Scotland (Glasgow, Orkney, Inverness & Edinburgh)

After Ireland, we spent 4 days around Scotland.

Glasgow

I have had a fascination with Glasgow for a little while and wanted to go there so it was a good experience to actually be in the city.

Places visited and what I did

  • The ship docked in Greenock and we took a bus from there into Glasgow. The city seems like it has a younger population and felt hip with lots of cute trendy looking cafes and thrift shops which the tour guide said most of the kids get their clothing from.
  • We drove by the University of Glasgow which looks like something straight out of Harry Potter. It was used for filming the show Outlander.
  • The tour took us to Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. The building itself was unlike any other I have seen. The museum was very diverse, rooms filled with artefacts from Ancient Egypt, another room with things from the Vikings, the halls were filled with paintings and statues/sculptures. Downstairs also had a natural history area with many animals.
  • The bus drove through George Square and off to Glasgow Cathedral, St. Mungo’s Museum of Religous Life and Art (I didn’t go in here, I don’t think there was enough time), Provand’s Lordship (which had very nice gardens), and Glasgow Necropolis. Everything was so old, it was crazy to be there and think about how long that area of Glasgow had been there.

Photojournal

Orkney

The cruise ship we were on had a population almost the size (or maybe even bigger) of all of Kirkwall, which is the main city in Orkney.

Places visited and what I did

  • I took a bus tour to one of the beaches. Orkney has a very empty feeling to it. It’s not very populated, it’s very windy so there are no trees, there aren’t very many buildings. It’s sort of peaceful. The beach is sandy but there are also rocky cliffs. Some of the very small islands have sidewalks between them and people get caught when the tide is in.
  • After visiting the coast, the tour headed into the town of Stromness. It was very cute and had a little harbour.
  • From Stromness, we went to Neolithic Orkney. The bus drove by The Standing Stones Streness and we stopped at the Ring of Brodgar. It was crazy to stand there by the ring of stones and see how vast the sky is at that point and imagine how long they’ve been there. On one side of the Ring the water is from the sea and on the other side, it is fresh water. This place was very purposeful. It’s crazy. There was also wild cotton in the fields which looked like pompoms.
  • After the tours, we ventured out into Kirkwall for free wifi at the library. There was a church from 1100 AD that we couldn’t go in because a concert was taking place. The town is very well kept and filled with small shops.

Photojournal

Loch Ness & Inverness

This day was spent looking for Nessie on the lake. It was also very cold and I wasn’t prepared for that.

Places visited and what I did

  • We drove through a little town and the countryside to get to Loch Ness. It was so lush and the colours of everything very intense. Again, it was a great day for weather besides being a bit chilly.
  • At Loch Ness, there is a little inn and gift shops. As part of the tour, we boarded a boat to take us along the Loch. The lake itself is very deep (and dark, it’s easy to see how they don’t know if Nessie is there or not) about 750 feet at its deepest point. It’s also very foggy, making it super mysterious looking.
  • The boat went to Urquhart Castle. Some passengers got off here but we took the ride back to the inn.
  • Next stop was Inverness. It was very pretty. There were flowers everywhere and the River Ness runs through the city. We went into the Inverness Cathedral which seemed so modern compared to the previous cathedrals on the trip. Still, it was very old.

Photojournal

Edinburgh

Edinburgh is everyone who is on Amazing Race’s worst fear. It is like one giant maze. I could spend much more than a day in Edinburgh. The city looked stereotypically medieval.

Places visited and what I did

  • The ship had to dock in South Queensferry so it was a bit of a drive out to Edinburgh. It was much darker than other cities, not because of the weather but the difference in architecture. It was more ominous than London or the other bigger cities.
  • We went down the Royal Mile which runs from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace where the Queen stays when she’s visiting. They were setting up for the Queen’s garden party so it was difficult to get photos of Holyrood. The Mile is filled with cashmere, sweets and other little shops like that for tourists.
  • In what seems like the middle of the city there is suddenly mountains and a park? Where people were rock climbing, hiking and walking their dogs.
  • After the drive around the city, we stopped at the National Museum of Scotland. A. Great. Museum. It was super diverse, ranging from animals to furniture. It’s also the home to the first cloned animal, Dolly the sheep. There was a fashion exhibit on so that’s where my time was spent. The museum itself is also very beautiful.

Photojournal

Next post will be the last day of the trip which was spent in France.

P.S. It’s Peri

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England Trip (London, Southampton, Guernsey)

In June I went on a 2 week trip around the British Isles starting with England!

London

We spent 2 days in London before boarding the cruise ship (more on this later!) to adjust to the time zone and explore London.

Food eaten, places visited and what I did

  • Flew into Heathrow Airport and took the Heathrow Express into London close to the Gresham Hotel where we stayed for 2 nights. The Express took us to Paddington Station which was beautiful and hard to get around. We couldn’t figure out how to get out of the station for the longest time.
  • Ate at Pret a Manger for the first time which is the best place. We need them in Canada. They have prepared, healthy foods that you can just grab and eat. And good coffee!
  • Walked around Hyde Park/Kensington Gardens. Saw The Peter Pan Statue and Italian Gardens. Beautiful gardens, lots of people walking around, dogs kept jumping in the Italian Garden fountain (??), chairs were set out for people to sunbathe in. It was quite a nice place and I could walk around there for a while.
  • After walking around, we had dinner at a little cafe down the road from the hotel. I had an omelette and salad since after travelling I wanted something not too fancy.
  • The next day we were surprised with an English Breakfast at the hotel, then headed out on the Hop On, Hop Off tour.
  • We saw all the major landmarks of London (Big Ben though it was being renovated, London Eye, Parliment, Buckingham Palace, Tower of London etc.) and got off of the bus at Buckingham, Trafalgar Square/National Gallery, and Tower of London to go on a cruise down the Thames. It was a long day but we saw so much and it was crazy to take in.
  • Ate at Pret (of course) and had dinner at a little Greek restaurant close to the hotel. They surprised us with fruit after dinner. A day full of surprise food.

