Best travel portal on the web featuring best travel sites, travel packages, travel guides, travel tips, weekly travel newsletter, travel webcams, and much more!
October 10, 2007

Home * Travel Deals * Website of the Week

Web Cams * Travel News

WHERE'S JOHNNY JET?                                 Wales

HOUSE KEEPING: Remember when you click on the pictures in "Where's Johnny Jet," they will open up in another window. Just click the "x"(close) in each picture to get back to the newsletter. This should alleviate complaints about closing Johnny Jet. Thanks again for your support, and remember: If you book trips on the web, please go through (It will save you money).

"Maps of Johnny's travels courtesy of Start a travel website of your own for free now."

Web Resources

Page 1 | 2 | 3

Bore da (good morning) from Wales! Did you know that Wales is just a two-hour train ride from London and that, like Ireland, it has its own language (Welsh)? No? Don't feel so bad – I didn't either. If you'd like to tag along on this side trip with my dad and me, then grab your overnight bag and your rail pass because we're going to Cardiff, baby! If you don't have time to sit back, relax and read this week's story, there's a two-minute Johnny Jet video at the end. Not interested in heading to Wales this week? Maybe our newest writer, Kelly Gray, can inspire you with a story about her trip to Antigua!

The 12-minute taxi ride from Hotel 41, near Buckingham Palace, to Paddington Station cost £10 ($20). First Great Western trains to Cardiff leave every hour. Prices vary depending on time and day but we used our BritRail passes, which we got in advance from We didn't make any reservations but fortunately, finding a seat wasn't a problem. We left on Sunday morning and the conductor was offering upgrades to first class for just £10. It was a weekend, which meant that no business travelers (the only suckers to pay full price) were around. Since my dad and I appreciate a good deal when we see one and because this was a special trip (our first time traveling alone through Europe together), we took the bait. The seats were roomy and made the already smooth ride even smoother. Travel time between the two cities took just two hours and 12 minutes and we made four quick stops along the way (Reading, Swindon, Bristol Parkway and Newport). The scenery was green, flat and at times, picturesque. The only downsides? We occasionally had to plug our ears as the train sped through tunnels and there were no electrical outlets to plug into.

If you travel First Great Western, be sure to hang on to your ticket. You'll need it when you exit the station. If you have a rail pass, you'll just have to show it. The moment we stepped off the train, we had our first introduction to the Welsh language. Caerdydd Canolog, we learned, translates to Cardiff Central. When my dad read this, he looked at me and said, "What the hell is this? They have their own language?" "Yes, Tony (Soprano), it appears they do," I said. (Aside: Dad, don't get all huffy with me because everyone knows you didn't really say that. It just makes for a better story. Give a guy a little creative license, will ya?) Almost all the signage is in Welsh with English translations below. Welsh is one of the oldest living languages in Europe and shares its roots with Breton, Gaelic and Cornish. Though 26 percent of the population in Wales (about 3 million) actually speaks Welsh, practically no one does in Cardiff. It's more commonly spoken in the North where Welsh is the first language.

There was a short queue of four taxis, waiting right outside the station. We were fifth in line. And then it began to rain. No worries; another cab showed up a few minutes later. Our driver was a friendly, proud Welsh man who pointed out city landmarks on our short, seven-minute, £5 ride. FYI: Though the meter starts at £3 ($6), taxis in Wales are still cheaper than London.

Wales' official name is Principality of Wales and it's been around since 1000 BC. Cardiff is the capital city and has an interesting history. It began when the Romans settled there in 55 AD. They built a military fort, which is on the site of Cardiff Castle. Cardiff was once an industrial town but it slowly transformed into a cosmopolitan city. Surprisingly, Cardiff didn't officially become a city until 1905 and wasn't made the capital until 1955. Today, Cardiff's population is 310,000 but the city attracts more than 11 million visitors a year!

Two of the biggest transformations in Cardiff came in the form of development projects with hefty price tags; the £1.8 billion bay development and the £102 million Millennium Stadium. The stadium hosts major sporting events including four of this year's Rugby World Cup games. Rugby is the number one sport in Wales, followed by soccer and then golf. In 2010, Wales will play host to the Ryder Cup. Many visitors make the trek from England to Cardiff just to shop as it's cheaper than London and the city has seven superb Victorian and Edwardian arcades. There's also a £315 million shopping development in the city centre with a Mediterranean-style plaza that is certain to attract more shoppers and visitors. What's refreshing is that Cardiff is a young city, not just in history, but also in age. Did you know Cardiff is on track to have the largest student population of any European city by the end of the decade? Not only that, but a 2004 issue of Men's Health magazine proclaimed Cardiff the best UK city because the Welsh capital is a "young, friendly town jam-packed with a cosmopolitan crowd, all of whom have a spring in their step that seems to indicate they're going somewhere fun."

1 | NEXT PAGE >> | 3

Copyright 2007 JohnnyJet, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Pictures From

The Trip


Train To Wales


Station Stops


My Dad




Cardiff Central


Train Exit


Inside Cardiff Central


Taxi Queue


Cardiff Station


Millennium Stadium


This Newsletter is sent by permission only. If you wish to subscribe, unsubscribe or change your subscription at any time, please login HERE. If you have any questions or suggestions please send message addressed to

Join Our Mailing List
Johnny Jet

Dan Woog
About JohnnyPublicityNewsletter ArchiveMy MomPhotogalleryContact Us
Johnny's BookBlogBookmark Us BannersSuggestions