The weather didn't improve on the drive towards the capital. As the bay in Cardiff faced east, we presumed it would be a bit more sheltered than Aberystwyth. We were sorely mistaken. The gale force winds were just as treacherous, limiting our sightseeing plans. All we managed was a power walk around the modern buildings along the water. Again our umbrellas were worthless, resulting in yet another drenching. Unsurprisingly, there were few people around.
Escaping the bay we headed to the centre of the city and entered the National Museum, where the wind couldn't reach us. On the first floor was the History Museum, which we quickly breezed through without taking anything in. The art was located on the top floor, and was therefore where we spent most of our time. Each room was organised into a time period or movement, a sensible, straightforward approach that more museums should embrace. There was a great deal of British art, but happily for us there were also many high quality French Impressionist paintings too. I was astonished that a Welsh museum would have so many famous French pieces. Even the contemporary art was worth more than a cursory glance. On the whole it was probably one of the best collections we had seen.
Danny wanted a break from cooking (I must be a tough slave driver, making him cook every night on his holiday) so we found a modern, stylish cafe nearby. Both the wine and the food were cheap and excellent, and we were extremely full afterwards. While we were eating, we heard on the news that winds in Scotland had reached over 200 km/h, overturning trucks and tearing out power lines. We are incredibly glad to have finished our Scotland leg.
Waking up today I couldn't believe we were still in the UK: blue skies and sun, with no wind, rail or hail. I guess it’s not just Melbourne that has fickle weather patterns.
We spent the day walking around the centre of Cardiff, which didn’t take too long. There were loads of arcades that were supposed to be a highlight, but they all looked fairly similar after a while. We stumbled upon an indoor food market, which of course Danny loved. In fact, he loved it so much that he decided to stay there while I strolled over to Cardiff Castle.
The Castle didn’t contain a whole lot inside. The imposing outer walls surrounded an almost empty manicured lawn. I achieved a quick exploration of the small Keep, the Museum and the Castle Apartments, seasonally decorated with Christmas trees, lights and presents. Once I had finished the festive tour, I returned to pick up Danny (reluctantly - he really loved the market) and we drove back into England.