01. Starting in Cardiff

From SFO to Taffs Mead Embankment

Clear sailing through the skies from SFO to Amsterdam and on to Cardiff. Arrived early at SFO (after good-bye breakfast at a little hole-in-the-wall in Redwood City) and breezed through security like a champ!

Waiting, full of grilled cheese and beer for the journey.

After the tiniest snafu at Amsterdam (was under the mistaken impression that I needed to go through passport control before continuing to Cardiff, and had to get an escort to the front of security check to get back into the terminal), onwards to Cardiff, where the airport shuttle to the train station was very confusing. But met a nice fellow from Australia wending his way through the UK for six months waiting for said bus, and eventually got to the train station and on into Cardiff, a few blocks from my new home on Taffs Mead Embankment!

Tousled, foggy, happy to be in Wales
Zipping along
Bridge of Swans
Derek’s Dining Room

Derek was my host for 4 days in Cardiff and it was one of my most favorite ever Airbnb experiences. The house was one of a row right across the street from the Taff River, lovely Victorians all. Derek is a retired art and art history instructor, and is highly talented in a number of mediums. The walls of his house are covered — tastefully — with his own art, and gifts from his students. Extraordinary work, all. If you are heading to Cardiff, stay there!

This was one of those “the host lives in the house” experiences that used to be the hallmark of Airbnb, and has mostly been lost along the way. Fortunately, Derek was SO much fun to hang out with, it was a complete joy to share time and space with him.

I’m sorry I didn’t get more photos of Derek’s house, but I did capture this whimsical bathroom collection. And his really cool WC.

This is a folly in the back of the house, which would make an excellent tiny house and I hope Derek manages this in the next year or so because I want to stay in it!

One of the advantages of a host on site is getting recommendations on where to eat and what to do. Derek recommended this Indian vegetarian restaurant, which provided my meals for a few days. I definitely over-ordered!

Awesome meal that lasted me 3 days Part 1, Vegetarian Food Studio.

Awesome meal that lasted me 3 days Part 2

Day one in Cardiff done! It was a long, long day (starting the day before), and navigating all the moving parts of a new country on almost zero sleep for two days was an exciting challenge.

25-27 April, 2022


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