I flew into London and took the express bus to Paddington, then hopped on a train to Cardiff. I didn't reserve a seat, but it still worked out fine - not exactly SRO. I had a pair of seats to myself, many books to read on my iPad, and a cute (and well-behaved) dog in front of me. Unfortunately, the dog had another destination and did not join our walking tour.
I'd hoped to hear some Welsh spoken while I was in Wales. This is partly due to my affection for Lloyd Alexander's Taran Wanderer series, which has many Welsh-inflected names. The bilingual signs in Cardiff rail station initially gave me some hope:
But unfortunately I did not hear the famous lilting sounds during my visit. Perhaps because we stuck to tourist-heavy areas.
My friend Sarah showed me around Cardiff. She's been there just over a year, so she's an expert now as far as I'm concerned. We walked around Roath Park, where we saw a lawn dotted with these unusual small flowers:
The lake (known imaginatively as "Roath Park Lake") is quite scenic, offering views of the distant hills, though it is a bit infested with seagulls (not shown here) for my taste.
Sarah's place is a very clean and comfortable bi-level flat (ensuring a welcome degree of privacy for host and guest) but not so large that you need a GPS to find your way about.