It was around 8 pm at night when we first arrived in Cardiff. Although it was just the last day of fall and winter was yet to settle down, it was cold for me. The icy chilly wind had pierced through all the layers of clothing I was wearing that day. The bus had stopped somewhere near ‘Sophia Garden’, but owing to the dark October sky all I could see were two buses parked ahead of the one that we had just came in. While my husband was looking for a cab nearby, I was trying to holding on to the luggages which were twice my size and saving myself from the harsh wind at the same time. With no working phones, finding a cab was not as difficult as we assumed it would be. And thankfully, it was one with adequate back space where we could lade all our trolleys and bags, in short everything that we thought would be essential to start a new life in Southern Wales.
As if happens with every place that I visit for the first time, I was eager to get the first look of the city. But, as chance would have it, our ride to the Airbnb felt more like an old motion picture. By the time I could get hang of the streets and bill boards we passed through, the ride was over. The one thing I distinctly remember noticing is the Cardiff Castle Wall. Massive Gothic stone walls just in the middle of the city centre was kind of hard to miss.
Our airbnb was a pretty four bedroom duplex house, which was tastefully done with paintings and pop art images. Our host, Francesca’s, interest in music was evident from the living room which harbours a plethora of musical instruments and vinyl records. Our room was one of the bedroom upstairs, which was too tiny (apparently, all UK bedrooms are!) to accommodate all of us together. Even though we were tired and would have loved to dip into a warm relaxing bath, we started unpacking and arranging our stuff into the cupboards that she had provided. The next few hours were a rush of unpacking, changing into warm clothes and socks, figuring out the wifi and calling our families back home to inform our safe arrival.
Once all that is done, we realised how hungry we were. The last meal that we had ate was some 7 hours ago at the London Heathrow airport. The kitchen was downstairs, and was in stark contrast to our assigned bedroom. To say the least, 7-8 people can stand there and cook and it still wouldn’t be claustrophobic. None of our hosts were home, and so we figured we would meet them in the morning. We quickly prepared two bowls of hot soupy maggi, that we had brought from India, and ate. And after our dinner, when the husband finally slept, I crept into the hot tub for a warm relaxing bath. I was so exhausted that I don’t even remember how I got into bed later.