Welcome to Wales – By Alli Stark

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After a four hour ferry ride and five hour train ride we finally made it to Cardiff, Wales! Ireland was wonderful and I would love to go visit again someday, but I was ready to move on to the next stop. Since we spent all day traveling, our first night here wasn’t that exciting. We went out for some good Mexican food and got to see a little bit of the city, but other than that it was pretty relaxing.

This morning we met with Angela Graham, at Cardiff University for some tips in the media world. She is a documentary-maker and taught us about what it takes for a good documentary and all the work behind it.

After class we walked around the city of Cardiff. We went to lunch and went into some shops, but the most interesting thing I saw was the sports stadium. The Principality Stadium is hosting the UEFA Championship League Final, one of the world’s biggest sporting events. Coming from America, it’s obvious that soccer isn’t our biggest sport, but here in the U.K and the rest of Europe soccer (football as they call it) is life.

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Principality Stadium on the river

While at the University today, ESPN was there setting up for what looked like would be our version of College Game Day. Hanging on the walls over the Cardiff Castle were banners of the professional football players from teams all over Europe and the United Kingdom. Every tourist shop was selling t-shirts and souvenirs for the Championship game. Although, the game isn’t until Saturday, the stadium looked like it was on lock down. We walked along the outskirts of the property and there were police and guards at every entrance, no one could get near the place. I went into a pub across the street from the stadium, which had on a sports channel, basically their version of ESPN. They were showing the guards protecting the stadium, police dogs sniffing every row of seats throughout the stadium and even going underground to make sure there weren’t any dangerous threats placed around the area.

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Team Banners on Cardiff Castle

The fact that soccer isn’t as big in the States than it is here, and ESPN is still here covering this game is really cool. I think soccer is the one sport that bring the world together. Every country has a soccer team and even though this might not be the World Cup, people in the States and other parts of the world are watching and following along in the media. In the middle of everything going on in the world, at least there is one thing that every culture can bond over.

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UEFA Championship Trophy Statue

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