22 August 2013

Walking around Cardiff Bay

I have found myself unexpectedly working back in Cardiff, for a while at least, and there while the weather is still pretty decent.

I took advantage of that one evening to walk down to the Bay early evening to eat at the Wagamama there rather than the one in the city centre.

My intention was to walk along Bute East Dock but weaving my way through a housing estate towards the dock I found some other water and decided to follow that instead.

It was all very prettily done with the canal changing  shape and direction as it sloped between the houses and under the bridges. It reminded me of the waterways around Limehouse where James Bond raced a powerboat in The World is Not Enough.

The area was almost eerily silent. I did see two other people but we never got that close to each other and seemed content to deny each others existence. A place like this should have life with people having places to walk to and places to sit and enjoy the surroundings. It was great to walk through there but I am not convinced that the canal makes much difference to the people living there.

I hit the dock about half-way down and continued south toward the Bay.

Reaching the far end and looking back showed the extent and mixed environment of the dock.

All of the right-hand side is still undeveloped. Behind the thin veil of trees are industrial buildings and the sound of heavy traffic leaks through too.

The main development is at the south end though there are lump of it elsewhere. Part of the left-hand side is still wild too and the vegetation growing along the dock needs cutting back to make the path more passable and more attractive.

The development and the south end looks the most salubrious and has great views along the dock. These flats are touching the main Bay complex which means that there are plenty or restaurants and cinemas on hand but it lacks the basic infrastructure of shops and pubs. i would not want to live there either.

I started walking back to the city along Lloyd George Avenue which has a wide promenade built just for that purpose. It is a long straight road and I got bored after a while and headed back to the dock having been drawn away by an invitation of a narrow path through greenery.

I rejoined the dock almost at the place that I joined it the first time making the route a figure of 8. I could claim that I planned that.

There is bit of an open space here and a large pub that makes use of it. This looks as though it was once a busy place with relics of machinery. The ghosts of the boats have been silenced by the roar of the traffic on the hidden road opposite,

The development at the north end looks enviously across the water at the crisp blocks opposite and wishes that it was as impressive. These flats look a lot cheaper and they lack the cache of being in the Bay, this part of Cardiff, south of the main railway line, is not pretty.


It is clear from the housing and landscaping that this part of Cardiff has come on a long way since being abandoned by industry and it is a nice place to explore on a warm August evening. I am not convinced that I'll still want to walk through there when the evenings get colder and darker and I am even less convinced that I would want to live there.

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