My Life as a Traveler

Dr. Who?

The New Who

The New Who

Cardiff Bay

Cardiff Bay

Today we go to Wales. I’m rather excited, because it’s my first visit there. We have a couple of rooms at a nice bed and breakfast in Conwy, a castle town in the north. My GPS says it will take about 4 hours if we barrel straight through, which means we should allow about 6 hours total. The plan is to leave at 9am so we can get to Conwy before dinner.

Sculpture - it's a boat, no it's a face

Sculpture – it’s a boat, no it’s a face

At breakfast, I ask the kids, “So, what do you know about Wales?”

Anna says, “Dr. Who!”

I ask, “Dr. Who?” And then she tells me Dr. Who, a BBC television show that features time travel and alien evasion which originally aired in 1963. After a run of 26 years, it went off the air, was a feature-length movie in 1996 and restarted again in 2005 to present. I had no idea. I also find out that there’s a particular city – Cardiff – where the show is set and turns out it is only 20 minutes off the GPS route. We must go there.

In about an hour, we roll into Cardiff. Anna doesn’t know exactly where the place she wants to go is, but she looks it up on my phone and gets directions. We end up at Mermaid Quay, a revitalized waterfront area overlooking Cardiff Bay. We park the car and walk past restaurants and shops to get to the square from the tv show. Unfortunately, there’s something blocking up the square, so we can’t really get the full effect. However, there’s a sign pointing to The Dr. Who Experience. We must check this out.

Fans

Fans

Watch out!!!

Watch out!!!

The Dr. Who Experience is part museum and part interactive adventure. Morgan and I are not fans, but Jon and Anna are extremely excited to be here. This is definitely a thing to do. Anna, wearing her Dr. Who t-shirt, got a nod from the woman taking us through. I learned quite a lot about the series, enjoyed the walk-through adventure (like the beginning of some of the rides at Busch Gardens – a movie screen and various moving parts to involve you in the story of flying in the time machine and encountering and escaping from the bad guys), as well as the museum. I’ve got to watch this when I get caught up back home.

Lunch at the King's Head

Lunch at the King’s Head

View of Conwy

View of Conwy

Conwy Bay - low tide

Conwy Bay – low tide

Conwy Castle

Conwy Castle

Llys Llewellyn Guest House

Llys Llewellyn Guest House

On the way back, it occurred to me that I did not pay the parking in advance (I forget and want to pay when we leave, plus the sign is so small), so we hurry back to be sure we don’t have a parking ticket and then decide to head out of town while the traffic is light. Up the road a bit we find a small village and have a nice pub lunch. Then back on the road, we travel through the small towns of western England and eastern Wales, following Mrs. GPS through an innumerable number of roundabouts. Eventually we find Conwy (you recognize it by the castle!) and the Llys Llewellyn Bed and Breakfast. After a quick check-in, we head out to find some dinner. The pubs have stopped serving food, so we end up at the Indian restaurant. Jon and Anna have meat and chips, Morgan and I have curry and vindaloo. After dinner, Jon and Anna go back to the room while Morgan and I walk the walls of the town, enjoying the sunset.

Tomorrow, we explore Wales.

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