I was in Dublin not too long ago, in an independent book shop that someone had recommended to us, having the inner struggle I always have in book shops, where I want to buy everything and also I don’t want to spend my whole budget on books. I had already chosen a few books by Irish authors and decided that that’s enough, when I saw this gorgeous book cover on the shelf – Pine by Francine Toon. Reading the back cover told me that this is an eerie story set in a small village in the Scottish Highlands, surrounded by a pine forest. It took everything I had to step away from the shelf, telling myself that I have already gotten enough books and I wasn’t prepared to leave any of them, especially because I wanted to focus on Irish authors this time. Two days later I ended up at this book shop again and my will wasn’t strong enough, so I bought the book. And I am very happy I did.Continue reading “Pine”
A year ago, when travel was considerably less risky than it is right now, I went back to one of my favourite places, Scotland. As it was my second time, I used the chance to travel outside of Edinburgh. I took a day trip to Loch Ness through the Scottish Highlands. I spent several hours on a tiny bus, looking out at the magical, mossy landscape, lochs and mountains. Our Scottish guide, sporting a kilt, told us about monsters and monarchs and about the time this area had mountains higher than the Himalayas. After centuries of ice pressing down on the Earth, the mountains are much smaller than they used to be, but they are still the highest in Great Britain. During our stops I walked on the soft, bouncy ground, made up of many layers of turf and dreamed of riding through these hills on my trusty horse, not meeting anyone for days. I think I would have enjoyed that.
I’ve been to a lot of cities, so for this week’s City photo challenge from Dutch goes the Photo! I had a lot of pictures from which I could choose. And somehow I knew that I wanted to go with Edinburgh. It’s one of the cities I can definitely imagine living in and it’s a special one. With its gloomy weather and and fascinating history, it seems like a good fit. I don’t know when I’ll get the chance to go back and for how long, all I know is that sometimes, especially during this year’s hot summer, I check up on the Edinburgh weather and sigh, wishing I wasn’t melting in Continental Europe, but instead was sitting in a small dark pub, writing my book and looking at the soft rain in Scotland.
One short train ride away from Edinburgh and we are in Glasgow. It’s spring and the sun is shining, even though we are in Scotland and one does not expect a clear sky in Scotland. At some point during the day it drizzles, at another it’s windy, then it’s sunny again. If you don’t like the weather in Scotland, just wait five minutes and it will change.Continue reading “Glasgow”
Loch Ness totally lives off the Nessie hype, but hey it’s better than what most places have. A legendary prehistoric monster beats a tired ghost story any day. I went on a search for the monster myself during my visit to Scotland last month. My boyfriend and I took a one day tour from Edinburgh to the Highlands and Loch Ness. It was 12 hours, at least 7 of them spent on a bus, but the scenery and the driver’s stories kept me entertained, so that I didn’t even want to take a nap, in order to not miss anything.
We stopped at Fort Augustus in the afternoon and had time to walk around the lake, buy some fish and chips and expensive souvenirs (there are places where you just have to buy a touristy souvenir and this is one of them – I settled for a Nessie tea infuser). The village is a small one, but it’s thriving because of the tourism (check out the monster themed beers in the gas station). The lake itself is the second biggest in Scotland and it may or may not be an actual home to a giant monster. There are also boat tours from the village, for those who want to explore further.
I remember watching a documentary about Loch Ness and the monster when I was young. I was fascinated by it and I wanted to go there, but I didn’t really think that I would. It seemed so far away to a small, poor child in Eastern Europe. Now that I finally have the chance to travel, I am glad I went there. Even though we spend just over an hour there and we couldn’t explore the area as well as I wished, it was definitely worth it.
The Scott Monument in Edinburgh is the highest monument dedicated to a writer in Europe. It celebrates Sir Walter Scott, who helped shape and popularize Scottish culture. The first time I was in Edinburgh it was closed, so I couldn’t climb its almost 300 small, winding steps (so sad, seeing how I love stairs). This past weekend I returned and the Monument was on the agenda.Continue reading “Scott Monument”
I am going back to Edinburgh this weekend!
I am so excited! Last time we were there it became clear that four days weren’t enough to see everything. So it was decided that we should go back. Even with that day approaching I don’t think it will be the only time I go back to that city.
Of all the cities I’ve visited, Edinburgh is one of my favourites. I already have my tickets booked for my next visit in a couple of months and I can definitely imagine living there one day. And no visit to Edinburgh can go without visiting the castle. High above everything, on a hill in the city center, you just can’t ignore it.Continue reading “Edinburgh Castle”
As a self-proclaimed melancholic soul and someone who can’t swim, I am usually not a big fan of the sea. I certainly wouldn’t picture a summer sea side vacation when I think of a perfect trip.
But I do like a winter sea. Taking a walk by the sea in gloomy weather is something that I definitely would enjoy, if I had lived somewhere that had a sea. But I never really did, so I haven’t had the chance to take many moody, grey walks, staring at the horizon and contemplating life. I feel like it’s something that would quiet the mind. Continue reading “Edinburgh’s sea side”