03. A Super Busy Day: Tea, Art, Boat ride to Millennium Center, Packing Up

I had a bunch of stuff I still had on my very loose list, but with the super long days, I knew I had time for all of it. But first, tea and breakfast! Barkers Tea Rooms was Derek’s recommendation, and it didn’t disappoint. A nice pot of (I think) vanilla black tea, and a sausage and egg sandwich.

Really yummy sausage and egg.

The National Museum was high on my list, and I’m so glad I took the time to wander through most of it. Here are some highlights.

Gareth Griffith, Bertorelli
Donald Rodney, In the House of My Father
Donald Rodney, My Mother My Father My Sister My Brother (with my finger pointing for scale). The house is made from his skin, and is a statement on the sickle cell anemia passed down to him.
Monet, San Giorgio Maggiore by Twilight
Monet, San Giorgio Maggiore
Monet, Rouen Cathedral: Setting Sun
Rodin, The Kiss
Renoir, La Parisienne
Magritte, The Empty Mask
Francis Bacon, Study for Self-Portrait

My favorite art of the day was Welsh polymath Bedwyr Williams’ animation of an imaginary city built where Cadair Idris in Snowdonia stands. The scene goes through an entire day, where not a human is seen but many are imagined. It is pristine and perfect, horrifying in the very possibility that it could exist. Below this single shot from the film is a painting of the mountain.

Bedwyr Williams, Tyrrau Mawr

I was delighted to learn from my host, Derek, that there is a water taxi that goes to the Millennium Center, which was high on my list as a Torchwood fan. The river was a quick walk from the museum, past Cardiff Castle.

Off-season is nice. Me and a handful of others on this taxi.
Approaching from the water.
It really is stunning. Weird angle because the plaza was full of graduates.
Looked and looked for the elevator controls, but they are well-hidden.
The exterior (right) is reclaimed slate. There is a LOT of slate in Wales.
A few steps away from the plaza is the Norwegian Church, which is now a cafe and art gallery. After all the art at the museum, I was more interested in the Norsk Cafe.

There is a lot of public art in the area, but this was my favorite. The Antarctic 100 Memorial, sculpture by Jonathan Williams to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Age of Antarctic Discovery. It depicts Captain Scott, the British Antarctic explorer and the expedition ship SS Terra Nova, which left from the harbor the sculpture faces. As it turned out, the sculptor is a friend of my host, Derek!

I walked the 2 miles back to Derek’s and stopped along the way at the Grange for one last pint before packing to head out next day for Chepstow, from whence would begin my 10-day walk along the Wye River to Hay-on-Wye.

29 April 2022


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