Quiet Grace and Song

Wales, bordered by wild sea coasts, is ringed with rugged mountains. The romantic River Wye flows through her in a sweet valley. Long ago, the Welsh were part of a large, maritime culture with other Celtic nations, but this small country has the longest literary tradition in Europe, including the tales of Merlin and King Arthur. Known as the Land of Song, there are hundreds of bird species along the shores and in the uplands to serve as Welsh choir mates. Wales is the secret you’re waiting to discover.

Cardiff and the Ancient Castle

Cymru is the Welsh word for the country we call Wales, land of 700 castles. It’s just an easy ferry ride or a short flight from Ireland, Scotland, or England, but it is worlds away. Most people speak Welsh as easily as English, and this is a surprising delight. The road signs in Wales are in English and in Welsh—Cardiff and Caerdydd, for example.

In the heart of the capital, visit Cardiff Castle. It started life as a Roman fort 2,000 years ago and later became a Norman stronghold. (The tower views are astonishing.) Beautiful parklands grace the grounds. These grew up when the castle became a Victorian fantasy palace. This place is made for exploration. Imagine the lives and loves of all those who walked these same grounds ages ago. Shake off your dreams, head to Cardiff Bay, and revel in the vibrant Wales of today.