As I grow older, I learn that life reaches many destinations. While I would be speaking about a place I traveled to, this time I'm writing about a different type of place I'm about to reach. A place closer to my heart, a place where I will become an auntie. Being behind the lens and sharing this moment with these two is really special. Growing up with my sister and seeing her go through this journey is one of the greatest joys I've experienced. Life is incredible and I cannot wait to see the little feet that have been high five-ing me when I touch that belly.
Despite the gloomy weather, spending 3 days in Edinburgh, Scotland was pretty amazing! The thing that attracted me the most was its gothic style architecture. Having only read one book of Harry Potter, it definitely reminded me of that. The gloomy weather suddenly didn’t matter anymore.
The city of Edinburgh has such a rich and grand history. Scotland itself is known for its greenery and 75% of its energy comes from wind mills. According to the city law, Edinburgh is surrounded by a five miles radius of pure lush greenery and construction to build is not allowed. I fell in love with that fact. We should all be like Scotland!
Probably the biggest reason I came to Scotland is the CASTLES! I booked myself a tour to see a few of them. All were beyond what I had seen in photos. They were all so beautiful. Below are all that I saw:
Saint Douglas Kirk
They have a service called Hop on Hop off bus and it takes you around the city which saves time. You can get a day and it gives you the ability to stop anywhere you want. Although I did try it, it didn’t work for me because I only hopped on twice but it’s worth it if you’re traveling with family and have a specific agenda. There are a lot of museums and galleries in Edinburgh and I only saw a few, but this means it’s a great excuse to go back. Scottish National Gallery, National Museum of Scotland and Scottish National War Memorial atEdinburgh Castle are the ones that I saw.
I spent a lot of time walking around. I stayed at an Airbnb and it was a 10 min walk to Prince Street. Edinburgh is a very walkable city and you do not need a taxi or a bus unless you’re restricted on time. Transportation though was the best I’ve seen so far! You can take the train out of Edinburgh from the city center and there are buses that will take you to the airport 24/7. Believe me directions are not my forte so I’m telling you it’s really easy and traveling solo was very safe. I walked around at night to restaurants and bars without anyone bothering me.
Just walk with confidence and pretend you’re a local. Most importantly, smile :)
My trip started with landing in Dublin, Ireland arriving early in the morning. Because I arrived so early, I wasn’t able to check in, but I learned that you can leave your luggage at the Tourist Office in central Dublin for a day (for 5 euros). Life saver moment!
D A Y 1
Now that I didn’t have to carry anything, I grabbed some breakfast at The Bagel Bar Coffee. I had Earl Grey tea and a plain bagel. I loved loved the tea! Throughout the whole day, I just walked around as I studied my city map.
One of the places I visited was the very well known Trinity College. The history and architecture was absolutely beautiful! What’s really special about it is the old library because it holds the The Book of Kells which was printed in the 9th Century. The Book of Kells is Ireland’s greatest cultural treasure and the world’s most famous medieval manuscript. It is a richly decorated copy of the four Gospels of the life of Jesus Christ. The book is kept in a glass case and every 3 months a page is turned.
A really great place to eat is Eden Bar & Grill. I ordered a Moroccan Lamb Burger and I’m telling you it was the best burger I’ve ever had! The atmosphere is very bohemian but chic if that makes sense. I highly recommend checking it out if you’re ever there. At night, I went to a few bars and yes I did have Guinness :) and I did enjoy it. I also had lots of Fish & Chips since that’s a common dish there.
D A Y 2
On my second day there, I had booked a day tour to visit the Cliffs of Moher and the city of Galway. It was about a 3 hour drive on a bus so the day started at 7am. The cliffs were a vision and one of the best views I’ve ever seen. The fresh smell, the sound of the ocean, the wind, of course, the views were so grand! All of this together made this experience much more enjoyable. I spent about 2 hours walking around documenting by photos, video and sketch.
Galway was very quaint and definitely a city you can spend a few hours walking around in. It was typical of cute shops and restaurants…very touristy city. I had lunch at McDonaghs Seafood where I ordered their well known fish and chips. While I was eating, I met people from California who were so nice and ended up having a nice conversation with them. It’s always pleasant meeting other travelers especially someone from the same place as you meaning the US. That commonality you both share and interaction enhances the experience.
D A Y 3
This was my free day and the only thing I wanted to do is see some art so I did visit the National Gallery of Ireland and there I saw a Monet. His brush strokes were fantastic and the way they blended together was very magical. There was a Vermeer exhibit currently going on and I’m so upset I missed. Had I done my research ahead of time, I would have bought tickets. So do your research if it’s a particular topic you want to experience while in another country.
On this day, I also walked around St. Steven’s Green which was full of “greenery.” I saw a lot of students and families strolling around the park. After I walked over to Dublin Castle and explored around. Such great architecture and what made it even better was the weather. It rained a bit and as soon as the rain stopped, the sun came up and it created a cool reflection off the wet cobblestone streets. I watched the sunset over the river to finish off the day.
A great place to eat on the go that’s cheap but fantastic is Boojum, which is a Mexican burrito. If you’re on a budget and/or if you just don’t have time, this is the place to check out. Super inexpensive, filling and tasty. Also if you are a student, be sure to bring your student ID with you. There are a lot of perks around Dublin!
Transportation: Luas (tram/light rail system) – I bought a day ticket each day and it was about 2 euros/day. MyTaxi – taxi app, used to be called Halo. I used this app to book my taxi to the airport. It cost me 15 euros and it was so convenient! I highly recommend it. You can take a bus also which starts running around 5am. Transportation is very convenient and easy to get around.