Sunday, April 27, 2014

Cardiff, Wales to Waterford, Ireland

Unfortunately we weren't in Wales very long, but we did stop at Cardiff Castle for a tour.  In college my friend Katherine and I both studied Medieval and Victorian literature (we actually had a lot of classes together), and Cardiff Castle was a perfect mix of the two, which appealed to the nerd in me.

Cardiff Castle began as a Medieval castle built in the late 11th Century by the Normans.

Cardiff, thy towers of ancient date!
Have witnessed mortal's wayward fate;
Have been the scenes of wail and woe,
alike to prince and peasant low.

~excerpt from Cardiff Castle, by Taliesin Williams (1827) 

 The original castle is in ruins


But it was still an impressive sight.  The castle was on a hill full of blooming daffodils surrounded by a moat.

But the medieval tower was just one part of Cardiff Castle.  The other part is a Victorian gothic revival mansion modeled after a Victorian ideal of a medieval castle.
(This picture was taken from the top of the medieval castle ruins towards the mansion).
Here are a few of my favorite rooms from the mansion tour:
(tiles portraying faerie stories in the nursery)

(dazzling gold Arab room)

(Ceiling of the banqueting hall with a bit of the castle topped fireplace)

(Close up of the fireplace in the Library)

(beautiful windows in the study)

(stained glass window of Guinevere--I think)
I found this mansion fascinating due to my studies of the Victorian Pre-Raphaelites and how influenced they were by medieval stories, in particular Arthurian tales.   
Under tower and balcony,
By garden-wall and gallery,
A gleaming shape she floated by,
A corse between the houses high,
           Silent into Camelot.
Out upon the wharfs they came,
Knight and burgher, lord and dame,
And round the prow they read her name,
           The Lady of Shalott.
Lady of Shalott, Tennyson.
From Cardiff Castle we took a Ferry to Ireland.

After landing, the bus drove passing a couple of small towns
Until we reached Waterford, where we stayed for the night.  Now for a tea moment.  We stayed at the Tower Hotel in Waterford, and had a wonderful dinner followed by a delicious breakfast.  Unfortunately, this was pre-blog, so I didn't take any pictures, but this was on the only time during our stay that a hotel served scones on its breakfast buffet (and we had a lot of breakfast buffets).  I had a cup of Bewley's Irish tea
(picture from the internet)
And delicious huge round scones.
 (picture also from the internet).



  1. The steps leading up into the keep at Cardiff Castle were the steepest EVER! And I like the picture of the castle from the top of the keep, since I was too scared climb up there, haha. :)

    1. I missed a comment! These posts take a long time and research...I swear! Anyway, these steps were steep, but St. Pauls will always stand out to me stairwise. I had one with you in it...I refrained from posting it :).


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