Cardiff park

UK trip: cold London & warm-at-heart Cardiff

It’s been more than a  month and we haven’t written anything about our trip to the UK yet… so unfair!

Sometimes it feels like traveling is more than a full-time job! We spend our days seeing and doing things and, whenever there is some time, planning the route, reading info online, booking the next places to stay at, updating But don’t worry, we are not quitting this “job” any time soon!

So a bit more than a month back (seems like AGES ago!) we went to the UK. Ashray flew into Europe via London and there I met him. We stayed in my friend Anita’s house and, spending time with her, was for me one of the best parts of this trip.

The London crew

The London crew


It was my 4th or 5th time in London and it’s funny how the same place has different appeal to you depending on the time of your life when you go there. When I visited London for the first time almost 10 years ago I was a bit like “I’m moving here!”, but not now. After living in Dubai I guess I got unused to the cold weather and wouldn’t like to stay in a place where you rarely see the sun shining – I do think this affects people’s mood, even when you are used to it. The other thing that turns me off about London are the prices! EVERYTHING is so expensive! Definitely not the most wise place to start our budget backpacking trip!

An Royal hand wave

An Royal hand wave


In any case, I do still like London. Although you might need to have cash flow to do a lot of the things the city has to offer, there is also tons of free things to do. For example, most of the main Museums are for free – and they are world-class museums! And just walking around the city, without doing anything in particular, is also a pleasure, specially if in good company, which was our case.

Hello Big Ben!


The other thing that makes London stand out is, of course, music. After living in Dubai any city in Europe is incomparably better when it comes to live music. But on this, London is top of the pops!

We went to see a concert of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, which is Ashray’s all-time favorite band – and it rocked! Apart from the fact that I fainted during “Give It Away” (giving the expression “give it away” a whole new meaning…) it was a damn good concert! It really meant a lot for me to share this experience with Ashray!

Red Hot Chili Pepper's new album: "I'm With You"

Red Hot Chili Pepper's new album: "I'm With You"


During our stay in the UK, apart from London, we visited Wales, Cardiff. We loved the Welsh people! After the crowded, more individualistic feel you get in London, Cardiff was refreshing. Everyone was so nice! I do appreciate smaller and more chilled out places these days and Cardiff totally did it for me in this sense.

We just wandered around town, not going after to see anything in particular (there are plenty of things to see and to do, don’t get me wrong!) but just to get a feel of the place. A lot of greenery, nice walking roads and parks, a very cute market. A good contrast with London and a great complement to it as well – on the same trip, we got to experience two rather distinct places with different feels to them.

In one of Cardiff's Parks

In one of Cardiff's Parks


We didn’t get to meet the Queen!

She cancelled on us last minute because apparently she was under the weather.

But it was great fun!

** Special thanks to Anita Catita for the hospitality in Putney! **

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