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Today we went to the Cardiff Castle as our optional activity which was pretty awesome. We got there just a little past 10am after checking out of our hostel; the Nomad backpackers hostel if I remember correctly. The castle itself or the shell of it isn’t really visible from the outside so we didn’t really realize that it was a lot more interesting than the outer walls led us to believe.

Cardiff Castle is the largest moat and bailey castle in Wales, with 100 stairs to climb to get to the top. The castle was founded by William conqueror possibly built on site of ruined Roman fort as the older wall portions give hint to. The Keep was an observation post as well as an wartime early detection post. One fact that I was curious about was the moat–turns out it’s 6 meters deep! Another fun fact which I didn’t realize until we got to the castle was that it has and air raid shelter in it’s walls. It was a welcome relief from the heat of the main building where we watched a cool intro video.

The current castle ruins are called a shell keep but it at one point had small wooden buildings inside the shell walls. The shape looks round, but it’s actually 12 sided. The duke of Normandy (oldest son of William the conqueror) was held prisoner here when it was still the wooden keep and died at age 80 after being held for 8 years. Pretty interesting stuff if you ask me! There was so much more that we learned at the castle but I can’t do it all justice here unfortunately!

After the castle I meandered for a little bit, got some food, or actually a treat. I ended up in what I think was a Peruvian bakery and I got a custard doughnut–it was delicious. It was between that or an almond pastry both of which I’m sure I would have loved! My first stop before that actually was a little souvenir place where I got myself a bracelet to replace the one that I’ve got which will be falling apart shortly and then a little something for a friend. After the snack I went meandering through some arcades and found a cute little shop where I also found a thing for a friend, it was the perfect thing because I’d been looking everywhere to no avail but alas I found it there.

After that it was about time to head to the train station, I along with most of the rest of the group decided to head back early since we wanted to relax after a long weekend full of interesting things. Plus just being back in London able to take a nap or do my assignments due tomorrow a little earlier just sounded a lot more pleasant than rushing at the last minute and getting back around 7:30pm. Until tomorrow!

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