Interrail 2010 – Part 9: Cardiff

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After having seen Stonehenge, I took the train to Cardiff, the capital of Wales.

 

I had been wanting to travel to Cardiff for a few years, ever since I got into ‘Doctor Who’.

Cardiff had been the home and main filming location for the British science fiction program since it’s return to television in the early 2000s, and that remains true to this day.

I wanted to look for shooting locations, soak in the atmosphere, and visit ‘Doctor Who Exhibition Cardiff’ before they would close down a few months later.

 

Cardiff were also the setting for the ‘Doctor Who’ spin-off show ‘Torchwood’, and it did not take long for me to start recreating scenes from it.

torchwood

 

One of the first things I noticed when I arrived in Cardiff Bay was the very Norwegian-looking building by the sea.

I was not expecting to see anything looking like that before returning home at the end of my journey.

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Turns out that the building had in fact been built by the Norwegian Church Abroad organisation in 1868, to serve the religious needs of Norwegian sailors and expatriates.

The church has is known as both the Norwegian Iron Church and the Little White Church, and one of my favorite writers, the Welsh-Norwegian Roald Dahl, was baptised there as a child.

 

Located nearby, there was a giant face-sculpture!

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It is called the Merchant Seafarers’ War Memorial, and the other side of the face looks like the hull of a merchant ship.

While writing this post, I looked up the history of the sculpture, and it is really interesting. Give that a look 🙂

 

Located a bit more inland, in the middle of Cardiff city centre, I found Cardiff Castle.

When the Normans built the castle, they incorporated parts of an old Roman fort. But also made many additions of their own, like a small shell keep on a motte.

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The reconstructed Roman walls no longer keeps out enemies, but instead keeps the city outside at bay, making the castle grounds serve as a very relaxing and interesting park.

 

The Doctor Who exhibition was fun, and I had it mostly for myself since I was traveling during October, a long way away from the tourist season.

 

Cardiff was lovely, but I had to leave before too long.

Because, I was heading to Hogwarts!

 

Top 5 Songs from ‘MoS: Level 4’

mos miracle of sound level 4.jpg

Back in February, I shared my favorite song from each ‘Miracle of Sound’ album.

This proved to be very difficult, as there are so many great songs there!

So I have decided to make a Top 10 or Top 5 list for each album, depending on how big the album is to begin with.

Let’s get to it!

 

5. Beneath The Black Flag

‘Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag’ is basically a pirate simulation, and this song reflects that.

 

4. The Call

Based on the ‘The Elder Scrolls Online’ MMO, this song is a rousing call to action, an attempt to recruit several different peoples to join together in battle.

 

3. Hard Cash

Michael De Santa from ‘Grand Theft Auto 5’ is a middle-aged former criminal who hit it big, and is now living in luxury in Los Santos.

But upon realising that his money and shallow family is not enough to make him happy, he returns to the life of crime.

This song was the last of three MoS songs about each of the main characters in GTA5, and the video above has a slightly improved newer version of the song than the one on the actual album.

 

2. The Crush

In the wonderful Guillermo del Toro film ‘Pacific Rim’, humanity has to defeat giant monsters called Kaiju, by building and operating giant robot mechs called Jaegers.

The Jaegers have to be controlled by two pilots acting in unison.

This gives the action a dance-like aesthetic, something which works well with this song.

 

1. Forever Blue

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If you liked this music, you can buy the album here!

 

InterRail 2010 – Part 8: Stonehenge

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After arriving in England the first place I intended to visit was Salisbury in Wiltshire, to see the prehistoric monument located just outside the town.

 

Before taking the trip out to Stonehenge itself, I decided to take a look around Salisbury, and found their lovely cathedral.

 

Stonehenge was far enough away from Salisbury that there were shuttle buses going back and forth from there.

It was sort of a shock to me to see just how close Stonehenge is located to a fairly well-trafficked road, but it was far enough away for me to practically ignore it.

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When I and my fellow passengers stepped of the bus, we were greeted by a gaggle of wiccans, druids and pagans handing out pamphlets and picketing the tourism industry around Stonehenge.

The security and ticket takers seemed very annoyed by this.

 

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Once I got behind the fence, everything calmed down a bit.

But I did sort of see the point that the protesters were making, in that it seems wrong to me that Stonehenge is located behind a bunch of fences, and not free to be explored.

But if that were the case, I bet that the structure would have long since been divided up in thousands of souvenir pieces, scattered all over the world.

 

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Stonehenge, and other structures like it, has always fascinated me.

There is something about a lone man-made structure located in the middle of a beautiful natural environment that really speaks to me on a personal level.

So much so that I keep having the urge to create when I am out in nature.

 

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After I was done looking at the monument, I headed back to Salisbury with the shuttle bus.

And from there I hopped on a train to Cardiff, Wales!