Cardiff Armed Forces Day 2010

HMS Kent in the Roath Basin

This weekend Cardiff Bay is buzzing with visitors to the Cardiff Armed Forces Day with a large number of activities planned for the day on Saturday 26th June 2010.

The day is focused around the Roald Dahl basin and the area in front of the Senedd in the Bay.

There will be various displays, shows and static stands.

HMS Kent is also moored in the Roath Basin alongside the Atradius building and it will be possible to have tours around this Type 23 frigate.

Well worth a visit. read more

Railings on the Taff

Stuart Herbert’s Photo Diary

Railings on the Taff

Railings on the Taff – © Stuart Herbert

I recently discovered Stuart Herbert’s Photo Diary.

Stuart is an excellent amateur photographer who concentrates on landscapes and Post-Industrial South Wales.

He’s currently documenting the Merthyr Road – the legacy of the industrialisation of the South Wales Valleys from Merthyr Tydfil to Cardiff Docks.

Stuart is great at capturing the essence of the industrial South Wales valleys and his photos are well worth a look.

You can find Stuart’s photo diary here – http://blog.stuartherbert.com/photography/ and more of his photos on Flickr here – http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuartherbert/

St. Augustine’s Church, Penarth

We visited St Augustine’s Church in Penarth last week.  The church is set high up on the headland between Cardiff Bay and the Bristol Channel.  Its prominent position means that it’s clearly visible for miles around.

I see the church almost every day but have never visited it before.  It has stunning views back across the Bay towards the Pierhead building, Mermaid Quay and the city centre, and then on to the hills and mountains north of Cardiff.

The church is pretty impressive, though the graveyard needs a bit of love and attention.
read more

Cardiff Bay Barrage Art Illusion

A walk across the Cardiff Bay Barrage is a great way to spend a few hours in Cardiff. If you’re in a car then access the barrage from the Penarth end where there’s a large carpark.  If you’re on foot then either walk from the Cardiff Bay visitor centre near the Norwegian Church, or catch a boat across the Bay from Mermaid Quay near the National Assembly Senedd building.

There’s lots to see, there are 3 boat locks between the Bay and the sea that operate every 30 minutes.  From the sea-ward side of the barrage there’s a great view in clear conditions across to Penarth pier, Flat Holm and Steep Holm and the English coast across the Severn. read more

Cardiff International Whitewater Centre, Cardiff Bay

We visited the new Cardiff International Whitewater Centre in Cardiff Bay yesterday.  This is part of the Sports village that is being developed on the west side of the Bay.  Nearby is the Cardiff Arena Ice Rink and the Cardiff International swimming pool.

The pumped river is about 250m long.  It looks lots of fun, you can either try the kayaks or go white water rafting as a group.  Each white water raft has a “captain” on board who ensures that everyone is safe.  It’s not cheap, between £250 and £300 for 6 people but you’re on the water for about 2 hours which is about as long as most people can last for!  It’s pretty tiring!! read more

Nice view of Cardiff Bay

Cardiff Bay

Cardiff Bay

We had a nice walk around Cardiff Bay last weekend just as the sun was setting.  The light was really nice though it was a bit cold for me!

You can see the Pierhead Building to the left, the Senedd next to it and the Atradius building with the sloping roof to the right.

It’s well worth a walk around the Bay and now that the pathway across the Barrage is open you can now walk all the way across to Penarth.

Be warned though that the path gates are closed at 8pm so make sure you are back before then.

Click on the picture for a larger version.

WRC Rally of Great Britain hits Cardiff Bay

Sébastien Loeb's Citroen Rally carThe WRC Rally of Great Britain hits Cardiff again this weekend.  The focal point in the City has moved from Cathays Park in the centre down to the Oval Basin in Cardiff Bay.

The service park will be located in the Bay with a spectators village in the Oval Basin (Roald Dahl Plass).

The Bay is currently a hive of activity as tents, cars and stalls are being set up.

The picture shows Sébastien Loeb’s car outside the Citroen stand this afternoon. Click on the photo for a closer view.

