I've just come back from a business trip to Cardiff, Wales. Never knew train rides could be so tiring, all in all I spent about 5 hours getting there (Brussels to London Waterloo, the tube down to Paddington and train to Cardiff Central).

Public transport in the United Kingdom isn't all that bad as people tell me. Once you get your head round all the various available train fares you're all set. I did take off-peak trains but the service was great and didn't have a single delay.

Arriving in Cardiff Central, the first thing that struck me was all the Welsh signs. Couldn't help thinking I had just arrived in a modern version of Lord of the Rings surrounded by people talking an Elvish language (read the fairy-like creatures, not the King of Rock 'n Roll), the distinct lack of pointy ears brought me back to reality. Upon closer inspection there actually is a link between the Welsh language and Tolkien.

Got a quick look at the Millenium stadium, Cardiff castle and the City Hall before going out to dinner. Great food, lovely people and friendly cabbies ... what more could you want!

I stayed at the Holiday Inn down by the Bay and went out in the morning for what turned out to be a very productive meeting before heading back to London in the early afternoon. This left me with enough time to do some further sight-seeing, did the Thames Walk by the South Bank and headed over to my favourite gallery at the Oxo tower (featuring a glass exhibition by Ioan Nemtoi).

Back in Waterloo station I bought myself "The Science of Discworld" by Terry Pratchett (English editions are hard to find in Belgium) and the all-essential "London A-Z" street atlas.

The UK just keeps getting better, can't wait for my next visit! :D