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Cardiff
 
As the imposing edifice of Cardiff Castle, itself built on a Roman fort, demonstrates, Cardiff has history. The official capital of Wales, it has been a centre of politics, industry and Welsh culture for centuries. The 19th century saw its industrial heyday with the docks exporting Rhondda coal and manufactured products to all corners of the world. The docks and sinister/sleazy Tiger Bay have been refurbished into the Cardiff Bay area, Europe’s largest waterside development, rich in museums, shopping, restaurants … even a water-taxi service. For sports fans, the much-loved Arms Park has finally been replaced as the spiritual home of rugby by the magnificent Millenium Stadium.
 
Wales
 
Croeso i Cymru – Welcome to Wales. Snowdonia to the Rhondda pits, Eisteddfodds at Llangollen to Shirley Bassey’s Tiger Bay. Wales has always provided contrasts as well as an abundance of double consonants and a warm welcome to visitors. We sing a lot, we play brilliant rugby, and we have some of the most wonderful landscapes in Britain (why ‘some of’?). Snowdon’s peak looks down over vistas of mountain lakes and meadows, can be chugged up to on a rack and pinion railway, or (sensibly) walked in decent weather. Cardiff has outgrown its docks and industry base and is now an international capital city, with all the business facilities and attractions you’d expect. And it has the spiritual home of rugby the magnificent Millennium Stadium (the English even borrowed it for their own football). The coalmines in the valleys are mostly closed now but we’ve turned one into The Big Pit museum that visitors can inspect for real. If it’s food you’re after, there’s nothing to beat Welsh lamb or beef from the hills – and we even make bread from seaweed, truly! And we still haven’t mentioned our castles and cathedrals, our off-shore nature sanctuaries, our … oh, you’d better come and see for yourselves.
 

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