Cardiff Bay Wetlands Reserve

St David's Hotel, Cardiff Bay from across the Cardiff Bay Wetlands ReserveThe Cardiff Bay Wetlands Reserve is an area of piece and quiet right in the middle of Cardiff Bay.   It was formed from the salt marshes and mud flats on the edge of the Bay in front of Windsor Esplanade after the bay was permanently flooded.

There was some concern that when the Cardiff Bay barrage was built that the wildlife would all leave but the Wetlands Reserve has proved to be a popular area.

Although totally man-made it has become a haven for birds in the Bay.

It also provides a quiet place to walk or cycle just away from the hustle and bustle of the Bay. read more

New Cardiff Bay Restaurants Website

Cardiff Bay Restaurants websiteI’ve been busy setting up my new Cardiff Bay Restaurants websitehttp://www.cardiff-bay-restaurants.uk/.

It’s still a work in progress, as all websites are, but it’s well under way.  There’s a lot of interest on where to eat in Cardiff Bay and it was clear that a specific site was needed. There are lots of sites listing Cardiff Bay restaurants, but it’s obvious that not many (if any) are based on up-to-date personal experience.

I work in the Bay and eat out quite a bit so a personal view of the best restaurants is quite easy to do.

Hope you find my new site useful.

Strange goings on in Cardiff Bay on Google Street View

Google Street View Cardiff Bay GhostSo some strange goings on in Cardiff Bay as revealed by Google Street View.  Street View has provoked some controversy and some interesting comments over privacy issues but at the end of the day it doesn’t actually show anything that isn’t publicly available to someone walking down the street on the day that the photos were taken.

However, it has shown up some really bizarre things going on in the streets, even in our own Cardiff Bay.  The Street View snapshot above shows what appears to be a ghost in Cardiff Bay!!

Some people seem to think that it’s related to the wormhole situated in Cardiff Bay shown in Torchwood.  I think it’s more likely somebody advertising the forthcoming Mary Poppins show in the Cardiff Bay Millennium Centre 🙂

Click on the photo for a bigger version or click here for a better view. read more

Cardiff Bay Sunset with Jupiter and Venus

After several days of grey and gloom there was an amazing sunset in Cardiff Bay tonight – a gradual change from blue to black in the sky colour, but most amazing of all was that two planets were easily visible.

In the photo you can see Venus to the lower right (almost in the centre of the frame) and Jupiter above and to the left.  Venus is currently about 1.09AU (astronomical units) away – that’s about 101,321,918 miles!  Jupiter is about 5.66AU away – that’s about 526,130,324 miles!!

Click on the photo for a bigger view. read more

Cardiff Bay Sunset

The light was pretty amazing in Cardiff Bay today especially at sunset.  I wandered out in front of the Senydd and took a few shots of the sky and the setting sun.

The clouds had some pretty amazing shapes and the St David’s Hotel and the surrounding apartment blocks looked great in silhouette. read more

Welsh Medal Winners Welcome Home

Photo of Sean Nicole Cooke's cousin copyright Paul Thomas 2008Today was a great day for Wales in Cardiff Bay – the return of the Wales Olympic gold medal winners Nicole Cooke, Tom James and Geraint Thomas and silver medal winner David Davies.

I must admit that I have a bit of a soft spot for Nicole Cooke since she comes from close to where I live.  She’s from Wick in the Vale of Glamorgan.  The welcoming crowd in Cardiff Bay today seemed to agree – the biggest cheer was saved for Nicole though the organisers had arranged for her to be presented to the crowd last of all.

The photo at the top is of Nicole’s cousin Sean who came down to Cardiff to welcome her. read more

Signor Valentino’s Restaurant, Cardiff Bay

We had a great meal in Cardiff Bay last night in Signor Valentino. The restaurant is a very good Italian with great food and good Italian service from what appear to be native Italians. Though some of my colleagues had suspicions that some of the waiters originated from Splott 🙂

We were lucky to have an excellent evening with a clear, sunny view over the Bay. The restaurant had their big doors open and some of the tables were located out on the veranda. Even on our large table inside we had a great view of the Bay across to Penarth. You couldn’t fault it. One of my friends suggested that it reminded him of being in Monterey. Impressive!

Thoroughly recommended. Make sure you book – tel. no. 029 2048 2007