Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Road Trip Part 3: Wales & England

Our last couple of days on the road with Albie the Astra (our car) and DJ TT were spent hurtling through Wales (which is a shame really, since it's such a pretty country, with 13 billion sheep), a debaucherous night out in Cardiff (scary), a detour via Stonehenge, and back to London- all hopefully without a speeding ticket! (time will tell).

Upon arrival in Holyhead, Wales, we found Welsh even more unintelligible than Irish, so had to rely on DJ TT to get us safely to Cardiff, at the other end of the country. This is lucky, since although Wales is pretty small, there doesn't seem to be many roads larger than a goat track.

Cardiff, at first glance, seemed to lack the historical charm of Edinburgh or Dublin, although the Lonely Planet assured us it's a "Confident, energetic city welcoming the new Millennium". Whatever.

One thing Cardiff does NOT lack, however, is nightlife. Please remember that in this particular case, I'm defining nightlife as "hordes of people of all shapes and sizes looking to get indiscriminately drunk wherever and however possible", as opposed to a more rigorous definition that I might apply in a city like, say, Moscow.

Similar to the "popcorn theory" of Russia, for anthropological reasons I had been curious to determine how it is that such an aesthetically challenged race of people as the English could overcome this handicap to procreate as much as they have. My careful research has led me to the conclusion that it has something to do with obscene drunkenness, as well as a penchant to dress up as ladybugs or other insects and troll for bait down the high street.

Seriously, Cardiff must be the global capitol for Hens Parties (Bachelorette Parties). We witnessed hordes of deranged women roaming the streets looking for alcohol, men, and good times. Many were dressed with massively lettered "D&G- Drunk & Gorgeous" t-shirts, often stenciled (ironically (we hope), and misleadingly) with their names, such as "Raunchy Rhonda, Dirty Debbie, and Sexy Susan".

A few hours into the evening, we found ourselves cutting loose in an 80's nightclub, with 1GBP drinks and already a sea of carnage on the dancefloor. Several hours later, our photos show a river of people in all states pouring onto the streets and draining the Atlantic Ocean and OPEC to produce vast quantities of Fish & Chips, the national food of the UK.

Social experiment over, we staggered home, and as soon as our blood alcohol would let us, hightailed it out of there to seek higher cultural enlightenment.

Thankfully, on the expressway a few miles later, we found it. Ice Cream and Diet Coke. Cam was happy.

Our next mission was Stonehenge, conveniently located within five metres of the highway (what were they thinking?) Apart from this deficiency, we were very impressed (not least because it had stopped raining), and determined that this 5,000 year-old pile of rocks was really worth the trip.

Several hours later, tired and eager to get out of the car, we arrived back in London at the completion of our 4,000km odyssey around the British & Irish Isles. A wonderful trip, amazing sights, delicious food, and a deeper appreciation into these cultures which have been so instrumental to modern Australian and American history.

Photos are here.

Worldguide is here.


Nick said...

Don't say I didn't warn you...

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