Day 31: Cardiff

12.07.13. After a 5 hours train ride from the drab city of Bangor, I arrived at Marlais Street in Roath, Cardiff. This is not a typical place for finding accommodation as a tourist, but I was here to couchsurf, my first time doing so.

A youthful looking girl alighted from her bike in front of the house, and this was swiftly followed by another latin American guy- clearly foreign, coming in from the opposite direction, also entering the same house. “Oh, are you here to couchsurf?” said the girl. “Are you hosted by Tom or Anton?

I met Tom, my host for the 2 nights, a 21 year old student studying to be a doctor. Soft spoken, Tom is intelligent, articulate and almost seemed too worldly for his age. I wished I was like him when I was his age.

I was introduced to the rest of the gang, the owners of the house, all in their early twenties- Lizzie, Anton and Amy, whom I met at the door. By the end of my stay, I also met people from Argentina, Germany, Ireland, Sweden and Belgium. We played a few games of Kubb and frisbee at the park nearby, and had home made Pizza for dinner. It was clear these guys took the idea of Couchsurfing like a storm.

The rest of my time was spent exploring Cardiff. Bustling and compact, the capital of Wales is a cosmopolitan city that seems world’s apart from the rest of the country. I spent most of my time at the beautiful Cardiff Bay, basking in the excellent sunny weather and good live music.

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Cardiff Bay with the impressive Pierhead

My hosts could not be more different from me, but it was still a very enjoyable experience. I didn’t think I missed too much of my student life after this. But all too often I was reminded of the stage of life I’m in as well as its priorities. How different they must have been compared to these cheerful, devil-may-care students, I can only imagine.

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