After leaving the Doctor Who Experience and heading out towards the bay, I found signs that direct you along the Cardiff Bay Trail. The trail, approximately five miles in length, makes a loop around the entirety of the bay from Mermaid Quay to Pernath and back. It’s also only a portion of a much longer 890 mile coastal trail from northern to southern Wales and marked with Welsh dragons to guide those bold enough to challenge it.
I stopped for lunch just outside of Pernath in what appeared to be a chain-type of restaurant that was very reminiscent of a TGI Fridays. I’ve also noticed that every pub in Wales seems to have you note your table number, and order at the bar. It seems to be a much more efficient way of doing things too. I had Chicken Tikka with chips, and found that it is something that desperately needs to come over to the states. I’d eat it over fish and chips any day.
The best part of the walk was near the barrage (where they let ships from inside the bay over to the ocean) and back towards Mermaid Quay. It follows along the ocean and the bay on a narrow strip of land, and offers the best views of the whole trail.
Once I returned, I took an “Aquabus” up the river Taff towards the city center.
As much as I enjoy the ocean, Cardiff didn’t really *click* with me until I started walking the Taff trail from from the castle grounds after disembarking from the Aquabus.
The trail follows along the river through Bute Park and the Blackweir woods, and continues all the way up to Castell Coch and beyond if you can stick with it. Full of a wide variety of birds and small animals, the trail is both peaceful and teeming with activity. Between the bay trail and the Taff trail, the latter was easily the better of the two.
I stopped at the Secret Garden cafe in the park to eat a Welsh cheese sandwich (which was very much like a sharp cheddar and quite tasty) before heading back home along the fitness trail. As it’s been a little tricky to find ways to exercise while traveling, I made a point to complete the course as I went back. I must have made quite the impression too, dressed in a button-up shirt and vest while trying to determine how best to contort myself on the bars. Totally worth it though, and I felt great as I headed back to the hostel to rest up before heading to York.