Cardiff is a city found on the South coast of Wales. It is the capital of Wales and is home to 341,000 people. Although we only spent a short amount of time in Cardiff, I was really impressed by everything that the city had to offer. There were many shops and places to eat with great food. Cardiff has to be the place that feels the most like the US.
During our stay in Cardiff, the UEFA Champions League Final was being hosted. This soccer final is one of the most widely viewed events in the world, bringing in 380 million viewers from 200+ different countries. This is colossal in comparison to the Super Bowl’s 114.4 million viewers. We weren’t in Cardiff for the actual day of the match, but you could feel how important the match was because you could see advertisements everywhere around the city square as well as in our hotel. There was also a strong media presence around the city square area. Many people had professional cameras and were documenting the ambiance as well as conducting interviews with people on the streets.
One of the most interesting parts of our stay was meeting with Angela Graham, a professor of documentary practice who has real world experience working on some interesting television shows such as Cymru DNA, a show that traces the genealogy and history of the Welsh people well past any written records using the power of DNA testing. She introduced us to the city of Cardiff before anyone else, and she taught us a lot about communicating to a wider audience using the power of documentary. We screened a few documentaries as well as planning our own as an exercise. This motivated me to start work on a web show that I’ve thought about for a while. We also learned a lot about Cardiff’s creative industry with Ms. Graham, most notably being that the creative industry in Cardiff is one of the leading industries of Cardiff’s economy.
We learned that the welsh people are very into technology, just as Americans are. On average, the Welsh people spend more time on the media (television, cellular phones) than the amount of time they spend asleep. Through multi-tasking, adults in Wales squeeze ten hours and twenty-four minutes of media activity into only eight hours and thirty-three minutes per day, and from 8-10PM, 90% of Welsh people will be watching TV.
The Welsh people also love singing. In 2009, the city of Cardiff completed the Wales Millennium Center, which is a gigantic opera house. It’s 400,000 square feet big and has an interesting inscription on the front. There is a part in Welsh and a part in English. In Welsh, it reads CREU GWIR FEL GWYD O FFWRNAIS AWEN (Creating Truth Like Glass from Inspiration’s Furnace). In English, it reads IN THESE STONES HORIZONS SING. This opera house is the jewel of Cardiff, and although there are many other interesting parts of the city such as the Cardiff Castle and the Millennium stadium, home to the 2017 Champions League Final.
Our entire group could agree that our stay in Cardiff felt the most like being at home. Even though people still drove on the left side of the road and people dressed a little differently, the city of Cardiff, Wales was a great place to be. There were great shops and resturants and people were very hospitable. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to revisit the