Monday 7 March 2016

Cymru rugby

Friday 26th was an amazing day - a day to remember for a long time. It's always been a dream of mine to watch Wales play rugby at the Millennium Stadium (now known as the Principality Stadium). I'm an English Rose but have always had a soft spot for the Welsh Dragons.

Our daughter now works in Cardiff for the Welsh Rugby Players Association and made my dream come true with tickets to see Wales play against France in the RBS 6 Nations.

Although a Friday afternoon our journey to Cardiff was trouble free and I managed to contain my excitement; both in seeing our daughter and for the game.

Cardiff is a beautiful city: the centre, the bay, the surrounding countryside; it was lovely to see a glimpse of the stadium from the train on our short hop into the centre.
Nearly there - excitement rising!
The game kicked off at 8 so we had plenty of time to have dinner at our favourite restaurant Miller & Carter The Hayes. We were late booking and game days are so busy but they had reserved a table for us which made a perfect start to our evening - thank you !

Fruit beer
Classic burger with Stilton cheese and chips 
Beautiful glass of Argentinean Malbec
I was actually quite calm, managing to keep all emotions inside although I felt like shouting and singing in excitement. Off to the stadium along with 74,000 others, I was ready for the game ....

Ready .....
.... now I'm ready !!! 
The stadium took my breathe away, so huge, full of French and Welsh supporters sitting alongside each other enjoying the amazing atmosphere. The Welsh boys were warming up right in front of us, perfect ;-)

The Welsh Guards, along with their mascot were an impressive sight marching into the stadium followed by two male voice choirs. Their playing and singing was even more impressive as the sound filled the air mingling with the enthusiastic singing of the crowd.... of course that included me !!

There was no way you could miss the entrance of the teams, especially the Welsh Dragons - the cheering, the fires, it was as if the stadium itself was cheering.

An emotional moment was taken to remember those in Fiji, the national anthems were sung with gusto and the dignitary handshakes were made before the game kicked off, a game full of scrums, rucks, penalties, turn overs, two trys  resulting in a Welsh win 19 - 10 :)

The Welsh boys warming up 
Amazing atmosphere 
Kick off 
I absolutely loved it, an amazing evening - thank you Philly. 

The 'must have' evidence photo
After the game Cardiff streets were packed - 74,000 fans enjoying a chilly but dry evening in the many bars and restaurants, filling the streets with merriment. Our post game watering hole was Cellar Bar, lively place with a live saxophonist and a clock that seems to be on extra time - how did it get to 2.30am !!

Saturday dawned bright and sunny but still cold. We popped out to Majestic Cardiff Bay - no we've not changed allegiance although Leicester have put us a fight for us on Twitter

We popped by as last weekend was the first Cuveé Reserve wine tasting weekend and we needed our favourite wines to take and share - the weekend was fab,'read all about it' in my next post.

We decided to walk into Penarth town, up the hairpin path from the Marina up the cliff - the path is fairly easy, just lots of walking back and forth but it's better than straight up steps as the cliff is very steep. Penarth has a small high street with cafes, charity shops, bakers, butchers, flower shops, mainly independents which makes a change from big retailers.

We wandered along to the station, not to catch the train but to visit The Bottle Shop - yes more wine. We'd seen it online and as with the high street shops its always good to visit and independent. Plenty of choice, wines from around the world, some new to us some old favourites. We decided to treat ourselves, I chose a Sauvignon Blanc from the south of France.

My favourite grape
Sunday morning dawned with blue skies but a bitingly cold wine. Too nice to stay in we strolled along to Compass Cafe for breakfast, their coffee is one of the best coffees I have had and my waffles with bacon and syrup were delicious.

My favourite coffee
Waffles with bacon and syrup 
 It was such a beautiful morning we continued our stroll around the marina, beautiful yachts and stunning views of the Barrage and across to Bay to Cardiff - a lovely part of the world.

Penarth Marina 
Challenge Wales
Across Cardiff Bay 
The Barrage
Footbridge swing bridge raised for the yachts to pass under

All too soon it was time to go home via the Second Severn Crossing with views of the Severn Bridge.
Second Severn Crossing
The original Severn Bridge through Second Severn Bridge railings
Thank you Philly for an amazing weekend - so exciting to go to the game and so lovely to spend time together in Wales.


Barb said...

OH Clare what a great weekend you had , I watched the game on tele and the 2 others , I would love to be at Twickenham this weekend ,who are you supporting this weekend I wonder. I used to go to Cardiff quite often shopping whilst hubby worked.

Julie said...

Lovely pics of your special weekend away. x