I had seen the slow becoming of the city from dawn to sunrise to the flocking of tourists. Its early morning breeze with the aroma of coffee beans being brewed from coffee shops we chanced upon gave a hint of yet another overly caffeinated, fun-filled day exploring the “not so surprising” Europe-ish neighborhood that still baffles me in awe every time. I used to hate the sound of alarm but not during this time in December. Each alarm would set off another day of me living my used-to-be wildest dreams. Writing this is like re-living all the “kilig” moments. This is how I capped off the year 2019, well, partly, with my sister, and it was a great way to coddle ourselves after putting all the hard work to make this travel finally happen.
This trip had been long planned. I was supposed to go sometime in 2018 but things happened and I had to change my priorities. The plans had come to fruition, obviously, tho it was almost 2 years late. This is a good example of the saying, in non-verbatim, “delays are not rejections.” The timing couldn’t be more perfect, actually. 2019 was a very hectic year for me and this trip is the metaphor of the quote — YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW. And imagine if my vacation was to happen a month later than the original schedule exactly when COVID 19 outbreak was declared a public health emergency, then none of these would’ve probably happened and all I do is mourn and blame the virus. LOL.
We were pretty early, like pretty-much-everything-is-still-closed kind of early except for coffee shops. When I say early, it does not mean that we were there as early as 5 in the morning. It only means that we were there right on time, 8-ish I suppose, yet it was still dark. I never got used to it! So our DIY trips are pretty much compressed to 6-7 hours of daytime where if you get lucky, the heavens will spew out some sunshine. It’s UK we’re talking about here where intermittent raining and hoodies are kind of the norms, and you know it’s not exactly the best friend of a person who likes taking photos so much so during the winter season where the weather isn’t negative but surely feels like it.
Hey, St. Giles’ Cathedral! We passed by you on the way to the castle and you just became our first official stop. I often think whenever I get inside cathedrals and I take photos that it’s an act of sacrilege but no, it just goes to show that people are merely appreciating the beauty and the details of the holy place and as for me, I always say a prayer. And come to think of it, a lot of cathedrals/churches in Europe charge people of entrance fee and I think that it helps with the maintenance and improvements in so many ways. Cathedrals and churches have become common tourist attractions and in my opinion, it’s a way as well for people, regardless of religion (or no religion), to come together to just be there and show respect to each other. I haven’t been inside a Kingdom Hall or a Mosque and the other holy places of different beliefs and I honestly want to see what’s inside and just observe people.
I have no words how every turn, every street — basically everything — is just picturesque and we spent so much time taking photos (not really surprising)! I don’t know why I’m acting like Edinburgh is any different but it is different! The city is really interesting just like the fact that their national animal is a unicorn, and this is when I realized that that is probably why I am so drawn to this place the minute I set foot! HAHAHA! I read that unicorns symbolize feminine energy, magic, wonder, hope, positivity and all that — and that, my dear reader, is everything that I want to radiate in life. ❤
These photos were all taken just around the proper of Edinburgh. Aside from the Edinburgh Castle, we really had no other plans. It was all about ‘let’s go down this street’ and ‘let’s go over that one’ or ‘let me check google maps where to go’ and voila! It’s true that sometimes the best plan is having no plans. Besides, it’s not like I was about to leave this beautiful country anytime soon. From this day, I think I still had about 15 days in the UK — give or take. I’m writing this like it was just December yesterday. Oh how time really flies! The United Kingdom definitely was the plot twist of my 2019.
One of the things you probably know already (or not) is that Edinburgh is the birthplace of Harry Potter. Well, The Elephant House to be specific. It is the where J.K. Rowling would write in the early days of the Harry Potter creation. The cafe’s usually packed, which is expected, and of course we didn’t get to try it! Though we were able to go to Greyfriar’s Kirkyard where it can never be too crowded! LOL! It’s a graveyard in Edinburgh where some of the famous names in HP were derived such as Potter, McGonagall, etc. Side story: not sure if there’s a school around or it just so happened there were students at that time but I took photos of them while wandering and one of the leaders approached and asked me to delete it. LOL. I kind of low-key panicked but yeah, I realized that was inappropriate. What was I thinking tho? 😛
Edinburgh Castle was the highlight of this day trip. I mean look at the view of the city from here! I am an avid admirer of city view and it’s just a beaut to behold! The ticket price to get in is really pricey but worth it. We spent 2 good hours inside and it was just everything you wish all museums to be. It’s all looking very old and historic on the outside but when you enter all the sections, everything was pretty much interactive and some areas will actually give you chills like the Prisons of War and The Great Hall. It’s pretty rad! Also, I think this is the first castle I ever went in!
This is the National Museum of Scotland and it’s a living proof why this city is just f*cking insane! I love it (I know I say this a lot)! It looks like a one big hall but there are actually different rooms on the side and it’s just as good! The architecture in itself is just — WOW! — and most importantly, there’s no entrance fee! Not sure if it was only during this time but yeah, who doesn’t like free admissions, right? 😛
And of course, what’s a day trip in December time in UK without seeing the Christmas market? It was very festive, lively, colorful, and fun! Edinburgh’s Christmas market took it up a notch though with a ferris wheel and other attractions that made it look like a mini amusement park. But let’s be serious — I’m here for the food and the hot chocolate which is a Christmas market staple. LOL. The total amount of sugar I had during my entire vacation here is like the equivalent of my sugar intake for the whole year in the Philippines. I’m not kidding. I think the average number of hot chocolate I had every day is 3, not to mention coffee, and it’s not only destroying my body but also my wallet. HAHAHA! But hey, I’m not staying here for long so f*ck it. No time to hold back, and just indulge! UK’s lit and it’s given me one of the best times!