Cardiff: The Orgasming of the Fanboy (Part 1)

This is an old story that took place about eighteen months ago when i went to Cardiff. If i really think hard then i can still remember most of it although some details might be a little sketchy. Though whilst the weather is like it is i can’t really do anything new but once it improves i’ll be off somewhere… most likely Chester at the moment… or maybe back to Liverpool to see some other stuff… But anyway this is about Cardiff…

Getting the train from Bangor Railway station at six in the morning was always good. The train would head out east, racing towards the rising sun and greeting the new day like an old friend. It was quiet as well. There were no screaming kids or stupid women talking loudly on their phones and i could just plug my iPod into my ears and sail all the way down south…

And then an hour and a half later you get to Chester and the train fills with business workers and the likes. Luckily i already had a seat and most of them only went as far as Wrexham anyway. I liked that train journey overall. It was nice just to watch the rolling fields go by and to gaze over to the hills of Shropshire and Wenlock edge as they passed by and as the day wore on the fields became flatter and the sun hotter and higher.

It took four hours to get to Cardiff. There used to be a line that ran most of the way down the coast and if they hadn’t closed most of it they might have bothered to connect it all up by now and had a circular route around Wales… One train going in each direction at a time. It would be easier and not only would it save a lot of money it might bring some in as well. It would definately be quicker to go down the coast but the Railway line doesn’t exist anymore and so you have to go through England to get to south Wales.

And it would also avoid the scariest place i have ever seen… NEWPORT… Seriosuly… the place looked like hell. It was all black and expansive and monster like… it was like… it was like… Worton??? Worton… WORTON!!! (OMG… I’ve just had the best idea ever!)

Anyway… after four hours of hurtling through ENGLAND! on a train i eventually got off at my final destination… Cardiff…

Cardiff station is not spectacular by any means and when you get out of the place you could possibly be anywhere in the world. I didn’t think this at the time though… my only thought was CARDIFF… CARDIFF… FUCKIN’ CARDIFF BABY!

Now… i’m outisde Cardiff Station, I’m staring up at the Milenium Stadium… And there’s one place that every self respecting Dr Who Fanboy obsessive must make pilgrimage to whilst in Cardiff… Torchwood! Or technically speaking, Cardiff bay… which is where Torchwood is and the centre of the rift and everything. I’d already worked out the route by looking on the internet and as it was only a fifteen minute walk from the station i go for it… I decide to head towards the rift, the hub and Fanboy central.

The first place i recall coming across is some sort of square slap bang in the middle of a major junction. It confused the hell out of me because i didn’t remember it from the map and it looked like nothing totally special… although i did get this picture of the only interesting thing around on my phone:

Appologies for the quality

That was the only interesting feature about this statue… although on Google Street view there are some chavs hiding behind it. It was shortly after this point that i noticed something really odd about Cardiff. I was walking down towards the bay when i suddenly realized the place was deserted. Truly, it was like a ghost town. No car or people passed at all. For a capital city it felt really, really weird seeing nothing about at a lunchtime. On the way down to the bay i passed by a small newsagents on a corner and i was really tempted to go in and ask where everyone was… but i didn’t as i kind of liked the place. I didn’t want to see anyone else.

But after ten minutes of walking alone down an empty duel carriageway i finally hit Fanboy central… Cardiff Bay! And the first thing i saw was the massive watertower now so famous from Torchwood. I had to stand on the spot.. i just had to… and i also had to take a photo of myself standing in front of it… but you aren’t seeing that so here instead is a moody shot i took standing next to it:

So yes… i was standing in Cardiff Bay right above the Torchwood hub and standing in a place that i had seen many many times on televison… The fanboy in me was practically having an orgasm… unfortunately by this point other people were starting to turn up which kind of ruined the whole ilusion of being alone in this fantastic city. (The YANA factor perhaps?) It was MINE… MINE! But this feeling soon passed as the fanboy was now going apeshit and running around photographing practically everything in sight…

Which Includes Ivor Novello

Now right next to this place you have the Welsh Assembly building. Having lived in Wales i really disagree with the treatment they get from some of the English and there are parts of Wales, particularly in the middle and the north, that are just forgotten. Like the Trainline… nobody has updated the Welsh rail service for years… Arriva Trains Wales are still using carriages that went out of fashion twenty years ago. I’d love to see Wales get more powers and become big and strong like it deserves to be so seeing this building was a must for me as well. I was surprised by how small it actually is. I mean literally it is tiny. The front is probably the size of two average semi detatched houses combine and the sides about twice that. I’m not one for modern architecture but i like this building. I do. I didn’t go in because i thought i wasn’t allowed and you needed special permisson. There were policeman hanging around as well.

So after wandering up to a little norweigian church they have i decided it was time for a spot of lunch. Looking around i contemplated a few places but decided to go for a simple subway sandwich instead… the healthy option. They’ve transformed have of the area into a great selection of bars and cafes and i think they should do this in more places. (Take note: BANGOR!) Now the problem i have is that i went into Subway and i can’t remember what i asked for but instead the foreign person behind the counter didn’t understand me and i ended up with a meatball marinara… i didn’t complain. A sandwhich is a sandwich in my book and it did. I won’t ever be having a meatball marinara again though as the meatballs were sloppy and one of them fell out as i sat on the dock of the bay, watching the tide come rolling in… and a bloody seagul ate it. Filthy seagull. I hope it got eaten… by a Pterodactyl!

Speaking of Torchwood i decided to try and find the fabled entrance and the information kiosk which acts as a front. It wasn’t there. IT WASN’T THERE… But there was something there… something strange… there was a shrine… an actual shrine… It was for Ianto Jones. And yes… i know he’s a fictional character and all but it still impressed that this thing even exists. Six or seven years ago something like this would have been ridiculed. That was when we fanboys had to lock ourselves away and pretend we were normal (HA Ha… who’s laughing now douchebags?) My camera had run out of bateries by this point so i had to make do with taking a crap picture on my phone:

Appologies again for the quality

This shows what power Dr Who and it’s sisters now hold. It’s true what William Hartnell once said… It will go on and on and on and on… even when it died on TV (Because they put it midweek against Coronation Street in what was effectively a killing field just when it was getting good again!) It lived on in books and audio. Since it’s inception, Dr Who has never died… and now it holds this power I doubt it ever will. Star Trek on the other hand… ha ha…

Coming in part 2: I get even geekier (As if i could…) Get lost in John Lewis, see the sights and finally do what i went to Cardiff to do in the first place…

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