Friday, October 29, 2010
Last week Steve and spent mostly in Plymouth, UK....but our first day and night was in Cardiff, Wales. I'd been to this pretty city before but didn't get inside the castle walls. So...the reason for the trip was a visit inside. It was very well worth it! We opted not to take the guided tour....which might have been a mistake. This would have allowed us into even more areas...but we know that we like to linger, so we opted for the provided headset explanations. If we had to do it over again, we'd take the tour because we could have then spent as much time as we did in the other areas. Oh well. We did run into one of the very well informed docents who took us into the very private chapel....a place not even on the "guided tour". Before our train ride the next morning we walked to the waterside and we even ducked into a small grocery shop where I had a blast photographing the unique alcoholic beverage labels.
This blog post is otherwise just a series of some of the photos with captions! Enjoy!
The Cardiff Castle complex is completely within a very thick wall, some of which dates to the Roman era. It is entered through the southern gate. There's a 14th c. castle that was totally renovated into a dazzling Neo-Gothic residence in the mid-19th c., a keep, a moat, a trebuchet, and walkways both inside and on top of the wall.
Above: Cardiff Castle and its reflection in the moat.
Above: The tower.
Above: The trebuchet with the keep in the background...photo taken from the wall.
Above: The walkway and steep steps up to.....
...from which we climbed to the highest accessible point. Above: The green interior of the keep as seen from above.
Above: Steve on the steep keep stairs.
Above: A view down one of the walls' interior walkways.
Above: The wall at Cardiff Castle.
Above: Gargoyle metal gutter at Cardiff Castle.
Above and below: Fabulous Moorish designed ceiling. Click on any image to enlarge!
The 19th c. Gothic revival interior is the result of ....from Wikipedia..."its transformation began in 1868 when John Crichton-Stuart, 3rd Marquess of Bute commissioned William Burges to undertake a massive rebuilding which turned the castle into a 19th century fantasy of a medieval palace, with a series of rooms that, perhaps, constitute the highest achievement of later Victorian Gothic Revival design." It was FABULOUS!
Above: Cardiff Castle, Grand Hallway.
Above: Ceiling in the Grand Hallway.
Above: Above the fireplace in the Grand Hallway.
Above: The chapel ceiling.
Above: Cardiff Castle's library.
Above: Two capitals in the chapel....Please note that the architect altered one of them to be a rabbit!
Above and below: Architectural details at Cardiff Castle.
Above: Another elaborate capital....it's carved from stone even though it looked like a bronze figure.
Above: One of the fantastical beasts created by the architect as a wall painting.
Above: A Carrara marble angel in below the private alter in the chapel.
Above: A sculpture including a baby dragon....at the bottom of the stairs....which have an...
,,,,,alligator at the top!
I loved all the ornamentation and detail of the place too....including the stained glass...
....and the brass locks.....and the iron locks too!
So....here's some of the grocery store images....
Above: Mad Frog.....a vodka mix in Wales!
Above and below: Unique beers from Wales!
We sampled a local brew too....at a place called "Y Mochyn Du", which means "The Dirty Pig" in welsh!