Tuesday, September 15, 2015

TRAVEL | back to london

Falling behind on blogging already. London was about 4 cities ago and I had just managed to finished editing all the photos today. Guess this is what happens when you're having fun.

London was just as good as I had remembered. Since I've basically visited all the spots I've had bookmarked the last time I was in town, I didn't have too much planned to see, which worked out for me because I was kind of beat from Edinburgh. It's also worth mentioning that I got extremely lucky this time in London--a tube strike was scheduled on the day I was supposed to arrive, however the whole event was suspended the night before. High fives all around!

As much as I loved my hostel from my last trip, I thought it'd be interesting to switch it up a little. This time I checked into Wombats London. I stayed at their other chains in Munich and Vienna in 2013 and was always very impressed with their facilities. And as expected, I had a great time. I was placed in the highest floor, which had a breathtaking view of Southern London

I was lucky enough to have been in the city to see the { Charles P├ętillon } installation in Covent Garden. When it launched, almost every one on my facebook dashboard was posting about it, and I'm not going to lie I felt a small sense of smug satisfaction that I got to see it in person.

I also took a brief break from London and hopped on a train with Thomas to Rye for a short day trip out of the city. This little town, located in South Sussex, was recommended by a friend whom had just visited the day before. She showed me some photos that morning and I was sold.

Ok back to London

No trip to London is complete without a stop over at { Borough Market } & { Columbia Flower Market }. 

Living 20 mins by foot from Borough Market was like a dream come true. Wake up at 9 and get there by 10, which in my opinion is the perfect time to visit because all the vendors have set up, but all the tourists haven't arrived yet. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

TRAVEL | the first stop

As long as I've waited for this trip (about 2 long years), it seems like only yesterday I began my first euro journey. There was always no doubt in my mind that Edinburgh would be my first stop again. I remember visiting { the first time } and falling head-over-heels for the rolling green hills and medieval streets. On this visit, I stayed for a total of 5 nights. It still surprises me how little of the city I saw in 2013, and therefore I took it upon myself to wake up early each day to explore every nook and cranny I came across. 

I began my trip with a morning hike up { Arthur's Seat }. It was the first thing on my itinerary because wouldn't feel like a Eurotrip without it. And when I reached the top the views were just as spectacular as I had remembered. I still can't believe Edinburghers get to come here whenever they want. I wouldn't mind hiking or jogging every day if I this is the kind of environment I get to surround myself with. 

2015 has been a year of happy accidents (travel wise) because turns out I had booked days in Edinburgh without knowing that the famous { Fringe Festival } was (still) in town. I had heard of the festival a few weeks earlier and had expected to miss it but I had no idea it ran for a whole month! I was so surprised when I first arrived because the streets were just filled to the brim with people. And despite all the people, I was more than impressed as to how flawlessly everything seemed to run, especially for a festival of this magnitude. 

Here's some stats from this years Fringe Fest: 50,459 performances of 3,314 shows in 313 venues!!!!!! I mean, can you imagine the level of planning that must've gone into this. Those people must be management wizards to the highest degree. Teach me please!

I managed to catch two shows during my stay. The first, a lecture on parapsychology: { Unbelievable: The Science of the Paranormal }. It was quite interesting; during the show we played some fun games which revealed some paranormal facts about yourself. Apparently I'm very susceptible to hypnosis. 

The second show was {  Thones! The Musical }, which was hilarious and played by a ultra talented group called Baby Wants Candy. I highly recommend it to fans of GoT. Hopefully they'll return next year with an updated show!

I always see jetlag as sort of a blessing in disguise when I travel because I end up waking up so much earlier than what I'm used to back at home. The extra hours in the mornings open up a lot of opportunities to explore.

This is Leith, a harbour town just a mile or two outside of the city center. It was a pretty dreary morning and I had to admit even I found it quite depressing, but then I later came across a small farmers market which boosted moral just a little bit.

photo 7 by Paige Roche