Lovely day out in Cardiff

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Cardiff Arcades

Our second stop at our Great Britain trip after Leicester was Cardiff. During our life in Leicester about 20 years ago, we have been to lots of lots of places all around Britain, but Wales was not one of those. So it was always in my mind to visit Wales too.

If you asked me what I kept in my mind about Cardiff, arcades of Cardiff would probably be in the first place to remember. A signature of Cardiff, where local, independent small shops and little cafes get along perfectly well in the warm and welcoming atmosphere of the Arcades of Cardiff.

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Cardiff Arcades

However of course there were lots of more to see and do with our son. With our science addict son, science museums are always a must see for us. So of course Techniquest has been our first stop of Hop on Hop off bus. Unlike many other science museums like San Francisco, Warsaw, Munich or Tokyo, this one is rather a small one, just big enough to enjoy some science and leave in about an hour so that you do not spend the half of the day visiting a museum.

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Techniquest

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Techniquest

Techniquest

Techniquest

On a sunny Cardiff day, after a nice hour at Techniquest, you can enjoy a small walk to the Mermaid Quay where the smell of the sea adds joy to your lunch.

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Mermaid Quay

A Britain visit would not be complete without a visit to Gourmet Burger Kitchen. And the one at Mermaid Quay looked just right with open air area with the view of boats and people.

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GBK Menu

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Our father is ordering our long list of orders

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And a happy end

Of course the above picture is not what our son ate. As you may have guessed he finished the hamburger, before I could even take a picture. And a Pinor Noir excorted to our people watch activity.

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Cardiff story museum

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Cardiff Story Museum

From the Mermaid Quay, we take our Hop and Hop off bus back to city center to visit the Arcades and streets of Cardiff. Indoor market and Cardiff Story Museum are some landmarks to visit.

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Indoor market of Cardiff

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Flowers at Cardiff indoor market

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And a must eat in Cardiff

The Welsh Cakes taste as good as they look and they perfectly match the joy of exploring the streets and arcades of Cardiff.

Next: Some restaurants we tried in Cardiff

Balance sheet of 2014

Happy new year

Happy new year

Hello dear followers and I wish you a wonderful 2015 with lots of joy and travels.

Remember what I have written this time last year. Here I made a long list of plans of my 2014 dream of travels. The list was long and I only could realize only a few of them, while I did manage to organize some other lovely travels.

1. Maldives. No, still a plan

2. Belek/Turkey for golf. Yes, twice:-)

3. Paris in May. No:-(

4. Somewhere in North in June. No. Hopefully this year.

5. UK. Yess. 10 long days.

6. A weekend in one of the Greek islands. Yess. Moreover, it was a weekend without a child:-)

7. Oman for another golf holiday. No:-(

8. Dubai in October. Yes, for Business trip

9. Germany for Christmas. No. Too cold.

Soo, the balance sheet does not look so nice, only 4 out of 9. However, besides these, I went to Iran, Barcelona, Georgia and South Carolina/USA, and Thessaloniki/Greece. Not a bad year, huh?

What about 2015. Here are my wishes for the coming year.

1. Maldives. (This time tickets and hotels are already booked)

2. Golf holiday in Belek/Antalya. (yes again)

3. Road trip in Portugal in April.

4. A long weekend in a nice old town of Germany

5. Finland for WRC in July.

6. Some other Greek Island

7. Shopping break in Milano, October.

8. Dubai for Christmas

I guess it is time to plan the details.

Miyajima Island, Japan

Tori gate at Miyajima island

Torii gate at Miyajima island

Yes, I know. it looks like a copy paste of a travel brochure of Japan. But it would not be a proper blog, if I didn’t put the famous Torii Gate of Itsukushima Shinto Temple here, right?

