Christmas lights in the November rain, drag queen karaoke and street views – a trip to Cardiff in photos

Christmas lights in the November rain, drag queen karaoke and street views - a trip to Cardiff

Once again, Cardiff lived up to its reputation as Britain’s wettest city, with my two days in the capital being accompanied by a near-incessant drizzle.

Being Welsh, I’m used to the rain, and find there’s a certain melancholy beauty to the rain-lashed streets when they’re reflecting the festive lights.

Christmas lights in the November rain, drag queen karaoke and street views - a trip to Cardiff

Located on St John Street, Working Street, Hills Street, Trinity Street and the Hayes, the Christmas market has grown considerably in size in recent years, although the relentless rain had dampened festive spirits when I walked past.

Christmas lights in the November rain, drag queen karaoke and street views - a trip to Cardiff

Early evening view.

Christmas lights in the November rain, drag queen karaoke and street views - a trip to Cardiff

The big windmill was back again.

Christmas lights in the November rain, drag queen karaoke and street views - a trip to Cardiff

Baubles galore.

Christmas lights in the November rain, drag queen karaoke and street views - a trip to Cardiff

Rush hour in Cardiff Queen Street as commuters pack into an antique train.

Christmas lights in the November rain, drag queen karaoke and street views - a trip to Cardiff

The street artwork seemed appropriate.

Christmas lights in the November rain, drag queen karaoke and street views - a trip to Cardiff

More rainy views.

Christmas lights in the November rain, drag queen karaoke and street views - a trip to Cardiff

Christmas lights in the November rain, drag queen karaoke and street views - a trip to Cardiff

Christmas lights in the November rain, drag queen karaoke and street views - a trip to Cardiff

The iconic H Samuel clock ‘Everite Time’ in Cardiff Market seems doomed to never work again.

Christmas lights in the November rain, drag queen karaoke and street views - a trip to Cardiff

Church Street.

Christmas lights in the November rain, drag queen karaoke and street views - a trip to Cardiff

Cafe Citta, a family-run Italian cafe/restaurant, delivered a delicious pizza and pancake special. Recommended!

Christmas lights in the November rain, drag queen karaoke and street views - a trip to Cardiff

Back on the street, the rain continued to bucket down.

Christmas lights in the November rain, drag queen karaoke and street views - a trip to Cardiff

Christmas lights in the November rain, drag queen karaoke and street views - a trip to Cardiff

Inside the Tiny Rebel bar in Westgate Street.

Christmas lights in the November rain, drag queen karaoke and street views - a trip to Cardiff

Dorothy’s and Tony’s – two long-serving legends of Cardiff’s ‘Chip Alley’ (Caroline Street).

Christmas lights in the November rain, drag queen karaoke and street views - a trip to Cardiff

A near-deserted The Hayes.

Christmas lights in the November rain, drag queen karaoke and street views - a trip to Cardiff

Christmas lights in the November rain, drag queen karaoke and street views - a trip to Cardiff

We popped in for a late drink at the fabulous Golden Cross pub at the junction of Customhouse Street and Hayes Bridge Road.

A karaoke competition was taking place, complete with a trio of judges casting their verdict on each act. It was great fun.

Christmas lights in the November rain, drag queen karaoke and street views - a trip to Cardiff

Read my earlier feature: Glazed tiles, Grade II listing and drag acts: the wonderful Golden Cross pub in Cardiff

Christmas lights in the November rain, drag queen karaoke and street views - a trip to Cardiff

Now with a population of 350,000, Cardiff is among the fastest growing cities in the UK, and new buildings are cropping up all over town.

Sadly there seems to be very little visual coherence from one new build to the next, so the skyline is beginning to look a mess.

Christmas lights in the November rain, drag queen karaoke and street views - a trip to Cardiff

Formerly known as Snelling House and serving as the headquarters of Wales Gas, this 1966 tower block has been converted into a hotel.

Christmas lights in the November rain, drag queen karaoke and street views - a trip to Cardiff

Here’s a real eyesore.

Christmas lights in the November rain, drag queen karaoke and street views - a trip to Cardiff

The rain temporarily eased up in the morning. But not for long…

Christmas lights in the November rain, drag queen karaoke and street views - a trip to Cardiff

Queen Street view.

Christmas lights in the November rain, drag queen karaoke and street views - a trip to Cardiff

A true ‘Christmas Wonderland.’

Christmas lights in the November rain, drag queen karaoke and street views - a trip to Cardiff

Santa’s Grotto on Queen Street.

Christmas lights in the November rain, drag queen karaoke and street views - a trip to Cardiff

I liked these fairy light deer outside Cardiff Castle.

Christmas lights in the November rain, drag queen karaoke and street views - a trip to Cardiff

Christmas lights in the November rain, drag queen karaoke and street views - a trip to Cardiff

Arcade view.

Christmas lights in the November rain, drag queen karaoke and street views - a trip to Cardiff

Spillers Records.

Christmas lights in the November rain, drag queen karaoke and street views - a trip to Cardiff

The rain returned in the late afternoon.

Christmas lights in the November rain, drag queen karaoke and street views - a trip to Cardiff

A soaked St Mary Street.

Christmas lights in the November rain, drag queen karaoke and street views - a trip to Cardiff

Christmas lights in the November rain, drag queen karaoke and street views - a trip to Cardiff

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