Caerdydd Castle, or as us non-welsh speakers call it, Cardiff Castle. This place was beautiful!
We spent the night at a great little hotel just down the street from the castle. The Doctor Who experience really took it out of us. So we grabbed dinner at a pub then went back to the hotel and all four of us, Brendan, Tiff, Porter and I piled into our little room with blankets and pillows and played Hearthstone for the rest of the evening. Hearthstone is a game on the iPad and computers sort of like Magic the Gathering, but it's put out by Blizzard (the same company that does World of Warcraft.) This weekend was really the perfect storm of Geekdom, and I LOVED it.
We woke up to a blustery morning in Cardiff. But we were so excited to see this castle we didn't care. We bundled up and ran out the door. Winter in England is cold. Period. Yes, it's warmer than Utah, but the dampness and wind just cuts through to the bone. So we grabbed some warm drinks on the way to help warm us up.
We entered through the castle wall and were met with a classic Keep on a hill in the middle. The original castle was built in the 11th century. It passed hands through the years and most recently was owned by a wealthy family that helped turn Cardiff into a major coal port, before turning the grounds over to the citizens of Cardiff. The family tore down the other medieval buildings but built out the grounds and renovated the house into a lavish Georgian mansion.
The Black Tower
Tiffany and I got put on the naughty list....
The grounds is home to a falconry. They fly the hawks around the premise to keep the pigeons away.
The interior of the house was absolutely breath taking. Every room was so ornate. It was reminiscent of Versailles in France. This was our Christmas picture we sent out to friends and family on Christmas Day. The caption was: The Lord and Lady of House Fair-Williams wish You and yours a Very Merry Christmas. We loved it! And we also wish that we could live in this house.
If you go to Cardiff, be sure to spend some good time at Cardiff Castle.
To round out our Orphan Christmas, I will share a few snap shots:
Christmas Brunch with these lovely people. I made carrot cake pancakes.
Brendan and Tiffany's Christmas present I made them. I love how their dog, Apollo, turned out.
We climbed the White Cliffs of Dover in a hail storm.
We played some great games of Firefly - the board game. Not going to lie, it got intense, especially with the bounty hunter and space piracy expansion. This could have been because my ship got attacked and robbed multiple times. Apparently I need to invest in a faster ship and bigger guns to keep the pirates at bay. But in all honesty, this game is fabulous. If you like the Firefly TV show, you will love the game.
And finally, the inevitable happened.....our friends went home. This was our last night hanging out. It was so much fun having them here with us. I just wanted the holidays to go on forever. But for the sake of my waistline, they can't. Orphan Christmas was a success!
Brendan the Birdman