On the very last day of March this year, we woke up very early-again- packed our luggage to be posted to Kyoto (I will tell you why, later), did our breakfast which did involve more eatable Western things. Here, I want to give you an example of Japan people, how extremely polite. My parents did have a friend who lived about 2 hours drive away from Hiroshima. Since we were on a touristic tour, we did not have much time during the day to enjoy doing whatever we wanted. So what this gentleman did was, he came one day before to the very same hotel where we were, stayed overnight and did breakfast together with my parents. No way, I, or anybody around in our home country, would drive 2 hours, stay in a hotel and return next morning, for just to chat for a couple of hours with some guys, who he met in some course many years ago. It is extremely important for Japan people to give their time, effort or whatever, for the comfort or happiness of other people. This makes them unbelievably polite.

Itsukushima Shinto Temple, photo by Teoman Cimit

Our son at Itsukushima Shinto Temple, photo by Teoman Cimit

After a 50 minutes journey by bus and a ferry trip, we arrived the world famous Miyajima island, a “must visit” of Japan. Among the very many temples we have visited during our trip, by far the most interesting and scenic was this  Itsukushima Shinto Temple. Not only the temple itself, but also the deers wondering around freely, make the island worth to visit.

Deers soo cute

Deers soo cute

A deer resting

A deer resting

And also the Cherry Blossom time. We were lucky to be there at the very right time.

Cherry blossoms

Cherry blossoms

More cherry blossoms

More cherry blossoms

And more cherry blossoms

And more cherry blossoms

And even more cherry blossoms

And even more cherry blossoms

Both the temple and the island itself has many gems to discover for us and our son. Nice traditions to explore and lovely colored trees are very much in harmony with the orange temple.

A fortune telling box

A fortune telling box

For instance an interesting way to combine a tradition and the fortune telling is: you put a money in a box, which gives you a random number, when you shake it. You open the the box with the given number and that’s it. Since you do not understand one word, you try to find someone to tell you what it writes, which is usually the hardest part.

Can anyone read what it says?

Can anyone read what it says?


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DSC02434And another nice tradition of the island is a kind of cookie called Momiji Manju, a puffy tiny cookie, with caramel, chocolate or almond topping inside. Very tasty. The road from temple to the ferry has many nice shops for souvenirs and these cookies.

A bride and groom

A bride and groom

This time of the year is also very popular for weddings. In many of the cities we’ve been we saw bride and groom on these traditional carriages or walking in the gardens of the temples, for photos with cherry blossoms.

Eating Momiji Manju

Eating Momiji Manju

Loved the deers

Loved the deers

 

Ready for another travel

Once more, I am ready to fly. Tonight I will be travelling to Iran. A new country for me. Probably, I will not be writing my adventures about it, as it will be a business trip, so beyond the limits of this blog. Maybe I should start to write another blog for my business trips, well… not now. After our son stops to travel with us.

I will do my best for some Instagram shares, hopefully if I could find some wi fi.

Wish me luck…

Back to normal city life

After a 3 months of on-and-off travelling and living in a summer house, we moved back to city together with the start of schools. A combination of being in a semi-developed country with low profile internet connections in summer resorts and an unfriendly-technology-user mom resulted in being a poor blogger. But I will recover the gap with a full detailed information about our first-time-ever cruise travel, today and in the coming days.

Besides the small travels to here and there (mostly SSS-Sun, Sea and Sand holidays) the main activity of summer has been the Cruise trip with MSC Poesia to Norwegian Fyords. We were a group of 8: Me, the organiser-as always, my husband and our son-as expected, my mom and her husband, my uncle and aunt and my grandfather. So group aged from 9 to 90. Tough isn’t it? Everything went well, as you will see in the coming days, but will I try again? Not every year I must say. Maybe once in 2 years or three. We’ll see.

Whoever goes to a cruise will tell you how nice to be able to see so many places without packing and unpacking your luggage. But I am now aware of so many “but” s.

For instance, have you seen the Truman Show? If not, please do. We felt like being in Truman show. In every corner, every elevator, every stairs, there are people waiting to block your passway.  As if people wait for you to get out of your room and start moving when you want to get on the elevator, or relax by the piano or eat some snack. By the end of the week, you feel “that was more than enough of people.”

You can follow me on the next couple of posts for day-to-day details.