Sunday, 17 November 2013

Dear Mr President, I wrote you a tourist guide - you're welcome.

Original image source: Sayanythingblog
Next Autumn, Celtic Manor near Newport is hosting the 2014 Nato Summit, scheduled to take place between the 4-5th September. This means that the most influential world leaders will be brought to our fine Welsh land. The best part of this, is that it means Barack Obama will be joining them, marking the first official Presidential visit to Wales in history.

President Obama is a busy man, and will surely have little time to digest vast amounts of Welsh tourism guides. This is where I feel it is my duty to intervene, as anyone who has gone through my blog knows I take an active interest in the Obama presidency. So, it is down to my civil obligation that I have compiled a list of all things Cymraeg for the President to enjoy during his stay.

The Commander in Chief in Cardiff

Cardiff Bay
Image: My own
Assuming you recover quickly from jet lag, I would urge you to take time away from all of the political obligations you have and immerse yourself in Wales' finest. I would suggest a coffee from Coffee Barker in the middle of Cardiff, they also make their milkshakes in glass milk bottles, if that is more your thing. If we happen to bump into each other, I'd rather enjoy a quick chat over a cherry tiffin. A trip to Cardiff Castle or any Welsh castle is also a pretty big deal, Caerphilly is near by if you're working on a tight schedule.

While you are in Cardiff, you might want to take a quick detour to The Bay where you will be greeted by the Millenium Centre, BBC Wales, an avalanche of bars and cafes, a darling Norwegian Church and my favourite- Techniquest. There's also The Doctor Who Experience, if you would like to satisfy your inner nerd. September is a great time to visit The Bay, while people are still taking the boats out and it's still warm but not stuffy. If you need someone to take care of Bo while you take the water taxi back into town, then I can do this. As it is not usual for canine companions to accompany world leaders on official visits and if Bo will not be attending, please reconsider this as I'm sure he would love it.

Once back in Cardiff City Centre, a classy trip to Chippy Lane is what you need. No one does cheap chips like Dorothy's, so this one is on me, Mr President.

St Fagans

St Fagans is one of those places I went to about 6 separate times on school trips while I munched Penguin biscuits on the bus ride. It remains one of Wales' most popular heritage sites, and is just the place for you to learn about the history of our country. You will see demonstrations of crafts and will hear the Welsh language used naturally over the duration of your visit.

Image: Roger Winser

Mumbles Pier

The Mumbles is still a thriving area of South Wales and is based in Swansea. It's a popular attraction in the warmer months and perfect for a walk to clear your head after dealing with all your pressing presidential matters. You might want to go to Joe's Ice Cream while you're there.

Folly Farm
This needs no explaining, Mr.President. There are giraffes and you can feed a baby goat with a bottle. What more do you want?

Freshwater West

Surely one must see where Dobby died? The scenes where Dobby the House Elf died in Harry Potter: The Deathly Hallows Part 1 were filmed here in 2009 and was also a filming location for Ridley Scott's Robin Hood. There are sand dunes, too. Any beach in Pembrokeshire is worth a visit, and the county is also home to Britain's smallest city, St Davids.

Important things for you to know:

  • A "cwtch" means a hug. 
  • You should eat a Welsh Cake.
  • We like rugby.
  • "Bore da" means "Good Morning", just a handy thing for you there to improve your reputation overseas, we will love it if you try and speak our language. Even if you fail, like we most often do.
  • Do not mention Cardiff if you are in Swansea, and vice versa. It's a football thing.
  • Please watch Gavin and Stacey.
  • Also, remember that time you sang Al Green? Show us your best Tom Jones impression.
  • Bring a good coat (your best mac will do), our weather can be temperamental.
  • If you happen to walk into a pub and see a twenty something sobbing into her Starbucks cup, that will be me expressing devastation that I am not a real journalist so I cannot interview you. Cry. This is also important, because it shows you our job growth and job prospects for graduates isn't all that good. Please help.

Your trip here will not only benefit our own economy and tourism, but it will do nothing but increase your popularity abroad. Wales is not a large country, but we speak loudly and fiercely. This means if we like you enough then we will tell everyone about it. We also have a lot of bloggers with dedicated local and international audiences - nothing works like viral marketing. Now how about going for some lunch with my Nan? We've got some burning political questions for you.

That's all for now.