SilentMode’s Store Crawl 2017: Cardiff

SilentMode’s Store Crawl 2017 goes into uncharted territory for the last time, as our next encounter is in Cardiff, Wales.

Cardiff is by far the most horrible LEGO store to get to, as the nearest store in either direction takes over three hours to get to. As mentioned before, the store’s closing times on a Sunday meant I would have to visit the store the following morning, if I wanted to remain on schedule.

Speaking of horrible: the train to Cardiff was only two carriages long, and packed. I was lucky enough to get a seat (I haven’t had to stand in a train so far), but it was an unbearable journey – up until Newport, where the majority of people got off.

As promised, after spending the night in the city, I visited the store just after it opened.

Interesting things about the city.

Despite the stories we hear about Wales, there are just as many cows and horses in the surrounding farm land as sheep.

Newport appears to be the commuter location of choice, but the part of Cardiff I got to see had its mix of high street chains and old buildings. Not too far from the station is Cardiff Castle, which might take you by surprise once you come across it.

Welsh is most prominent at the train station, where the signs and announcements are both in Welsh and English. I’d actually only heard one person talk with a Welsh accent.

The Cardiff LEGO store.

Store Crawl 2017: Cardiff exterior.

Cardiff’s LEGO store is in the appropriately named St David’s Shopping Centre, about seven minutes from Cardiff Central train station You could also get there from Cardiff Queen Street if you wanted.

The store dares to be different by being back to front: the LEGO logo is on the right of the door this time.

As the store had opened a few minutes before I arrived, I caught a staff member cleaning the glass.

Cardiff’s showcase.

Store Crawl 2017: Cardiff showcase.

A spacecraft has crash landed somewhere… At least, that’s what it looks like to me. Credits go to an unknown builder from The Brickish Association (Brickish).

The Pick A Brick (PAB) wall.

There’s nothing backwards about the dedicated Flickr album for Cardiff’s PAB wall.

Thoughts about the store.

I got off to a slow start on reaching the store, but I was able to engage with the staff. First the woman cleaning the front of the store (such a hard task), and then her male compatriot inside the store. After the latter engaged in conversation as I decided to buy a Pick A Brick cup, they fetched a few more useful parts from the back.

Things seemed to be turning out like most of the other stores, until I revealed my LEGO passport. Amazingly enough, more questions arose from the staff member about my use of the passport, Eventually I’d let on that I was doing a Store Crawl.

I thought it was great that, even if they were unaware that I was coming (I’d emailed the store twice beforehand), they showed enough interest in why I was at that particular store. It made the early morning visit worth it… although I’d spent a good half an hour in the store as a result, and was in danger of missing my scheduled train!

What’s next?

Cardiff was the last of the stores I’ve never visited. It took four hours to get to Cardiff yesterday, and it will take three hours to get to the closest other store: Milton Keynes.