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Posts Tagged ‘Cardiff Castle’

Christmas is nearly here, and I have to say that Cardiff makes a pretty good job of decorating its streets and buildings with lights. Here is the castle, which is right in the centre of the city.



Cardiff Castle

Cardiff Castle



In the Disunited Kingdom, there is a superstition to remove Christmas decorations by “Twelfth night”, which is January the 5th. In the USA, where I lived for 9 years, no such tradition seems to exist which means that people often leave their house decorations up until late January, which I liked as it helps brighten the dark days of December and January.

Here is a gallery of some of Cardiff’s decorations. Enjoy!






What is your favourite tradition at Christmas time?

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A few weeks ago I blogged about the astronomical/astrological figures on the clock tower of Cardiff Castle. Just in front of the castle, on the wall which runs along the Southern end of Bute Park, are some wonderful stone carvings of animals. They were designed by William Burgess, who designed most of the rebuilt Cardiff Castle under the direction of the 3rd Marquess of Bute in the latter part of the 1800s. William Burgess also designed Castell Coch, about which I will blog in the future.

I remember seeing these as a child when we would visit Cardiff, they are opposite the Angel Hotel which used to be where the Welsh rugby players gathered prior to international matches in the 1970s, and where I would hang around trying to get autographs of my rugby heroes.

As a child, because I was so much shorter than them, they really made an impression on me. As they do my children. There are 11 carvings in all, here is a gallery of them. The animals were restored in 2010, the last picture shows the change in one of the animals before and after restoration.


The information panel to the East of where the animal carvings now reside.

The information panel to the East of where the animal carvings now reside.


The information panel just to the East of where the animal carvings now reside.

The information panel just to the East of where the animal carvings now reside.


The original position of the carvings was in front of the Castle. They were moved in 19xx to their present location.

The original position of the carvings was in front of the Castle. They were moved in 1920s to their present location.


One of the carvings before and after restoration.

One of the carvings before and after restoration.


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The Cardiff half marathon on Sunday seemed to be a big success. It was a beautiful sunny day. In fact, a little too warm for my liking; even though the race started at 9am on a mid-October day, by 10am it was feeling quite warm.

As it was a “club championship” race for the Penarth and Dinas running club, there were several of us from the club doing the race. The start and finish were just next to the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay.

The Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay

Even with 15,000 or so people running, I was pleasantly surprised by how little congestion there was in the first few miles. Congratulations to Phil Cook the race course director (of Les Croupiers running club) on this. The course took in the Cardiff Civic Centre, the castle, the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff City stadium and the Leckwith athletics stadium.

Unfortunately I got my pacing completely wrong. I will put it down to not having done a half marathon in some 25 years, but I went off too quickly and paid for it. At just past 2 miles I passed Lisa Cleary and Andrea Hurman of P&D, and caught a brief glimpse of our club’s “super vet” Malcolm Bradley in the distance. Up to 6 miles I was feeling really good, but I should have realised when I passed Lisa and Andrea that I had gone off too fast.

Miles 6 to 8 weren’t too bad, even though I slowed a bit. But from miles 8 to 12 I felt like I was going backwards. My pace dropped badly, and my legs felt like mush. I managed to find something for the last mile and a bit, but annoyingly I missed my target time by 1 minute and 20 seconds.

To add insult to injury, Andrea and Lisa passed me between miles 8 and 9; and I even got beaten by a giraffe.

A giraffe running the Cardiff Half Marathon

At least I now have a target time for next year, so hopefully I will pace myself better. I hope the race organisers keep the course the same, I think it was ideal for such a large field of runners.

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