3 September 2013

Cardiff parks and flowers

I need to get out more.

I've been working in Cardiff for a large chunk of the last two years and yet there are parts of the City that I do not know at all well. On the few occasions when I have made a determined effort to get away from the hotel in the evening I have normally headed south towards the Bay.

This evening, just for a change, I got off the bus by the castle and headed north away from the city centre.

Trapped in a triangle of roads is this small formal garden with a statue of the Marquess of Bute.  The Bute name appears in lots of places nearby, my usual hotel is on Bute Terrace off Bute Street, so it was not too surprising to find his name on a statue.

The flowers in the foreground were typical of the park that was thick with colour.

Crossing one of the roads took to me the gardens in front of City Hall where these fountains were the most distinctive, and attractive, feature.

City Hall itself was also very pretty with many copious window boxes providing large drops of colour against the light stone.

Behind City Hall is Alexandra Gardens, which is part of Cathays Park. This is set out as a series of rectangles arranged 4 x 2. That makes three nodes in the centre where the paths cross. In the middle of these three is the Welsh National War Memorial and the two outer nodes have circular flower beds, one of which is shown above.

Moving slightly to the West took me in to Bute Park which follows the river North from the castle. This view is looking South towards the city and the tall building sticking above the trees is Stadium House which I went to a few times about 25 years ago when it was owned by BT. It is immediately next to what was Cardiff Arms Park and is now the Millennium Stadium.

Bute Park is mostly grassland with clumps of trees but there are a few more formal areas and this border follows the main path as it follows the river. The river is to the West of the border and path which meant that there was nothing to interrupt the evening sun. That was good for the flowers and good for my walk.

Leaving the park I found more flowers in the city centre with one of the most extravagant displays that I have ever seen as part of the street scene.

If I had had a walk like this in another country when on holiday I would be enthusing about how pretty it all is and so it is only fair that I be equally nice about Cardiff. It is pretty (in places) and I should try and see more of it while I can.

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