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The Shrine
fiwen1010 wrote in tw_tourists
The Shrine has come up in a few comments so far, and seems like a popular place to visit. So the question for this week is: What do you think of the Shrine? Have you been to it/do you want to go to it? Would you leave something or have you left something - and what is it/would it be?

What does Ianto's Shrine mean to you?

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Hi! I went to Cardiff in January 2010. I'm from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and travelled around Europe for twenty days with my family (parents and younger sister- I was 19 at the time). We were staying in London for five days, and I suggested we go to Cardiff for a day instead of Oxford or Bath, which were the traditional outings our travel agent had been talkig to us about. I wanted to go purely for Torchwood reasons. The show had glamorized the city entirely. Also, knowing how the entire DW production takes place there, and how many scenes were filmed in Cardiff locations (mostly pretending to be London), was an extra motivation. I did not tell my family about the show. I researched the tourist spots and prepared an enticing presentation about the glamorous Roald Dahl Plass, the Millenium Center and Cardiff Castle.
When we went there, I had my picture taken in the Invisible Lift while my family thought I was just taking a picture of myself in the water tower, and while we were walking around breathing in the sea air, we CHANCED upon the Shrine. I pretended I didn't know it was going to be there and acted like it was pure luck I found the shrine to a dead actor (I didn't tell them it was a dead fictional character). I spent the rest of the day recognising filming spots and trying to identify familiar faces around me (there were none, of course, but even actors and producers go out for coffee sometimes, don't they?).

What not just the Shrine but the Plass and the water tower mean to me is that some things are real. To me, from so far away, Cardiff and London were as real as Hogwarts- locations I see on the screen and read about but that aren't really tangible. Even the fandom became real for me in the shrine. I had seen pictures, and I have fandom friends but I had never met another DW fan in the flesh. This was proof that this is not all just in my head, this world I live in through the internet in complete solitude in the real world (RL friends are not generally as fannish as I am) actually exists and there are people out there who actually come to this place and leave stuff behind. Even people outside the UK had left stuff there so I knew I wasn't the only crazy person coming from afar. It's an experience I haven't really been able to replicate.

I didn't leave anything behind. I forgot a little sign I had created in my hotel room in London. I would have loved to leave my city's name behind and be a representative of my nationality.

(I'm sorry it's so long! I hope it's useful to you)

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