Tips

  • The Hop on, Hop Off tour is great. We rode the full route through once to see everything and decide where we wanted to get off. They sometimes come with extras, like this one had the Thames River cruise included.
  • The tap water was pretty gross. I brought a water bottle filter and you could still taste it. So hydrate lots when you can and bottled water is probably better.
  • The Galleries admission was free but special exhibits were more.

Photojournal

Italian Gardens in Kensington Gardens

Peter Pan Statue in Kensington Gardens
Paddington Station

I accidentally took a photo of this guy but it looks very purposeful. 
Piccadilly Circus 
Parliament and the River Thames
Tower of London
Cleopatra’s Needle
Buckingham Palace, the Queen was in that day. 

The National Gallery

Southampton & Guernsey

In order to board the cruise ship, we had to meet at the airport and then take a bus down to Southampton. The first full day we spent in St. Peter Port, Guernsey.

Places visited and what I did

  • We only drove around Southampton a bit, but it was a cute city. There were ancient ruins of the Town Wall built in with the more modern parts of the city. The city has a rich history since it is a port. It was where the Titanic departed, not comforting when you’re about to board a cruise ship.
  • Most of the day was spent waiting to board the ship, then exploring the ship and unpacking once our luggage arrived.
  • The next morning we boarded tenders to take us into St. Peter Port. It is the definition of quaint. The town is colourful and looks straight out of a painting.
  • We took a bus from the port, through the island and to the Little Chapel. The Chapel is made up of bits of old broken china and shells. It sits in a pretty garden up a hill. You can go downstairs in the chapel so it’s almost two levels? There are many little alters in the chapel.
  • We went back to the ship where it was the first formal night. We had dinner (which I forgot to take pictures of, so I forgot what I ate that night) and saw a show onboard.

Tips

  • Always be prepared for rain! Even if it says it’s not going to rain, it probably will because it’s Britain. Luckily we were very fortunate and it only sprinkled a little rain. It was still cooler outside than in Canada at the same time of year so I would’ve dressed more warmly if I had known.

Photojournal

The cruise ship in Southampton 
The Little Chapel in Guernsey

Next up on the trip will be Ireland!

P.S. It’s Peri

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Boulder, Colorado Travel

If you’ve noticed I’ve been a little M.I.A on the blog this is the explanation why. I’ve been in Colorado and it’s time for the second (read the first travel-ish post here!) travel post here! I’m still a newbie for writing travel so eventually, it’ll find its grove.

Travelling

I haven’t been on a plane in 9 years and was a little too freaked out by the fact that I was flying (and it wasn’t a pleasant flight in general then) to actually appreciate how cool airports and flying are. Airports early in the morning are especially cool because it’s very quiet and people are sleeping on benches and reality feels altered. And with flying, YOU ARE IN THE SKY!! That’s crazy.

Sunrise over the runway while waiting for my flight. Featuring somebody’s juice bottle in the window??

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Food eaten, places visited and what I did

Between the 9 days (I think?) of travel, I have been to Toronto, Denver and Boulder. Also between the 9-ish days, food was eaten, things were done or not done at all I did lay on the floor staring at the ceiling for a bit. So I will condense it all down into points to avoid this post going on forever.

  • Stayed in an Airbnb. Benefits of this are that we had a kitchen, (didn’t have to eat out every meal), felt more local and had a backyard which seemed to be a lure to wild animals and a random poodle.
  • Went up Flagstaff Mountain. The mountains are just *there* and they’re beautiful. It makes you feel very small when something so big exists. Travelling up the mountain was slightly terrifying because heights, but spectacular to see the views from so high up.
  • Walked down Pearl Street Mall, ate at Locale,  Next Door and had coffee at The Cup. I didn’t take pictures of any of the food somehow. But I took pictures of basically everything else. Pearl Street Mall had many performers and always had lots of people wandering through.
  • Everything is organic, everyone rides bikes (legitimately bikes EVERYWHERE), the city is super pedestrian friendly. This was good so one doesn’t require a car while staying there. It’s stereotypically hippie and healthy and it’s kind of funny. This might be why National Geographic called Boulder the Happiest City in the USA. 
  • I was able to meet another one of my online friends on this trip which was exciting and another accomplishment! It’s one of my goals to visit as many of my friends as possible.
  • The weather was super dry compared to Canada. Which was nice but also not. Not nice because felt a bit like a dried up raisin and nice because it didn’t feel so hot out since there was pretty much no humidity.
  • Ran on trails through the mountains which was super peaceful and meditative.
  • Also enjoyed Amercian things like Dunkin Donuts (I hadn’t had a doughnut in 5 years), Cheez-its, Target and discount shopping. I impulse bought dresses at H&M. If you’ve read my Summer Clothes Haul you know I like H&M but the one in the US is even cheaper and has more selection.

Photo journal

Visiting poodle.
Overlooking Boulder from Flagstaff Mountain.

Pearl Street Mall.
View from The Cup cafe.
Latte from The Cup because latte art makes me very happy.

All photos and videos were shot with my iPhone 6 S. Photos were edited in VSCO.

First vlog (ish) video!

Should I make more Youtube videos? Would you like to see vlogs of future travels and other things?

P.S. It’s Peri

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