Read more about our United Kingdom adventure here:
Scotland – edinburgh, the old cityall things national museum • holyrood views 15th century st. giles cathedral closes abound edinburgh’s castle headed north dunkeld, the first stop the highlands killiecrankie’s soldier’s leap a wee dram of tomatin here comes the snow clava cairns’ standing stones crossing the bridge to skye isle of skye sites the old man of storr


The thing I was most excited to visit the United Kingdom for was a chance to visit so many castles! While it’s true that most of these castles are no longer inhabited and it’s not like you’re going to run into royals in them, they’re still pretty amazing to walk through and look at. Edinburgh has a huge castle on one end of Old Town’s Royal Mile. It didn’t happen to be open to the public on my Edinburgh city day so I had to delay my adventure into Wales to visit the castle. I’m glad I did though and I’m glad I showed up early to wait in line so I could get in right away!

Edinburgh Castle truly dominates the city’s skyline, especially since it sits on a craggy hill (which makes sense militarily for protection purposes). In the past, the Castle was used as a royal residence. For example, Queen Margaret lived here. It was also a military stronghold. It hasn’t seen military action in centuries though, but continued as an army base into the 1900s. The layout of the castle is huge and I always wonder just how many people lived and worked in a place like this. Besides, since castles generally sit on top of easily defend-able hills, they always offer great city views!

Read more about our United Kingdom adventure here:
Scotland – edinburgh, the old cityall things national museum • holyrood views 15th century st. giles cathedral closes abound

A Scottish photo adventure:

St. Giles, located right in Edinburgh’s Old Town, is the heart of the Scottish Reformation. Famous minister John Knox served here from 1559 to 1572. While the bulk of the original architecture is from the 15th century, much of it was restored in the 19th century so most of it doesn’t look that old, albeit still quite old.

While in Edinburgh, visiting this cathedral caused me a lot of angst because I wasn’t in town for that many days. In fact, I only had time to walk around Edinburgh for a full day before heading off into the Highlands. Of course it just so happens that St. Giles Cathedral was closed that day! This meant that I delayed heading to Wales an entire half day (after the Highlands) so that I could make sure to have time to see the inside of this magnificent cathedral! Of course the stained glass windows were amazing. The vaulted ceilings were also spectacular. Really, I just love the feeling that these old cathedrals give me … stonework so beautiful it’s beyond my meager words!

Read more about our United Kingdom adventure here:
Scotland – edinburgh, the old cityall things national museum • holyrood views

A Scottish photo adventure:

Over winter break, I went on a half solo, half family trip to the United Kingdom. The UK is definitely a place I’ve imagined and have romantic dreams of visiting for quite a while, but never got around to it until now because my sister is studying abroad this semester in London.

Even though I flew into Heathrow (London), I decided to head straight away up to Scotland on an overnight bus. It wasn’t the most comfortable, but got the job done and I was ready to explore Old Town Edinburgh right away. I really didn’t know what to expect from Scotland besides bagpipes and kilts, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved it here. Edinburgh just may have been my favorite city to visit in all of the UK! The architecture is beautiful; everything reminds me of the magical world of Harry Potter; and the alleyways, steep stairways, and closes make for great places to explore around every corner. I just love this place!

A Scottish photo adventure:

{nyc} 2-hours stop-in

January 30, 2018

Leaving the east coast and headed back to the west coast, we ended up leaving from JFK in New York City. My friend and I took the train from New Haven (Conn.) to Manhattan before heading to the airport. Odd in terms of timing, we had just a couple of hours to kill before having to take the subway to the airport so we decided to do a little bit of exploring. Since neither of us had seen the finished 9-11 Memorial and Freedom Towers area, we decided to head in that direction. I had seen the memorial before, but none of the towers and he hadn’t been to New York City at all since all of that construction started. We tried to do as much walking as possible (with our bags) so that we could pack in as much city life in as possible, which turned out to be a great decision because who doesn’t love walking all around NYC? If only we had more time for all this! Next time!

A 2-hour photo adventure: