Tag Archives: Wales

Edinburgh, Leeds, & Cardiff

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English Breakfast

English Breakfast

Our last morning in Scotland we got up an out relatively early and went to have a true English breakfast, that we decided to do this while in Scotland makes no sense I know but that’s what happened and it was really good. After breakfasting we went back to the hostel and joined the walking tour that was going out from the hostel and learned a lot about the history of the city. A few facts: Edinburgh is the most haunted city in the world, the expression “shitfaced” originated here because before indoor plumbing you threw your chamber pot into the street a 7am and 10pm daily and if you were too drunk to remember the time and were out on the street you got covered in human waste, and J. K. Rowling got a lot of her inspiration and wrote the first book in Old Town Edinburgh.

Matching curtains & sheets

Matching curtains & sheets

Both of us a bit sleepy (one of the guys in our room at the hostel sounded like a fog horn all night snoring!) we hopped on a train and a few hours of rolling hills, sheep, and small towns later, arrived in Leeds. I have been priding myself on my excellent hostel choices up until now. I don’t know what happened but I wound up booking us a hostel in a suburb of Leeds rather than in the city and it was in the middle of nowhere! We had really bad directions and barely a map, got lost I can’t tell you how many times, got lost in not so nice areas, and walked several miles with our backpacks to our hotel, all of the cheap places were already booked including all of the hostels, so this was our only affordable choice but still. Now this wasn’t just any hotel this hotel was ancient! Please see the photo of the curtains that match the bedspread for proof. I must say the place was kind of hilarious and we laughed for quite a while about the whole ordeal.

Europeanized Chili Dog

Europeanized Chili Dog

Since this was one of the few times we had a room to ourselves with no random strangers snoring in the bunk over or waking up at 4am we slept in before heading into Leeds to go to the Royal Armory which I had heard was a must see and free, which is always nice. It was a very impressive museum and we had a good time although as hour 3 of looking at guns came and went my attention span began to wane but that’s what I get for going to an armory with a guy.

Erik with his Robot picture

Erik with his Robot picture

When the museum closed we went into Leeds to explore the Arcades and grab some dinner. Now I have not touched on food too much thus far, but today’s eating deserves mentioning. I had a very American day food wise. I had essentially a chili cheese dog (with a European twist) for lunch and Gumbo for dinner. Both of these are American foods I had never tried before and I must say I REALLY liked them! So my European twist was a bratwurst with chili, monetary jack cheese, jalapeños, and bacon. Also on the food note I tried grape/edelberry sparkling water today, another major success.

Cardiff Castle

Cardiff Castle

We almost had a big problem on Saturday as we were about 3 minutes away from missing our train to Cardiff and we would have missed it if the train hadn’t been late which luckily it was. After several hours on the train during which we entertained ourselves with an INTENSE game of Dots, several heated rounds of Hang Man, before finally resorting to doodling we finally arrived in Cardiff, the capital city of Wales and fun fact the birthplace of Roald Dahl. We arrived in the late afternoon and after checking into our hostel (I only saw one other female in the place the two days we were there, weird) went out to explore in the first truly warm day we have seen. We wound up hanging out in a park enjoying the sun for quite a while before looking for a supermarket to buy dinner and had a nice lazy night of chess and board games.

Cardiff Castle

Cardiff Castle

Sunday morning we set out for the Cardiff Castle where we took a guided tour, explored the original keep, and the grounds. We spent the morning and early afternoon there before taking a boat down the river to Cardiff Bay. While I am glad we came to Wales I must admit (much like Leeds) there is not much to do here.

Now we are back in London for 2 nights before heading out of the UK.

Cardiff Castle library

Cardiff Castle library

The original Cardiff Castle

The original Cardiff Castle

Drinking tea in the park and looking smug

Drinking tea in the park and looking smug

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Let the European Adventure Planning Begin!

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As part of my 12-month dive into the world of want and separation from the world of reality  I am planning a 45 day trip to Europe. A trip which I will do my best to document and capture on here for you all to enjoy. However, as my travelling buddy and I are struggling through the terribly difficult task of deciding between all of the places that we want to go I thought I would share our tentative plans with you and welcome any and all suggestions, opinions, thoughts, words of wisdom, and other brain waves that you might send my way.

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Tentative Travel Plans

Day 1: Fly into London

Day 2-4: Explore London

Day 5-14: England and Wales Loop

Day 15-16: Brussels/Brugge, Belgium

Day 17-18: Cologne, Germany

Day 19-20: Small Villages in Italy

Day 21-25: Rome and Florence, Italy

Day 26-27: Verona, Italy

Day 28-30: Munich, Germany

Day 31-33: Budapest, Hungary

Day 34-36: Vienna, Austria

Day 37-40: Prague, Czech Republic

Day 41-45: Berlin, Germany

If anyone has any suggestions of places to see, things to do, and things not to miss, or to skip, I would be forever grateful because we leave in a little over a month and so many things are still yet to be decided. While our indecision in a lot of ways in a good thing–I don’t like to travel with a minute-by-minute plan–I would like to have a few things that we plan of seeing in each location decided before we get on the plane.

There will be more regular posts coming at you in the near future, but the last few weeks my life has been consumed with the planning of this trip, an important interview, and settling into a new relationship (yay boyfriends!) which have kept me far away from my social media sources, but I am back and ready to post with a vengeance before setting off to jet around Europe for a month and a half. So Happy March and I will be talking to you again soon!