Sunday, August 21, 2011

There's a Party at Cardiff Castle

The Keep at Cardiff Castle.

Cardiff Castle
Cardiff.  One of those places you've always heard about, but never dreamed of being there.  If the opportunity presents itself, go.  Cardiff is amazing.  The town doesn't feel like a big city, but a village.  The castle is very well preserved, including the Keep.  And, if you go in the summer, there just may be a party going on.
Stairs up into the tower of the Keep.

Ornate ceiling in the library of the Castle.  The entire room was in this style.

The castle is an odd mixture of old and some of the past owners idea of what a castle should look like.  The grounds are surrounded by ancient rock walls, remains of walls so one can see how the original layout was, as well as Roman walls from when it was first used 2000 years ago.

A Trebouche which really worked!

Knights charging up the hill!

Fearsome warriors ready to take on the English!  ( Remember this is Wales!)
This weekend there was an encampment.  You could sign up to learn to sword fight or use a bow and arrow.
Watch a team of 6 fire a trebouche'.  Talk to the people in the encampment, who are actually reinactors, to learn more about the weapons, food, clothing and daily lives of the people of the time.
The encampment on the Castle Green.

This couple had baby dragons, one gold and the other red.  They were very friendly little dragons, who enjoyed having their bellies rubbed. 
Every party needs food.  This man roasted a pig for all of us to eat.  It was delicious.

The castle maintains several birds of prey, who are trained to keep the pigeons away, by whatever means necessary.  This day, they also did a demonstration of their flying skills for us.  Most of the birds were not native to the UK, one was from Africa and they had 3 Harris's Hawks, like the ones that nested in our tree in Tucson.

Here comes the Hector the Hawk on a fly over.
They could hear his wings beating as he came over them.

Cardiff is the capital of Wales.  All the signs are in two languages, English and Welsh.  (This is practice for going to the next house sit, which is on the border of Wales.)  The castle is in the middle of town, near to the new Millinium Stadium, for you Rugby fans.  It appears that Rugby is the main sport of Wales, not Football (soccer).  The street across from the castle is pedestrian only.  The buildings are old, with newer details.
Pedestian stree across from the Castle.
 As we entered the castle, several men in period dress were standing on the bridge.  They all nodded a greeting, then one said, with a big grin, "I've always wondered what he did the other 364 days of the year."  I think he will be on the Good List.

We first met this man on the bridge into the castle.

The Red Dragon, the symbol of Wales, the Land of Dragons.

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