For many years some of us from Boroughmuir Rugby Club made the biannual trip to Wales to watch the Six Nations Rugby match in Cardiff. We stayed in a number of places over the years including Newport, Cardiff and latterly Cowbridge. Numbers shrunk over the years and eventually it became too expensive to hire the coach with a dwindling number of people interested. Since then a smaller group of us have been travelling to watch the game. This year the Six Nations Game against Wales is being played at Murrayfield, but an Autumn Test Match in aid of Doddie Weir’s “My Name5 Doddie Foundation” was scheduled for early November and one afternoon in The Kilted Pig, we decided to go.
I had been given the job of organising the trip and on looking at the cost of flights to Cardiff it was clear that I needed to find an alternative. The cost of a return flight from Edinburgh to Cardiff for the 1st weekend in November was approaching the £300 mark! They always bump up the prices when there’s an International Rugby Match on and Cardiff seems to be an expensive airport to fly to, but this was just taking the piss. I found flights to Bristol for £94 and a private taxi would cost us £220 return. As four of us were travelling the cost would be less than half of a flight to Wales. Granted, there’s the extra time travelling by taxi but it’s just under an hour from Bristol Airport to the centre of Cardiff. I had booked an AirBnB property in Butetown just north of Cardiff Bay. Now, this use to be a fairly run-down part of Cardiff and there’s still a part of it which is a bit dodgy but where we were staying was in a modern development just 15 minutes from the city centre and about 20 minutes’ walk from Cardiff Bay. Our flight to Bristol left at 08:20 and after being picked up at the airport, we were at our accommodation by 12.30 pm.
We had arranged to meet some friends at the Tiny Rebel Cardiff in the centre and after some of us donning our kilts and regalia we walked up Dumballs Road (yes, that’s its name) to the usual car horn toots and shout and spent the afternoon there. We had looked up a couple of pubs and the “The Goat Major” was alleged to be a real ale pub which served great pies. It was a disappointment on both counts not least because it turned out to be a Brain’s Pub and the pies were at best mediocre - one of our company is a butcher and he has won the coveted “Best Pie in Scotland” completion a couple of times so we know good pies! We spent the evening in the Live Lounge watching a local band, who were very good.
On Saturday we walked down to Cardiff Bay for something to eat and pre-match drinks before getting to the Principality Stadium to watch the game – which Scotland lost by a much closer margin than the score would suggest. After the game we had decided to make our way back to Cardiff Bay to avoid the busy pubs in the centre.
It was a great weekend despite having lost yet again to Wales.