Cardiff and The Doctor Who Experience – England and Wales Day 9

After talking with our AirBnB host, Mike, we decided to leave early in the morning to try and avoid the morning rush hour around Manchester. We quietly got up and ready for the day. Mike was already up and walked us out to the car. Since it was early and we wanted to get on the road we waited a bit for breakfast.

Breakfast

We grabbed breakfast at a service station. It was the first time I saw a McDonald’s in the UK. Normally, I’m not a big fan of McDonald’s but the bacon roll sound yummy to me. It came with brown sauce, which has become a staple in our house since our trip. Eric had the breakfast wrap and thought it was good too. I made my usual round through WHSmith and grab a magazine for the drive.

Driving

The drive was a lot like the day before, hills with views of cows and sheep. The farther south we drove, the less hilly it got. The scenery was beautiful though. About halfway through the drive we stopped at a gas station to buy drinks. I asked about the restroom, to my surprise the had two locked doors to get through – only an employee could let you in as they had codes. It was the most secure bathroom I’ve ever seen in my life, and it wasn’t even that clean. What has happened in the UK that so few places have public restrooms and the ones that do are so guarded?

As seen above, the UK has very interesting signs – wind signs, elderly people, and more.

One Good Tip For Traveling in the UK/Europe

Best tip for anyone traveling in the UK/Europe/Major Cities: always use the bathroom when there’s an opportunity. By the time we arrived in Cardiff I really needed to use the restroom. Eric stopped to get gas. I walked into the gas station and they told me they didn’t have public restrooms. I spotted a pet store next door, a lot like a PetSmart or Petco here in the US, they also didn’t have public restrooms. On to the next place…

Lunch

There was KFC across the street and it made my day by actually having a bathroom. Thank goodness that fast food places exist. Since we were already there we decided to eat lunch. KFC isn’t that different between the US and the UK, except they have fries/chips instead of potato wedges.

Doctor Who Experience

We had tickets for 1 pm so we rushed over to the Doctor Who Experience. It was located just down the street from where they film the show. Sadly, since our visit, the Doctor Who Experience has closed. I read that it was previously in London. Hopefully, it opens again soon elsewhere in the UK.

The location was by the water. There was even a cute little tardis outside. Once inside we lined up for the next show. In the waiting area there were costumes, weeping angels, and Daleks to look at. Once it’s time to enter a tour guide appears. Each year the theme of the exhibit changes. Last year, we got to walk through a cemetery with weeping angels (scary!), hang out in a tardis with moving floor (it felt real!), and even more. The Doctor is there, on screen, the entire time. It was a lot of fun and would love to do it again if it comes back. After the show, you enter into the museum, which is massive! All kinds of characters, costumes, and more. Last was the small gift shop. Our friend, Amy, is also a fan of the show. She was watching our pup, Willow, while we were away so we bought a few things from her.

 

Doctor Who

Cardiff

After the Doctor Who Exhibit, we drove to our AirBnB (more on that later) and dropped off our stuff. Then off we went to explore the city. Any fan of Doctor Who will instantly recognize the Millenium Centre. obviouslysily, it had to be our first stop. Once again I bought a few items for my mom as she wanted something from each country I visited. We continued around the city just taking it all in. There wasn’t too much to do that day, but the weather was gorgeous so we just hung out by the water and talked.

I hadn’t had fish and chips yet so I wanted that for dinner. Yelp only found a few places so we walked to those, both were closed, thanks Yelp haha. Almost giving up we found The Dock. It’s located on the water and offers amazing views of the bay. The restaurant has a great atmosphere with a wonderful and fun decor. The food was ok. I enjoy watching the water while we ate dinner. Seagulls were hanging out there too. They were going after leftover food on the balconey and it was pretty fun to watch them.

We strolled around a little bit longer and then headed back to the AirBnb.

AirBnB

Our AirBnB was located in the Riverside area. There’s rows and rows of townhouses with small shops. After parking the car with walked to the the nearby shop to buy drinks. Everyone in the shop was really nice. I love the villiage feel that the UK offers. I could really get used to being about to walk everywhere. Vicky, the host, was home this time so we talked for a bit. She works during the day and her partner is away during the week. They’ve set-it-up so that it’s easy to get in while they’re away, just a coded key box. The house was nice and our host was really lovely. I’d recommed staying there if you’re in the area. Just keep in mine that the bathroom is on a different floor than the bedrooms. In the middle of the night it means walking down stairs and through the living room & kitchen area.

Here’s a link to the AirBnB** we stayed at if you’d like to check it out.

**I love using AirBnB when traveling. Get a discount on your first stay by clicking this referral link (and I’ll get a discount too, thanks!)

Next post – Stonehenge and driving to London

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