Into the West…

Last Sunday I went to Bristol with a few TaeKwonDo people for the National Squad Training. It was such an intense session! 5,5 hours of workout, my muscles only stopped hurting on Thursday! I really enjoyed it though. To me the training itself lacked some individual instructions and focused too much on scouting. I didn’t get any feedback at all, so I didn’t really improve my technique – which of course should be the result of a workshop. Afterwards we went to Za Za Bazaar ( for dinner, which is an awesome restaurant. You pay 13 pound for all you can eat, and boy, they have everything you WANT to eat! Indian, Chinese, Japanese, American, British (well…),Mexican and soooo much dessert!!! Everything I burned during the session I probably put back on during this dinner, but it was very good! And Bristol seems like a very nice place! I think I’ll go back there for another visit. Here are some impressions from that trip:

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The rest of the week I felt a bit homesick to be honest. I just missed the comfort of an established circle of friends. I know I have to give it time. I guess it was also because i didn’t do too much in those says. I went to Turl Street Kitchen to write, but it was so packed I didn’t get anything done; I met Morgan twice for lunch and had soup; went to Glee club and to jazz night afterwards; had some home cooked red curry thai chicken with some neighbors. On Wednesday and Thursday I actually got some writing done and the seminars were pretty good too, though I’m not very fond of Heart of Darkness, which was the book we had to read for the narrative seminar. The TKD training afterwards was insane! I feel confident that it will improve my physical condition and technique a lot. The last two sessions were also focussed on training your mind, which to me is very important – especially with the Imperial College London Open only 4 weeks away…

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Jazz Night and warm-up.

Yesterday I went to Cardiff. My neighbor and a friend went there for the rugby world cup, so I tagged along (not for the rugby, just sightseeing). We were supposed to leave at 8:30 and ended up leaving at 12ish. Well… british time management I suppose. Granted, the driver’s front window was smashed the night before so they had to organize a rental car, which took some time.

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The Severn Bridge – between England and Wales. 

We finally arrived in Cardiff at 3pm. I went straight to the Cardiff castle and had a look around. It’s really beautiful.

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Real wartime tunnels which were last used as air raid shelters in the Second World War…
I guess our kitchen isn’t too bad in comparison

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Norman Keep
(They built the stairs very steep to prevent enemies from easily accessing the Keep.)

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The Castle apartments. 

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View from the top of Norman Keep.
(In the second picture you can see the Millennium Stadium, where the World Cup took place.)

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Inside the Castle apartments. Wouldn’t mind a fireplace like that… 

I also went to see the National Museum and the Town Hall.

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Of course I had to take a look at the Animal Wall. In the 1930s those 15 animals were the stars of a cartoon strip by Dorothy Howard Rowlands. Cardiff’s children believed that the animals became alive at night. I didn’t go back there when it was dark, because I want it to remain a mystery…  

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I walked through the Castle Arcade, St. Mary’s Street, past the St. John the Baptist City Parish Church and then walked all the way down to the Cardiff Bay Area.

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On my way to the Bay area… Really? MYA? “Make Yourself Amazing.” Very brave name choice

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Castle Arcade, St. John the Baptist City Parish Church.

The Bay Area is absolutely gorgeous. Unfortunately by then all the buildings and exhibitions were closed, so I just walked around in the bay. Pierhead, Mermaid Quay, Millennium Centre, Norwegian Church, Senedd, …

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As you can see, it was very windy… The red brick building is the Pierhead building, right next to it is the Wales Millennium Centre. The part with all the restaurants is the Mermaid Quay. 

I had dinner by myself of course, which must have given the waitresses some kind of feeling that they had to be very nice to me. They kept coming back, asking me about my day, where I’m from, what I was doing in Cardiff…

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Then I waited to see some different shades of the letters on the Millennium Centre. On its front there are two poetic lines inscribed, written by Welsh poet Gwyneth Lewis. “Creu Gwir fel gwydr o ffwranais awen”. For the few of you who don’t speak Welsh, here’s the translation: “Creating truth like glass from the furnace of inspiration”. The English line is “In These Stones Horizons Sing”. The lettering is formed by windows in the upstairs bar areas.



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That was the end of my tour. Waiting for the bus was horrible, because it didn’t come and it was so bloody windy and cold! When I finally got to the Central station it started to rain. One of the train guards sent me to the wrong platform so I had to sprint to the right one and got there just when the doors had closed. But the train guard there opened them again for me. I was so grateful! And I didn’t even have to buy a ticket, so I got the whole ride for free! Yay!

All in all, Cardiff is a beautiful city and my first trip to Wales was very nice. Both my trips to “the west” were very nice and I will be back…



8 thoughts on “Into the West…

  1. You Were in cardiff and didn’t tell Me about it!? And you weren’t at the who exhibition and you weren’t at the torchwood hub entrance!?! You clearly shouldn’t visit places like this without me 😛

    • I know, but I thought of you many times. And I didn’t go there, because we will go there together one day!!!! I watched a Who episode on the trainride back, cause it was free TV on board! 😀

  2. Windy Leo exploring the world 😉
    Cardiff seems to be a nice place, and the day I´m going to visit GB I´ll take you with me, and you only do have one job, entertaining me =)

  3. Cardiff looks beautiful, great pics Leo! Kendal will be so jealous of you buffet as she is craving buffet at the moment and it was all booked out in 4 places on the day she wanted it! Good luck for your tkd tournament, you are right about the mind being an important aspect of training..make sure you visualise before the big day!

    • I bet there are lots of places with a buffet in Adelaide?! Why can’t she find one? :O
      Thank you, any more tips how you prepared yourself before a competition? 🙂

      • It’s Kendal Bad Luck!

        I tended to read a lot of quotes, watch previous fights or fights of the Olympic or world championships, just to keep my mind on the task! But keep your life balanced!

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