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[personal profile] charloween
As promised, here are some more pictures from the trip to Wales. I'm home now, and I think I might be on Eastern Time again. Maybe. It sucks that I'm not in Denmark right now as the original plan had it, but you know, maybe next time. (sigh)

The view from our hotel room. Right on the water! On some water, anyway. The entire area is reclaimed docklands. 30 years ago I guess all of the bits south of the city centre in Cardiff were covered in barges and industry. Now it's low-income housing, hotels and a tourist area.

Seagull, seagull, seagull. One seagull per post. There were swans everywhere, too.

C, my roommate-for-the-weekend, and I were to meet the conference organizer down at the Plass. We'd walked from our hotel, and saw her standing down near the water tower. Rather than walking towards her like sane people, we did the giddy-excited thing of starting to walk a bit faster, and a bit faster, and a bit faster again, until we were running towards her. Then we realized we were running across the Plass towards the water tower and started yelling for the TARDIS to stop and wait for us. An auspicious start to the weekend. ^_^

Somehow last summer we missed it, but this time around I got a shot of the entrance to the tourist information site that's the non-invisible entrance to Torchwood.

See? There's the broken intercom and everything.

And the best part: they've still got the old newspapers from "Boomtown" on the windows. Permanent set dressing, how about that?

Good to know Captain Jack is a fan of the Cullens. And Christmas. Can you imagine the hell that would be the Torchwood Christmas party?

The city centre had its lights up, which were quite pretty. I think this is St. Mary's Street. They'd used LED lights to animate dripping icicles.


One of the conference organizers went to Build-a-Bear and made a Gwen, Captain Jack and Ianto bear. Apparently there's an lj comm somewhere that's devoted to making Who-ish bears. (Still not as strange as Santa's Grotto.)

We bought little souvenir dragons, little Welsh dragons with adorable little fangs and what looks like a tat on their wee red arms. Cute! I've now got a stuffed dragon to go with my stuffed bat, stuffed pterodactyl and stuffed whatever-it-is from Nightmare Before Christmas. I think I may have to start collecting odd stuffed animals. And maybe a Ianto-bear?

Monorail dragon!

More from beside the hotel. It really was nice there.

Next door to the hotel. I think Frankie Boyle was there the night before I arrived. Alas!

And finally, from the inside of the entertaining teeny-concept hotel (Yotel) at Gatwick. Forking out the cash there for a bed was probably the best decision I made about the entire trip. *nod*

The flight home was entertaining. I was sitting with two guys (both in their mid-30s) who're both travelling because of job interviews. The British guy was moving to Canada to be with his wife, and had a job interview or two lined up for when he arrived. The other guy, a Canadian, had been at an interview in the UK somewhere. The thing was, the British guy totally had his shit together and the Canadian guy was well on his way to being a whiny loser. He wasn't a full-on complainer just yet, but he was getting there.

As for the food, well... Air Transat's "hot meal" is a President's Choice tv dinner. If you're into that, cool, but if you're expecting food, then you'll be disappointed. It wasn't totally inedible, but I've had better meals in my life. The movies (that I didn't watch because the earphone jack was broken) were: Get Smart and something I slept through on the way over, with Hancock and The Incredible Hulk on the way back. The Incredible Hulk is hilarious on mute, or rather, when the soundtrack is the folk-rock, indie cool and classic metal on your unPod. Some of the green screen looked really bad even on the crappy tiny airplane televisions. Hancock I might go back and watch properly, instead of sleeping through it and watching the rest without sound - but I still can't look at Jason Bateman without thinking "Michael Bluth", which could be a problem.

The flight was good, though. The worst I've ever been on was a terrifying trip from Atlanta to Asheville where even the scary tattooed biker guys thought we were going to crash and die. Air Transat's not spectacular, but they get you where you're going with a minimum of fuss. The strangest thing was that it totally feels natural now. This year I've taken more flights than in the past ten years, combined. It's all rather old hat. I feel so grown-up. :D

Also, back in July and with this trip both, the customs guys at Pearson were super-interested in what I was studying, where I was studying it, making me prove I was a real student, etc. Nothing major, and nothing to complain about, but it's still funny. The complainer from the plane found me again at the baggage return, and complained about the last time he flew into Pearson the baggage handlers dented his luggage. I probably could have cared less. Then he went on about how the customs folk figured that he's dealing drugs and so he always gets hassled. By this time I really don't want to hear him say anything more. So imagine my glee when he gets pulled off for a full search just before we make it out of the customs maze. Karma for being tedious, I tell you.

I bought the Long Way Round book at the Cardiff train station, which means I had to start downloading the series (and the sequel) as soon as I got home. It's quite adorable, and far better than I thought it would be. I also bought-and-read Pratchett's Nation on the way back. Such a good book. No words to describe. Just: good book.

Edit: swapped in the proper photo for a repeat.
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