by Charles Gulick
It Really Wales
Chart: Southern UK
Title: IT REALLY WALES
En Route Coordinates:
Aircraft: N18695, E12981
Tower: N18739.191, E12917.187
You're on a long final over Bristol Channel to Runway 30, Cardiff Airport, Cardiff, Wales.
Wales is a part of England, and it isn't. It's a country within a country, holding fast to its own Celtic language and culture even after centuries of union with Great Britain. Cardiff has been its capital since 1955, and is a major coal ship-ping port. And Cardiff is sort of a city within a city; the newer Cardiff consists of parks, gardens, tree-lined streets and shopping arcades while the older Cardiff is of Cardiff Castle, which dates from the early 11th century, and on the site of which was a fort in Roman times.
And how about the Cardiff Giant?
Sorry, wrong Cardiff. The Cardiff Giant was turned up by men digging a well near Cardiff, New York, in 1869, and was exhibited around the country as either a "petrified man" or a prehistoric statue. Scientists and scholars lent serious discussion to the matter until it was revealed as a hoax. A chap named George Hall of Binghamton had taken a block of gyp-sum manufactured in Iowa, carved it roughly in the shape of a human figure, and buried it where the well-diggers dug it up.
Cardiff has a ramp and taxiways that are well-detailed and it's one of the five airports in England where you can refuel. Airport elevation is about 226 feet.