Benches of the world – Via Instagram

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I love benches. It’s a place to take a break after a long walk or run. It’s a space where people can sit and admire the scenery. It’s a place where couples sit and hold-hands. It’s a space where I … Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Green

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Weekly photo challenge: Green My photo gallery: Fried-peppers tapa in Madrid, Spain; Friends on the green grass in medieval Toledo, Spain; a pastel green building in Gumairaes, Portugal; Looking-up the well in the caves of Sintra, Portugal; Dark green Christmas … Continue reading

I Found Nessie!

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Hellooooooo!!! Wow, it has been an amazing couple of days in Scotland. Above is a picture of Duncan, our lovely tour guide, and I at Loch Lubneig. I booked a tour through MacBackpackers tour group a few weeks back because … Continue reading

Haggis in Edinburgh, Scotland

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Above: Scott Monument for Sir Walter Scott, a Scottish poet.
This was my first view of Edinburgh as I walked early in the morning from the bu station, through the new town, and into the old town of Edinburgh.

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Above: This was my second view. Breathtaking, right?! And lucky for me, it was a very clear day in Edinburgh, so no clouds or fog obstructed my view of the looming (extinct volcano) Castle Rock.

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Above: Edinburgh Castle as seen from Princes Street Garden.

Unfortunately I only have one full-day in Edinburgh, and although I got here early, I didn’t sleep very well on the overnight bus from London so as much as I wanted to see all of Edinburgh, my sightseeing didn’t extend further than the Free Sandeman Walking Tour. So, check out a few of my pictures (not many, as my poor fingers were frozen after 3+ hours of walking) and then at the end of this post I’ll tell you about Haggis!

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Above: St. Giles Cathedral as taken with my iPhone 4S. And believe it or not this is the original photo, no alterations! I love the bright blue sky contrasting with the stone building.

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How about a creepy graveyard? This is Greyfriars Kirkyard and There are a ton of Ghost Tours offered here in Edinburgh, and after hearing about the very dark past of this city, I understand why. Also, this Graveyard served as inspiration for J.K. Rowling as she wrote the Harry Potter series! I don’t have photographic proof but our tour guide told us that graves for many Potter’s exist, as well as a McGonagall (William) and a Tom Riddle grave!
Anyways, I learned a lot of historical facts about Scotland and Edinburgh: hangings, torture, wars and dogs.
I’ve found some other online sources to share some of these stories with you (because I’m lazy and I would probably get the facts wrong if I tried to write it on my own):
Greyfriar Bobby: the story of the loyal dog and his master (ever seen the movie Hitachi?!)

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The dark and disturbing history of Edinburgh: the Covenanter’s Prison.
Seriously, take a read, it’s really interesting (albeit disturbing).

Head into the Grassmarket and you can see where the gallows used to be, as well as the ‘Last Drop’ pub which got its name as it was where individuals sentenced to death went to get their last taste of Scotch Whiskey.

My favourite story was of Maggie Dickson. She was sentenced to death for concealing her pregnancy, which was illegal back in 1724. Oh, she also got knocked up illegitimately by another man after her husband left her, hid her pregnancy (the real crime), had a still-born and attempted to discard of the corpse in the river.
Anyways, Maggie had her last drop, was hung and pronounced dead. Then, during her body’s journey to her grave, she ‘came back’ and was heard banging and knocking from inside her coffin.
She was quickly taken back to the gallows, about to be hung again, but then the judge intervened, saying that it was double-jeopardy and she was allowed to live. Well, that’s the version I was told, here is a link to the story according to the Grassmarket website.
I could go on-and-on with all the stories I learned today, except typing on an iPhone is not very easy, so I’ll end my rambling now.

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Above: Beautiful Victoria Street.

Haggis Time

**uh oh! Sorry all-wordpress screwed up! I wrote an entire post about Haggis and it didn’t upload! :(**
I’ll write one again for tomorrow!!

Sunny days in Porto, Portugal

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After yesterday’s trip to Guimarães, I was feeling sore, tired and ultimately unmotivated to do another day trip from Porto. Instead, I opted to spend another day in Porto while the sun was shining. Weather really does make a difference … Continue reading

Day Trip: Guimarães, Portugal

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Before coming to Portugal, I knew little about the country. I knew it was beside Spain, that the language was Portuguese and that the capital was Lisbon. So, imagine my surprise when I arrived in Portugal to discover that it … Continue reading

Beach day at Cascais, Portugal

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So, because the Gspot is awesome, and provides very detailed instructions of how to get to the beach!
It was easy, and only cost me 2.25 euro for a roundtrip from Lisbon to Cascais, and took only about an hour!

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This was my first sight of Cascais. Beautiful, colourful shops and restaurants, cobblestone streets and the hot sun.

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It was the perfect day for the beach. Not too hot, lots of sun, and plenty of people visiting during their Saturday off. Be prepared: it is extremely touristy! This isn’t a bad thing, but don’t expect a remote-unknown local beach.

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The streets were full of photo-opportunities-flowers donned the sides of all the houses, the roads were tiny, and every few steps I would pass an alleyway that offered breathtaking views of the ocean.
AWESOME!

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So, what’s in Cascais besides a beach and tourist shops?
Beautiful scenery and cliffs! Most notable is the Boca do Inferno. Honestly, I had no idea this existed but I found myself walking for about 20 minutes down a pathway with a lot of people. A lot of people=something awesome to look at!

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So beautiful! Then I headed back into town, taking pictures of awesome restaurants and boats in the bay.

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I spent the rest of my day taking pictures, sleeping on the beach, reading and eating over-priced gelato. All-in-all it was a fantastic day.

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And just a beautiful graffiti picture to finish this post off:

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Hola Lisbon, Portugal

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First impression of Lisbon (Lisboa): just another big city. BUT, after less than 24 hours in the city I realized that Lisbon is described as one of the best cities in Europe for several reasons. My hope is that by … Continue reading