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Social media sites are often responsible for many of the activities and mini-adventures in which I become involved, and so it was that yesterday I found myself arranging a little jaunt to Cardiff Bay for the afternoon.

I had seen mention on one of the Facebook groups to which I belong of a photographic exhibition organised by one of the most successful camera clubs in Wales, they tend to win just about every inter-club competition in which they partake and I was interested to see some of their work in print. The venue was the Norwegian Church, one of the centre pieces of historic Cardiff Bay but as I’m not fond of driving to Cardiff I elected to travel by train, what’s more, I decided to go the long way round via Barry and the Vale of Glamorgan railway line. A quick telephone call to Natalie, a long-standing friend of mine, and we’d arranged to meet at Bridgend station to catch the 12.42 Aberdare train which would take us as far as Cardiff Queen Street and a quick change to catch the shuttle train for the short ride down to the Bay.

I’m like a big kid in a sweet shop when it comes to travelling on a train, I don’t do it very often but when I do I enjoy the simple pleasure. The high capacity trains of today are not a patch on the more-legroom style of thirty years ago, even though the vehicles remain the same, they are a bit cramped. Getting to the station early and choosing your seat wisely will usually find one with more legroom and better visibility for the passenger on the aisle side. The ride to the Bay was interesting and we arrived sometime around 2.00. and strolled down to the exhibition.

After a quick snack at the venue café and spending a half hour or so at the exhibition, we strolled around for a while taking in all the new features which hadn’t been at the Bay when I last visited. I noticed that flickr friend Ben, known as Capt’ Gorgeous, was operating his boat, Daffodil, so wandered down to take a look and decided to go on a trip around the bay. I have to say this was the highlight of the afternoon, another simple pleasure and both Natalie and I thoroughly enjoyed our voyage, Ben’s commentary and interactivity with his passengers made everyone on board feel comfortable and welcome. It was freezing however as it’s an open boat, but it is February so what can one expect; Ben had a supply of blankets on board for those who felt in need. We arrived back at the wharf just in time to avoid getting soaked in a rogue shower which we had seen coming in when we were out in the middle of the bay. Ben duly posed for me to take his photo to illustrate this tale. When you are next visiting Cardiff Bay, allow yourself an extra half hour in your day to travel with Ben on Daffodil, you will not be disappointed.

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