Sunday, February 1, 2015
Cardiff, day 2: St. Fagan's Museum
This is going to be a munchkin of a post, because I couldn't quite wedge Saturday morning's pictures into my last one; so this is pretty much just a photo dump of our Saturday morning wanderings at St. Fagan's Natural History Museum. I'm not even sure I could quite explain it all in words.
St. Fagan's is unlike any museum I've ever been to: a beautiful tumble of old buildings and wildlife near the edge of the city. The museum is open-air, the only guidance provided by gravel paths that wind their way between the thatched farmhouses, rickety wooden fences, and walled gardens.
Almost all the buildings were open for exploring; some just had dirt floors or dusty log piles, but quite a few of them were fully furnished. We accidentally stumbled into a tiny wooden cranny of a gift shop, stocked to the brim with a hodge-podge of vintage goods: mugs, bakingware, postcards, jams and chutneys, biscuits and teas and tea cozies.
A little bit apart from the main property of St. Fagan's were the "castle" and gardens: a spectacular collection of lavender meadows and apple orchards, abandoned cotton fields, empty greenhouses, manicured flowerbeds and stone fountains, all surrounding a tall, whitewashed, nineteenth-century manor house.
We rambled around the grounds for awhile in the sunshine; we were some of the first few people exploring the grounds, so it was quiet and still. As it got closer to early afternoon, the sun faded and it got a bit nippy, so we stepped inside the hushed halls of the manor for a few minutes.
We made our way back to the front gates to catch the bus back to Cardiff; as we were walking out of the museum grounds, quite a few families were making their way in, and the parking lot-- empty when we'd arrived-- was completely full.
If you're ever in the Cardiff area, I highlyhighlyhighly recommend St. Fagan's; I imagine the gardens are even prettier in the spring, when trees are budding and flowers blooming and the weather a bit less capricious.
Back to London soon; and all of the paper-writing ever (!)
all my love,