Monday, 25 August 2008

Madonna in Cardiff!

So, the Queen of Pop: a week after her 50th, prancing around stage in high boots and clothes normally donned by 20 year old strippers? Yes, please!
We took the bank holiday weekend off down to Cardiff as we had paid rather a lot for tickets to the opening night of her tour, and to cruise around South Wales.
Friday night we got no sleep, because all the little boys and their boyfriends were so excited about seeing Madonna the next day, they couldn’t keep their mouths shut all night.
On Saturday we had a quick look around the city of Cardiff and then had much of the afternoon in Cardiff Castle. It was lived in until about 1947. We had a tour round the inside of the Manor house. Typically enough it was amazing, much of the internal architecture and design was done by an eccentric Frenchman, so you can imagine it was full and bright. The castle dated from just after the Norman conquest 1080ish but was built on the site of an old Roman ruin from when they were there beating up on the Welsh between 75 and 400 AD.
We then headed to the concert about 8:30 to see Madonna.
On Sunday we went to the Blaenavon Iron Works (Eryn wasn't excited by this, but enjoyed it) which turned the rich iron ore, coal and limestone of South Wales into Iron. It was in production from about 1780 until 1860. The life of the workers was pretty fascinating - young boys started working from about the age of 7, working 12 hour shifts seven days a week and one 24hr shift every fortnight... it's making me tired just thinking about it.
Across the valley we had a look around the Big Pit coal mine. With much of the machinery still there and some of it still functioning it was also quite interesting. We should have gone down the mine but as the English prefer queuing to doing, we would have had to wait in a line for over an hour and a half.
We used an actual map (rather than our SatNav) to find Harold’s Stones. They are three stones in the ground, from about 1500BC. Apparently they got there because the Devil was playing his little games (you know, like the song, Devil Went Down To Georgia) with a dude from Kent - not to be confused with this Kent. He got beaten and threw his toys (and three big rocks) out of the cot.
We also did one better than that on the way home - we called past an old burial chamber from 2000 BC. A bit like an A-frame bivy with a 80 tonne rock on top rather than canvas.

After a quiet Sunday night (thank goodness), Monday took us to Caerphilly Castle and their middle age siege engines. It's another great moated castle that took so long to build that once it was finished it wasn't really needed. Unfortunately the genius that was Oliver Cromwell (we are starting to rather dislike him) decided to blow it up in the 17th century. Thankfully the aforementioned coal and iron made some people ridiculously rich and the 3rd Marquess of Bute (the richest man in the world in his day) rebuilt much of it.
we snuck in a quick visit to the 1800year old Roman baths in Caerleon (they needed a few repairs so we couldn’t use them) to see how clever the Romans were.

By the way, the powers that be couldn’t be arsed giving us our tickets as they didn’t want to open the ticket office they sent us to earlier in the day. Basically we paid £65.00 each and then wouldn’t let us in... so no Madge, then.
K & E x


Anonymous said...

I wonder if Madonna realises that you and others missed out - she shouldn't be best pleased really. Hard to fathom the minds of the people invoved in these kinds of upsets isn't it, unless you've gone through one of the English "common sense has nothing to do with it" experiences.
You should have gone to The Museum of Welsh Life - really was a great experience. Good to see Eryn has the camping lingo off pat - with bivy & other words I can't remember. And surely you know the English wait in "queues" not "lines!" Sorry, can't help myself. Malcolm

hideyoshi said...

I am not much intersted in Maddona.
Her fan aren't young here in Japan.
I'm afraid she is a few years younger than me.
But I really am intersted in Castles in Cardiff and conditions of children workers 300 years ago.
And also good fun the difference of queues snd lines.

Anonymous said...

I must confess I am a completely computer illteracy. I didn't know there are many photos behind the surface. When I coincidently clicked a photo, I found a series of these. How silly am I?
Well what I want to say is I am very thankful to Eryn for these photos. I pulled ancient English history book ( of course in japanese) from cabinet. I really enjoyed these photos which Eryn took. I want to see more.