I’m all about making the most of my weekends at the moment. You kinda have to if you want to do this travel blogging lark and only have 22 days annual leave to play with. Yeah I know, poor me and my limited holiday, I need to get some real problems. Soz, I’ll stop being a dick.
Anyway, last weekend I attended Traverse, a conference for travel bloggers of the UK to connect and learn more about the blogging world. And it was in sunny Cardiff! My very first trip to Wales, would you believe it. So I headed off after work with my blogger pal Sophie, off of Sophie’s Suitcase, on the 3 hour drive across the country.
YHA Cardiff Central
I chose YHA Cardiff Central as my hostel of choice on my Cardiff visit. Firstly because it’s a YHA and I’m always a fan of their hostels, they’re just easy, and secondly because it’s got a pretty good rap online having been recently renovated. And after a long drive, it was everything I needed with a big double bed, a pristine bathroom and very cheap wine at the hostel bar. All the best things.
The YHA also did good food at a total bargain. I got breakfast both mornings, which included a full English breakfast and unlimited tea and coffee (which was much needed after a Saturday night in Cardiff). I also had a veggie lasagne for dinner one night – top notch, bro.
The only negative I had there was that being so central located in a city known for great nightlife, there were a lot of lads on tour and hen nights in the building. Read: loud wankers in the hallways at 4am on a Saturday night. But to be fair, I think that’s pretty expected when you’re so central in a city. The plus point is that everyone in the morning is more hungover than you and you feel like a million bucks.
Traverse was my very first travel blogging conference, despite running this blog for over 4 years, and it was so much fun! I met a load of cool travel bloggers and learnt so much. There was a panel with Hannah Witton and Laura Bubble all about being a YouTuber, a talk from Monica off of The Travel Hack about being a full time blogger (aka the dream) and a sick session with Greg off of Travizeo about the art of travel filming. I’m officially inspired to do more with video so watch this space.
In classic-Kara fashion I also used my brief visit to Cardiff to sample the local cuisine and adored the sugary Welsh cakes and the yummy Welsh rarebit mini Yorkshire puddings! Nice one, Wales. You guys know how to live.
This all went down on the Saturday, blogging and treats, a YHA lasagne and a night out at Revolutions (obvs). But I had the Sunday free to explore the city and I chose to check out Cardiff Castle. And damn is it pretty.
I was 5 minutes late for the guided tour (because I was trying to get the perfect photo of a Welsh flag on the High Street to no avail) so I just wandered about with an audio tour. I admit, I’m not very good at those. I get impatient. So I saw the castle in the complete wrong order and got bits of information in snippets and walked away not really knowing a whole lot. Other than you shouldn’t climb the steep steps of the motte in a tulle skirt with strong winds.
But the grounds are beautiful and inside is really ornate, I liked it. The only thing I didn’t like was the dark war bunkers with sounds of explosions. Hands up, I was scared. I’ll stick to the open spaces, thanks.
After touring Cardiff castle, I did a spot of vintage shopping before heading home. Hobos Vintage Clothing is a total winner.
Overall a fun-filled weekend and a great taster of what Wales has to offer. Although I still have so much more to see. Definitely hoping to see more of this awesome country at some point this year!
Have you been to Cardiff? What did you think? Sick castle? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @HeelsInBackpack!