Sunday, 26 August 2012

Braving the Barrage - Cardiff Bay

This was something we've never done - the walk along the  ( now not so) new barrage in Cardiff's prestigious development.

So the car was parked at the Penarth end and we thought we'd walk to the far end and back - just a short stroll.  Smooth paved surface  so no need for the boots. Sandals would be fine.

Our timing was perfect. We'd just crossed the swing bridge when the alarms sounded and they started to open the lock between the harbour and the sea. Of course we stopped to watch.

An amazing piece of engineering. A far cry from the traditional locks you see on all the canals. For a start it is much much bigger!

Once the show was over we continued across the barrage admiring the view. The barrage was a lot wider than I'd anticipated. The landscaping has won environmental awards - ironic considering the millions of tonnes of environmentally friendly concrete that must have gone into it!

The view across the harbour  - you can see the Millennium Stadium in the background.

Getting closer! It was further across the barrage than was immediately apparent but still nice easy walking. The weird copper coloured building is the Millennium Centre ( not to be confused with the Stadium!)

Close up the frontage is decorated with huge inscriptions in English, "In these Stones Horizon's Sing  and in Welsh
 Creu Gwir Fel Gwydr o Ffwrnais Awen (Creating truth like glass from the furnace of inspiration)

Having reached Cardiff Bay itself, it seemed a shame not to go into the Senedd ( home of the Welsh Assembly). Once you get past the airport like security you can wander around the the second and third floors quite freely, the lower floor where the actual chamber is, is out of bounds but you can look down in to it....

....but looking up was much more interesting!  It reminded me strongly of the World Tree. Anyway a quite amazing sight and worth going inside just for this.

 Starting to get hungry by now so took advantage of the dozens of places to eat by sitting outside in the sun and watching the local Mini club assemble in the square.

Torchwood fans might consider this familiar ( minus the giant strawberries of course)

Moving on refreshed  it seemed a shame to retrace steps so we continued on....... only then realising that we had let ourselves in for a 10km trek. I was rather regretting the sandals at this point but by then it was quicker to carry on then turn back.

Walking under the main road gave some interesting photographic opportunities though.

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