Ok, so a ‘muggle’ is probably not the term used for people who don’t watch ‘Dr. Who’, but since I don’t watch ‘Dr. Who’ I’m not privy to the ‘Dr. Who’ lingo. But Harry Potter I know. So there you go.
On Jenn and my’s last European excursion before the navigator turned back Stateside, we journeyed to Cardiff, Wales. Which, I’m told, is where a lot of filming for, you guessed it, ‘Dr. Who’ takes place. And as Jenn loves the Doctor, and I’ve always wanted to go to Wales, we hopped aboard a train and made it happen for a short weekend trip. As most of you know, whenever Jenn and I go somewhere, we average 8-12 miles of walking a day. This trip was a bit of an aberration, however, as my daily average for Cardiff was probably a measly .5 miles. Jenn, of course, still kept up the same pace as normal, but my body decided to tell me that it wanted some genuine R & R; none of that ‘go on a trip and literally wear a hole in your shoes’ business. So when I lost my voice (an event my grandma used to tell me other people would celebrate. I think she was trying to tell me that I talk too much. Which I don’t understand, really, because ever since I was little I’ve…oh wait. I get it now.) from what felt like swallowing glass or uncooked pasta because I was too lazy to cook, I decided to lay lower than normal and mix in a little READING FOR FUN! with my exploration. I haven’t been able to crack open a good novel in over a year, so I went for the light reading that normal people typically choose to lift their spirits: the first 800 page book in the ‘Game of Thrones’/’Song of Fire and Ice’/George R. R. Martin’s quest of breaking as many readers’ hearts as possible. (Um, excellent book, though. I’m a big fan of the TV series, but this is a whole other level of, as my flatmate would say, schmazingness.)
When I wasn’t holed up in a coffee shop reading, I was off exploring this young European capital. And as we combed our way from the city center to Cardiff Bay I realized-this was the most modern city that I had been in in over a year. Sure, there’s still Cardiff Castle which is hundreds of years old, but the architecture scattered throughout the majority of the city is shockingly contemporary. It also is randomly the home to one of the largest Impressionist art collections outside Paris. (Bet ya didn’t see that lil’ factoid comin’! But it’s true, and the collection at the National Museum is quite impressive.) I’ve always considered myself a person of mixed architectural tastes, loving both towering skyscrapers and ancient buildings that were erected before Wyoming was even a twinkle in the American eye. But as we walked around Cardiff, it just didn’t feel like Europe to me. It was absolutely beautiful, and I loved every minute of it, but it was too new for me to really fall in love with. Which I didn’t really see coming, but whoop! there it is.
I suppose you can’t fall in love with every single travel destination, for fear you’d experience a broken heart every time you were forced to say goodbye and return to the real world. Maybe this also allows you to continue to keep your treasured favorites, instead of having them intertwine with all of the other supposed beloveds in the background of your mind. And this way, when you leave a little part of your soul in each of these sacred spaces that encapsulate your love life instead of other humans, you can be pleased with the fact that you are still able to have favorites. So while the memories of Cardiff are of the pleasing variety, they won’t make me catch me breath and smile involuntarily whenever I find myself aimlessly reminiscing like my other boyfriends do.