Sunday, July 8, 2012

Revisiting the sculptures, sights and surprises of Cardiff Bay...

Time really does fly and I can't believe it's been almost two months since we've been back from the U.K.

Welsh flag
On this visit one thing that really struck me was how much they've redeveloped Cardiff Bay, as it really didn't exist in this way in my youth.
Cardiff Bay
I have to say I was surprised and a little impressed at all the architecture, sculptures and interesting sights.
Wales Millennium Centre
Wales Millennium Centre Cardiff Bay
Wales Millennium Centre Cardiff Bay
Aside from all the new television programs being made at the BBC Wales Studios and the new Doctor Who exhibition opening, there's also lots of history I was unaware of about the Bay itself.

The Scott Antarctic Memorial by Jonathan Williams
Scott Antarctic Memorial sculpture
Scott Antarctic Memorial sculpture
 Scott Antarctic Memorial sculpture
Not being a history buff, I never knew that Captain Scott set sail for his ill-fated Antarctic Expedition in June, 1910 from Cardiff aboard the SS Terra Nova, so it's nice to see his legacy remembered with this cool mosaic sculpture.

The Water Tower
Cardiff Bay Water Tower
I'm especially fond of The Water Tower, having glimpsed it many times on Torchwood and the odd episode of Doctor Who. The glistening metallic structure certainly makes an impact when the sun is shining.

Welsh Assembly Building
Welsh Assembly Building Cardiff Bay
I was also pretty impressed by the design of the roof for the Welsh Assembly Building too.

Lightship Helwig LV14
Lightship Helwig Cardiff Bay
Of course there's always more evocative reminders you're in Wales, like this great tribute to the South Wales Coal Industry, where so many people worked when I was growing up.

From Pit to Port sculpture by John Clinch Arca
One sculpture I wish I'd been able to photograph better was this intriguing boat head sculpture (especially if there weren't so many children intent on clambering all over it).

Merchant Seafarers' War Memorial by Brian Fell
Merchant Seafarers War Memorial Cardiff Bay
Merchant Seafarers War Memorial
From one side it's like a shipwrecked hull and from the other a face. Pretty cool stuff.

Immigrant Statues on Mermaid Quay
Funnily enough I was also drawn to these bronze statues symbolizing the arrival of many immigrants to Tiger Bay (Cardiff Bay's former name) seeking a better life in Britain, I suspect it was the dog sculpture that caught my eye the most.
Cardiff Bay swan
Even though most of Britain has suffered terrible weather since, with floods and hardly any sunshine, I'm glad we got to enjoy seeing Cardiff Bay with the sun shining and blue skies (and a gentle sea breeze to blow the cobwebs away) in May.
Cardiff Bay carousel
I even got to try out the outdoor gym area, which seems to have been inspired by London winning the Olympics this year.
Trying out the outdoor gym
Cardiff Bay outdoor gym
As you can see there was lots to take in and if you're ever in the vicinity it's worth a visit. There's places to eat and drink and lots of interesting sights to see.

Hwyl fawr am nawr...

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