Palm Trees in Wales!

This past weekend of adventure and exploration of Cardiff and its surrounding area has once again rose above my expectations. One of the reasons I chose to study abroad in Wales was because I did not know much about the country, other than its Celtic origin, and I wanted to learn more. I often hear from others that they think Wales is just an extension England, but it is actually its own country and has a lot to offer. I promised myself to explore as much as I could while I was here and write about it to break the common idea that Wales is just a part of England, rather than its own country. I am also interested in other parts of the surrounding countries of England, Scotland, and Ireland, but for part of my study abroad experience, I want to focus on Wales because I do not know much about it. For nature enthusiasts and history buffs, Wales delivers. Friday I took a long walk with my friends on the coast of Sully, or otherwise known as the area: The Vale of Glamorgan. The beach consisted of rocks, rather than sand, and palm trees. I never would have thought that Wales had palm trees because I considered it to have a colder climate compared to where palm trees are normally found. However, because the ground never freezes, it is possible for palm trees to survive in Wales. They may seem a bit out of place, but they diversify the landscape and make it more beautiful than it already is. Saturday I took a stroll around Roath and Llandaff, which are located in the suburbs of Cardiff. I first visited the lake in Roath Park. The park is located about five minutes from my residence hall and looks small from the outside. However, the further one walks into the park the larger and enchanting it becomes. Roath Park also has a man-made waterfall and plenty of seagulls in hope of someone to drop some bread. After the park, I ventured to Llandaff Cathedral and its surrounding area. The cathedral was founded in 1120 and has a medieval and gothic architectural style. In 1941, during WWII, the cathedral suffered an enemy land mine and had to be partially rebuilt. Outside and inside it offers a quiet atmosphere to allow oneself to be with their thoughts, appreciate the past, and be closer to their religion. The places I visited brought me to a realization that Cardiff, and Wales for that matter, have hidden areas that are full of history and beauty that are not obvious unless one takes the time to research. So far Wales has not disappointed me yet and I am excited for what is yet to come!

Below are pictures of my adventures at the coast of Sully, Roath, and Llandaff.

Coast of Sully / Vale of Glamorgan

Until my next post,

Leah