I’m a bit of a secret (okay, not so secret) nerd. Or is that meant to be geek? I can never remember, although I have been told the difference enough times. I think I am maybe both. Anyway–I went to Cardiff last Friday, because in those Welsh mountains, nestled amongst the castles and sheep, is the Doctor Who Experience.
Doctor Who scared me as a small child. Cybermen gave me nightmares and I think, but can’t be sure, it was banned in my house because I really suffered from some doozies.
That’s neither here nor there, though. When the good Doctor came back to our screens, I watched. I sat in my living room and watched every episode on Virgin’s Catch-Up service. Ecclestone? Yup – loved him. Tennant? Oh, yes please. Matt Smith? Took a bit of getting used to, but, yep – loved him too. Capaldi? I adore the man.
My daughter loves The Doctor too. With a passion. So, it happened that for her 16th birthday, we could be found posing alongside Cybermen and crouching to pat K-9. My daughter ‘drove’ the TARDIS (and crash landed it); stole a crystal from a Dalek (and woke it up); wandered through a forest of Weeping Angels and, at the end of the day, saved the world. It was great fun, well done and had just the right amount of terror/peril.
The backpacker Hostel we stayed in was pleasant. If you’re on a shoestring budget and want to be in the centre of Cardiff, then I recommend the Nomad…just don’t expect frills–there ain’t none.
All in all, I would go again. Maybe just for one night, though. The prices are inflated, the tourism expensive and the streets haven’t been cleaned since the paving was laid down in Cardiff Central. Seriously, it’s black and has more chewing gum attached to it than Wrigley’s has produced this century. If you’re thinking of a visit, do yourself a favour and go to Cardiff Bay. Get the bus from there to the centre for the castle (if you want to pay £22 to walk up some steep steps, of course), and to go to the huge mall the city centre boasts. Be prepared to spend a serious amount of cash–it’s super expensive.
It’s worth a visit. Just go prepared to be a bit, well, bored. There’s not much to do. The lady at Tourist Information was bored of me by 12 noon on the Saturday (I got there Friday teatime) after already telling me five ‘all day’ excursions. They took an hour, with my 65 year old disabled mother tootling along with her walking stick. Also, as a side note, saying a place is a tourist attraction because The Doctor ran past it, once, isn’t really true. It’s a rather dull shop front, really. They sell more overpriced touristy-gumpf. Save yourself the trip.
Drive down, spend an afternoon at the Bay (hopefully they will have turned the water tower back on – it was off while I was there), then if you fancy a drink in the evening, stay in a Travelodge before heading home the next day. See some Daleks and pose with an angel, then drive back, pleased you’ve been and pleased to be in the best place in the world.