I Needed a Magic Pumpkin Carriage like Cinderella's

     At least a carriage magically appearing would have been nice.  But none came for me.  

     I was in Wales—Cardiff, to be exact, and was seeking transportation from the City Center near our hotel up to the bay where their performing arts center was, Millenium Centre. 

This is the Millenium Centre, where I was headed
      Just that afternoon I had purchased a sole ticket for me to see the ballet of Swan Lake.  I had never seen it before, but was rather excited to becoming cultured by viewing it, and in Wales, of all places.  Because I bought my ticket the day of the performance, it said it was a “Mr. Walk Up Late” ticket on my ticket.    

     But I could not for the life of me figure out 1) which metro bus would take me up to the Millenium Centre, and 2) which bus station that bus would stop at in town.  So, I walked around town for a while searching for my desired bus station, or a stopping bus that said “Cardiff Bay” on it as its destination.  None did I find.

I just needed a Bendy Bus like this one!
     I had started this quest for a bus at about 6:45pm, knowing the show started at 7:30pm.  After 7, I walked over to a certain bus station and asked a kind older woman if a bus going to my destination would stop here.  She and another helpful gentleman said that it would.  We even read it on the bus map.  While waiting, she asked what I was seeing at the Centre, and she said Swan Lake was her favorite ballet.  I waited through three buses stopping there and none were headed in the right direction.  At 7:30pm, I was still at that bus station, and decided to take a taxi-the quickest way to get there.  I was also hoping they would still let me in to see the show after it had already begun.

     However, I had never ridden in a taxi.  The kind people at the bus station told me there would be a queue of taxis just around the corner, so I walked up the street and asked one taxi driver.  Unbeknownst to me, you have to “ask the first one in the queue, my love”, as this burly man in his Welsh accent told me.  Finally, I hopped in the taxi and was headed towards the Millenium Centre. 
     When I walked into the Centre, I was so late there were no “not-as-late-comers” still in the lobby.  But, the nice security man directed me to go up four flights of stairs to my seating area.  I was able to walk into the performance hall while it was going on, but had to stand at the back until the scene changed before I could sit in my seat.  I ended up being about 12 minutes late to the performance, (a literal Mr. Walk Up Late ticketholder) and stood until the first of the four acts was over.  I am so grateful they still let me in late, because it was such a neat experience.

This is the Performance Hall, Donald Gordon Theater, from my seat.
      I had a great seat up in the high balcony to be able to see the formations of the ballerinas and watch their beautiful white Swan dresses twirl.  (Organized formation + pretty dresses = everything I love!) If you’ve never seen a ballet before, I suggest reading a synopsis of it before seeing it, because without words, it would be hard to understand the sequence of events.  I am thankful I did read one that afternoon so I knew the storyline.  All of the dancing was so graceful and the costumes elaborate and gorgeous. Below is a Trailer for the ballet of Swan Lake that I found on youtube so you can get a glimpse of its beauty:

   As I sat there and watched these beautiful dancers that brought me so much joy, I hoped and prayed that their dancing reflects a beautiful Christian heart within each of them.  They brought me a lot of joy that evening and still do but it’s only temporal.

Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.  1 Peter 3:3-4

     I am very grateful to all the people who helped me get to Swan Lake and would highly recommend the ballet to anyone.  It will be a highlight of my semester abroad.  

--from the desk of Megan Lehmann

Here is one more picture from my evening at Swan Lake:

This is the back of those big letters, from inside the building.