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Iain's blog

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

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And relax….

Just over a week ago (at 3pm on Monday 1st June) I finished my final exam, and promptly did what most students do at that point. I breathed a huge sigh of relief that it was all over, felt emotional that it was done and so everyone would be moving on and then headed to the bar.

To be fair we didn’t just go to the North Star for the booze, although the cocktail was very nice, we also made the most of their delicious menu and 241 mains (I highly recommend it). After a couple of drinks we moved onto the Woodville to take advantage of the 241 on desserts. Even after a few drinks and a lot of exams the student brain is still functioning. I won’t go on and bore you with the rest of the escapades for the rest of the week, other to say my bed time was a lot later than usual on a couple of days.

Anyway the point of this is not to go on about going out repeatedly fun as it can be at times. Rather it is to make the most of the time you have with friends after exams and to take advantage of all the sights and attractions there are in Cardiff and near-by. The friends you make at university can last you a lifetime so go out with them, go on day trips, go interrailing if that’s your thing but take advantage of your free time and spend it with them.

Options for day-trips out and around Cardiff:

  • Brecon Beacons and Pen-y-fan: a gorgeous range of hills just to the north of Cardiff that you can explore by car, stop for a walk or take a canal boat along the Monmouthshire canal.
  • Pontneddfechan waterfalls: technically in the Brecon Beacons but worth a mention on their own for a great place to go walking, and swimming if you’re feeling brave.
  • Cardiff castle and open top bus tour: a great way to learn about the history of the city and see how it has changed.
  • Dr Who exhibition: down in Cardiff Bay, a must for any fan of the show.
  • Gower peninsula: getting a bit further afield this picturesque region is just past Swansea and features some gorgeous beaches.

For those wanting to go a little bit further Tenby in Pembrokeshire is a popular choice for a weekend away, some lovely beaches, the chance to see Caldey island and some superb fish and chips. For my little trip I took some of my friends back to where I grew up, Bath. Bath is just over one hours drive over the Severn Bridge and features some beautiful Georgian buildings, Bath Abbey, the Roman Baths and of course the chance to take the famous waters.

However it is now getting to the point where everyone is leaving to go home, Cathays is becoming quieter, and reality is starting to kick in. It’s only a week and a half until results day, and I start my pre-reg position at the start of August. That’s not to say it’s all play, I’ve decided to take advantage of my free time and learn Japanese thanks to one of the many language courses the university runs free for students. The courses run throughout the year but they also do intensive week long courses in January and June, so why not give it a go.

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