joy magnetism: "It's that spaceship-lookin' thing down by the Bay"*

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

"It's that spaceship-lookin' thing down by the Bay"*

Magnet #516 - Canolfan Mileniwm Cymru

Ok. Who here is surprised that after I magnetblogged on the other Millennium Centre magnet, that I totally bought another one?

Of course, I bought one. How could I not?

The other one's still my favorite - that's the one that my sister brought back for me from her own trip, just in case I flaked on my Cardiff daytrip. But, I love this one, because of how the building inscription is backlit. It's my favorite design element of this building.

I posted a link to the whole album below, but I didn't even realize that I recreated this magnet on my own. Hahah. Lookit!

And, I'm using this one for yesterday, because Captain Jack Harkness just blowed up Torchwood Cardiff with that bomb in his tummy! A big gaping hole, right here - narrowly missing the Millennium Centre, the Pierhead, and the National Assembly Building - Senedd, as well. What? You also know I totally just rewound to make sure.

During my Is there a Doctor in the House UK trip last December, I spent a very long day in Cardiff - wandering around Cardiff and Cardiff Bay. (By the way, LOVE the logo, Cardiff. Sorry, a little work distraction there.)

The one-on-one guided tour of the Millennium Center with my Welsh tour guide was totally the highlight of quite possibly the entire UK trip. I plan on going back to take the architecture-specific tour, but she was terrific, the loveliest guide ever. Very proud of the majesty of the building, and rightly so.

Because it was just the two of us, we got to roam around a lot more. She led me through corridor after corridor, dressing rooms, stages, and rehearsal space, explaining everything from design to facility details along the way. They used all native Welsh materials during the two and a half years to build it - five different woods (ash, beech, cherry, chestnut and oak), plus 1,200 tons of slate and 4,500 tons of steel. And, they have like seven companies in residence, including the Welsh National Opera.

The main theatre was absolutely gorgeous, and we got to see where the Royals sit during the performances. (Darn if they're not hosting Sound of Music with my favorite Connie Fisher, the winner of How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? Yes. That was a spoiler. You can't hold it against me - the show aired in the UK almost two years ago now.)

My two favorite places were the public space of the lobby, where it's big enough to hold public performances at lunchtime, and the upper floors, where you can see behind the giant inscription of the facade.

Absolutely. Spectacular. Seriously, you can see why this building is included on the 1001 Buildings to See Before You Kick It list.

Of course, I'm not going to lie - I reveled in walking the Doctor's footsteps - this was where they filmed the New Earth episode.

  • So, like a dork, I totally stepped into the elevator and waited to get showered with antibacterial spray. (It didn't happen.)
  • Like a dork, I totally went into their little shop. (Where I bought this magnet.).
  • Like a dork, I totally took a picture of the TARDIS in the lobby. (No key to get in.)
  • And like a dork, I totally lingered over the Doctor Who concept drawings exhibition on the mezzanine floor. (No, I didn't buy anything.)

Funnily enough, it took me a bit before I admitted to my guide being a Doctor Who/Torchwood fan. Even funnier, the guide, an actress in company at the Centre, is friends with Eve Myles, who by all accounts is the nicest person ever. I knew that, just from the Torchwood session at this year's NY ComicCon.

So...Cardiff. Wonderful place to visit. For more than a day. I'm planning on going back, the first chance I get. (I didn't get to do a tour of the Senedd, and, I missed the second Torchwood entrance! Three hours on the Bay and you'd think I'd done more than a tour and eating lunch at Wagamama's. Heh. And, don't even get me started on Cardiff Castle, which I missed as well - and I have a whole magnet for that one. Heh.)

Oh! One last thing - the tour guide (from Swansea) had a lyrical Welsh accent - it's beautiful! Mind you, the only Welsh I know is Nadolig Llawen which is Merry Christmas. And the only reason I know that, is because of David Tennant and Billie Piper doing the Blackpool Illuminations a few years ago, and then, only because there was a DT vid diary where they're desperately and cutely rehearsing the phrase for the lights.

Hah. Nadolig Llawen - there's your bit of Christmas in July, I suppose.

*What the visitors center representative at the train station told me I wouldn't miss, when I asked him for directions to the Bay.

Huh. Every so often, I remember that I'm a bit of a geek. That's ok. I'll own the hell out of this one.

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