Tag Archives: doctor who experience

Cardiff and the Doctor Who Experience

From Bath, it’s a short train ride to Cardiff, Wales. And from the Cardiff train station, it’s a short walk to Cardiff Castle.

Cardiff Castle is, hands down, the most ornate place I have been ever inside. It’s mind-blowingly beautiful.

Literally every inch of the place is decorated. Look at these ceilings!

And the walls and floors are equally splendid.

Some of the details were so whimsical. Like this fish.

Cute little animals were sculpted in everywhere.

Stained glass, too.

I think you could live in this castle for years and not notice all the details.

The library was beautiful.

They have a small collection of birds of prey, too. I was especially taken with the owls. As I always am.

During WWII, the exterior castle walls was used as bomb shelter. They have a fantastic walkthrough, with it set up just like it was.


and metal bunkbeds.

Plus, they had sound piped in, of bombs falling, and sirens, and period music, and other things. I spent a long time in here, it was so deeply evocative for me.

Afterward, I walked along the Animal Wall. The story goes, that the owner wanted to put in a zoo, but the townsfolk refused to allow it, because of fears of the animals escaping. So he built a wall with stone animals perpetually in the act of escape. Some of them have glass eyes, and they are pretty creepy…in a completely awesome way.

This wall and its animals are definitely making it into the next book series I’m going to write.

Cardiff has several Victorian-era shopping arcades, with lovely little shops under a glass roof. This one, Castle Arcade, was my favorite. Largely because of the button shop. I bought a bunch of cool hobbit-y buttons there.

When I finished shopping, it was time to grab a cab to Cardiff Bay, and the Doctor Who Experience!  After you travel with the Doctor through an interactive experience, you get turned loose in an immense warehouse filled with costumes, props, and sets.  Nothing is behind glass – although they do have the occasional guard to make sure you don’t actually manhandle the treasures.

The TARDIS set was particularly cool, because you could walk around inside it.

There was creepy stuff.

And you always need to remain on your guard…

But I was thisclose to Ten. His suit, anyway. Guys, you don’t know the struggle it was not to reach out and touch…

It was awesome being able to get so close to all the costumes.

I took a billion pictures, including closeups of most of the costumes. You can find them here, if you’re so inclined.

I really liked Cardiff. It’s definitely on my list of places I’d love to visit again.

Tomatoes, Tomatoes, Tomatoes

Normally, with my climate, I struggle with anything other than cherry tomatoes. I just don’t get a hot and long enough summer for larger ones to ripen well.

This year, we’ve had nothing BUT heat. It’s been fantastic for the tomatoes…and the squash, too. I’ve given squash away, and even taken two boxes to the local food bank!

But look at what I picked out of the yard this morning – and this is mostly just larger toms. I still need to pick a ton of cherries!

There was a bunch of Black Krims, which I just finished canning.

I experiented with lots of different kinds this year. There were Yellow Pears.

These will part of my garden every year now. I love them.

Yellow Ruffles:

I love the look of these, but sadly, they were not winners flavor-wise with either my mother or myself, so I will not grow them again.

Garden Peach:

These are very interesting, because the outside skin has a completely different texture. Slightly fuzzy, like peaches! I liked these alot, but the vines are not very productive at all for me, so I doubt I’ll plant them again.

Fox Nose:

This one is interesting because I ordered the seeds from someone in Europe. I think it was Bulgaria? They are very solid tomatoes, and not that flavorful, I don’t think. The vines were also very wimpy and looked half-wilted all the time, even when the other plants were flourishing. I won’t grow this again either…cool as I think it looks.

My favorite larger toms were the Black Krim (I have a fondness for black tomatoes) and my trusty Silvery Fir Tree tomato.

In cherries, all were successful. Yellow Pears, Sweet 100, Sungold, Black Cherry, Currant, and Purple Bumblebee were all winners. Sungold will forever have a place in my yard, as will Currant. They others I’ll probably rotate through in different years.

I haven’t been posting pictures of the garden lately, because, quite frankly, it’s not picture worthy. I’m getting tons of food out of it, but it’s been SO dry and hot that I’ve just been letting most things go. I’ve been watering just enough to keep it alive, but not pretty…especially in the flower parts of the yard. If this new heat/no rain thing continues next summer, I’m going to have to start looking at different ways of maintenance. Ollas, perhaps? Has anyone used these successfully?

This week, I went to the local fair. It’s not much of an event, but I usually find at least one thing that made me glad I went. This year, it was the poults. I have a serious love-on for turkeys!

They are always so personable, interested, and friendly. I want some so badly. One day!

And finally, I updated my previous post (Travel Itinerary) because I made a major change. Instead of daytripping to the Cotswolds from Bath, I decided to go to Cardiff, instead. It was tough to choose between the two, but this trip is a constant struggle of: which thing will I regret the most not seeing? This time, Cardiff won, partly because I know I can see what I want in one day easily enough…while the Cotwolds really need a few days.

One thing I’ve already purchased my ticket for is the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff Bay. You all know I am a massive Doctor Who geek, and when I learned that they had re-done the interactive part to focus on Twelve (my second favorite Doctor ever) instead of Eleven (who I have never liked), I had to go.  Plus, the costume exhibit!

Four weeks and two days to go until I begin my adventure in Iceland!