It feels strange to be flashing back now to the trip we took back in June (especially since Megan has been back in school for two weeks now!)... but our summer was extraordinarily short (and busy) this year. And I've yet to share the most interesting things we saw in the UK!
I'm going to do the best I can to wrap that up as soon as possible. But for now, I'll just leave you with some photos I took while exploring the Coastal Path at the Cardiff Bay Barrage, which opened in 2008 -- which means it was new to ME.
In recent years, Cardiff has become something of a media center, as more television programming is originating from BBC Wales. The scene above will be familiar to anyone who watched Doctor Who's adult-oriented spinoff, Torchwood. Officially, the building on the left is Wales Millennium Centre, an arts complex whose bold architectural form makes it Cardiff's version of L.A.'s Disney Hall. I was not surprised to learn that the natives have nicknamed it the Armadillo.
In Torchwood, this building sits above "The Hub," the secret headquarters of the Welsh unit tasked with investigating extraterrestrial technology (and the aliens who bring them).
In the background, to the right of Millennium Centre is the Pierhead Building.
This restored Victorian beauty is now a visitors center and events venue - but it was originally the headquarters of the company that handled transport of Welsh coal. This building is special to our family, as my husband's grandfather worked there.
The Merchant Seafarers' War Memorial is a gorgeous sculpture by artist Brian Fell. It commemorates contributions of those merchant seamen who were lost at sea during World War II. I lam so not artsy... but I can't help but love the elegance of this piece and the artist's concept, constructing a sad face that also resembles the hull of a ship.
I get this one... which is something I cannot say about most modern pieces of art.
One of the purposes of this trip was to fulfill my late father-in-law's wishes that his ashes be scattered in Cardiff Bay. My husband, mother-in-law and brother-in-law rented a small boat and did just that, getting quite close to these islands. In the summer, there are cruises out to Flatholm, which is only a 45-minute boat ride. This is something we may do on our next summer visit.
We hit the coastal path in the late afternoon, after we had already been doing quite a bit of walking in Cardiff City Centre. We could have walked all the way to Penarth, but aching feet caused us to turn back. This is the view of the Bay development from the path.