
So he organised quickly a VT meeting in Cardiff with less than 6 six days!
CarolynShort and her friend
and me hehehe
It was great meeting all you, hope is not the last time!!!
Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival
In its third year at the Cardiff City Hall, this great festival features beers brewed here in Wales, as well as a selection of well-liked and new beers from around the country.
As well as beers, they had a selection of Ciders and Perries (a Perry is brewed from pears in the same manner that a Cider is brewed from apples – could give cockney rhyming slang a whole new meaning…;-))
The festival runs over the course of three days from Thursday to Saturday and I went along on the Saturday to meet up with several Uni friends to partake…
The cost of this liquid taste extravaganza was an entry fee of a mere £3 (£1 for students), which also got you a free souvenir beer glass and programme. One minor complaint of mine which will be a running feature of this tip is the fact that the festival didn’t seem adequately prepared for its huge popularity and had run out of souvenir pint glasses – so I just got a clear one!
Once inside the main hall, you had a choice of around 100 beers, ciders and perries – however by the time I got there on the Saturday, more than half of these had run out and the ciders and perries ran out before I had a chance to taste them. Moral of the story: don’t turn up on the last day!
I still was able to taste some great beers with wonderfully descriptive names such as ‘Dark & Delicious’, ‘Espresso Stout’, ‘Pitchfork’, ‘Topsy Turvy’, ‘Chase Your Tail’, ‘Mutt’s Nuts’, and the wonderfully festive ‘Red Nose Reinbeer’ and ‘That’ll be the Sleigh’. For a full list, check out the website link.
The cost of the beers was £1 for a half pint and £2 for a pint (paid for in tokens), though we had a scam going where we would order a half in our pint glasses and invariably get far more than a half as it was difficult to judge without over pouring…;-)
So, if this whets your whistle, why not check out the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) site to find out more about Britain’s fantastic range of ‘proper’ beers!
FIA Welsh Rally Championship
The kings of the rally championship come once a year to south Wales.Either based in Cardiff or Swansea.Most stages take place in the mountains of forest in the valleys, however the special sprint stage takes place in the Staduim, a sight of seeing some of the worlds fastest land cars going head to head inside a 75,000 capicity stadium is out of this world, definetly not to be missed. Usually a coat, because it will probably rain.
The Newport Transporter Bridge
The Newport Transporter Bridge spans across the River Usk The River Usk rises in the mountains of mid-Wales then flows south-east through Abergavenny and the eponymous town of Usk to the Roman legionary fortress of Caerleon and the Bristol Channel at Newport.
Because the river banks are very low at the desired crossing point (a few miles south of the city centre) a bridge would needed a very long approach ramp and a ferry could not be used at low tide.
McArthur Glen Designer Outlet - Bridgend
About half an hour up the M4 on junction 36 near Bridgend is Wales' largest designer outlet centre - who says us men don't enjoy shopping too!?
Set out in an attractive village covered street style there are over 80 famous name designer stores here that offer discounts of at least 30-70%.
I was like a child in a candy store here and could have easily spent large, but managed to curtail it to only a few items - though I feel at least one new pair of Vans in my future... ;-)
There is also a large foodcourt to suit most tastes as well as a couple of cafes in the village itself. The village is well served entertainment-wise with an odeon cinema and plenty of play areas for kids to keep themselves amused.
If after reading this glowing report you're wondering how you're going to make it up the M4 without a car, fear not.
You can either take the 100 bus from Cardiff Bus station direct for £5 return, or you can take the scenic route via the lively market town of Bridgend by train and catch a bus from there...
Yep, coming here makes for a great day out and definitely helps on the shopping therapy front! :-)