My deepest apologies for not posting in a while. To be honest, there just hasn't been much to post; life is just life, even when studying abroad.
Quite a bit back, my flat mate Sarah and I went on a day trip to Cardiff. Here is my travel journal from the day and some pictures.
09 October 2015
My flat mate Sarah and I planned a last minute trip to Cardiff last night. Although I feel like I don't appreciate a lot of the trouser attractions because I'm not a Dr. Who fan, I still had a really awesome time. Cardiff is beautiful city that is very proud of its Welsh heritage.
The train ride was pleasant and had no bumps. The first place we went was the Alexander Gardens, near the castle and the National Welsh Assembly.
In the middle of the gardens is the Welsh War Memorial, a monument erected to honor the died in the Great War. It was a solemn but beautiful monument, yet much more understated that war memorials in the States. After eating out picnic lunch, we strolled through Cardiff University. We didn't see much of it, but we did get to walk through the main hall, on of the oldest buildings on campus.
Right next to the University was the National Museum of Wales. There was a whole exhibit on William H. Smith's geological maps of England, Wales, and Scotland. MAPS, MAPS EVERYWHERE. Most of you know that I love a good map. Heck, I even like the bad ones! This exhibit immediately bumped its way to #2 on my favorite exhibits (#1 is the inaugural ball gowns at the Smithsonian of American History). I mean, this maps were amazing and to learn about how maps were packaged and sold in the 1800s was quite interesting as well.
The next big exhibit was Welsh Ceramics. I wanted to have a tea party in that room! There were so many beautiful pieces. There was also pottery from all over the world throughout the museum. After the ceramics, we walked through the Historical Art Exhibit, which was mostly paintings. There were paintings from all over the world categorized by country and time period. We were lucky enough to see quite a few of Monet's pieces.
The museum took a good chunk of time and walking, so we were ready for a little break. We went in search of a tea room I read about online called Barker's Tea Room. It's in the High Street Arcade; the arcades are the coolest. They are basically alley ways that have been covered and turned into streets themselves. You feel like you are discovering a little secret shops that only a very select few get to visit. Having tea was everything I wanted it to be. Barker's is two stories of mismatched furniture goodness and a must go if you are in Cardiff. It was also nice to spend time with Sarah outside of the flat and learn more about what she is studying, but more importantly her actual life. The first question every university student asks another university student is what they are studying; but for me, my studies are a small part of who I am and I've found that to be true of other students as well. Sarah is neat and I'm happy i get to live with her this term.
After tea, we walked through this neat little bookshop in the Castle Street Arcade. Three stories of £4 books and a fancy limited edition section. I bought three books because I'm me and it was a bookshop and that's what happens. It's inevitable.
It was really nice to get away and do something different if even just for a day. However, every adventure - even a day trip - I wish I had someone from back home to experience this with. To talk to in five years and say 'remember that time we did that? or when our train got delayed?' I think its just part of growing up to miss my family and to accept that I won't do everything with them. I am still so thankful for the opportunity to do this on my own and I think it's been a vital experience in growing my sense of self. Thank you, Mama and Papa Grigg. Thank you for letting me do this and instilling in me a sense of adventure. I can never repay you.