Cardiff: Cheap Travel & Rugby

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I decided to visit Cardiff - the capital and the political, financial, industrial and sporting centre of Wales.

I had never been to Wales before, but knew a bit of its history and culture, as Welsh and Scottish nationalism was the topic of my Master's thesis. And it really is a bit different to England compared to the commuter's jungle of London where I live.

The weather was hot- enough to wear just a t-shirt. In London, a hoodie or an umbrella always comes handy. First up, I took a public transport bus to the Cardiff Bay (pictured above) to see the sea. An all day ticket was just £3.40. In London, this gets you just one peak-time journey on the Tube.

I know, I should not compare the incomparable, because there are reasons for the differences (maintenance costs, amortisation and replacement of the material abused by millions of travellers a day), but I cannot help it.

My trip continued in Cardiff Bay with the Wales Millennium Centre, Senedd (the Welsh National Assembly) and the Doctor Who Experience.

Rugby in Wales

I took a bus back to the centre of the city and had myself photographed at the Millennium Stadium. The poor tourist needed four attempts to press the correct button. There was a rugby shop nearby and more of them on the High Street. Rugby is the dominant sport in Wales, not football. The importance of this is most stressed during the Six Nations cup.

Millennium Stadium

Rugby is a real masculine sport. Football has been criticised for being too commercialised and the players for having the image of porcelain dolls who would dive and cry out in order to win a penalty. But definitely, rugby players also cheat to claim an advantage. It's human nature. If I followed rugby, I would know it. I am also suspicious that there is rugby commercialism in Wales, but I didn't have time to experience it during my short visit.

Apart from rugby, the Welsh are proud of their nationalism and language. You can buy books on the history of the Welsh Language, or even on the history of the Welsh National Anthem used for rugby. The street signs are bilingual, in Welsh and English.

Erik Redli is a university graduate from Slovakia who is currently living in London. Read more of his posts here.

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