UK Series: daytrip to the Scottish Highlands

(Sept 29, 2015)

For the 2nd day in Edinburgh, I wanted to go outside of the city and see the landscape and nature of Scotland.

My search led me to this daytrip tour from viator which covers a small Scottish town calle Glencoe, the highlands, and the famous Loch Ness!
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It’s a beautiful drive to Loch ness with all the mountains and green fields we saw along the way.IMG_4263.jpgIMG_4060.jpgUpon arrival to Loch ness we took a cruise around the lake and heard stories of the legends around the Loch Ness monster..
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And also got to see a Scottish highland bull! 😀

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Overall I would recommend this tour to anyone who wants a taste of what the Scottish highlands has to offer.  Would be much better of course if you are able to drive around yourself to offer more flexibility on the stops and how long you want to stay.  But not a bad introduction that left me wanting to go back here to explore further!

UK series: University town of Oxford

(September 24, 2015)

After London, we rented a car and started our UK roadtrip with a day exploring the university town of Oxford.

We only had a day here so we joined a walking tour to get the most out of our time here.  The tour was informative and gave us a glimpse into both the history of the universities and the life and traditions of living and studying here.

The whole place just inspires learning and education! IMG_3112.jpg
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showing one of the traditions here in Oxford of tapping the book on the student's head

showing one of the traditions here in Oxford of tapping the book on the student’s head

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UK series: London in 2 days

(Sept 22-23, 2015)

Generally I’m not a fan of big cities.. For me city buildings lack character and all look the same with their glass walls, dull grey colors, and boxy shapes.  I want places where I can explore and see colors, patterns and different architectural styles.. Something that tells me I’m in a new place outside my home.

And although London is known as a busy, commercial city.. It still keeps it’s charm by preserving landmarks and buildings that show you of a past era..

In just 2 days, here are some of the sights we covered!

Leadenhall market – this wasn’t along the way of our planned walking route… But I saw it mentioned that it was used to represent Diagon Alley and Leaky Cauldron from Harry Potter so of course the fangirl in me pushed for a quick stopover here
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After this we headed off to see the sights around the Southwark district..

Views of the Tower Bridge, HMS Belfast and Thames RiverIMG_2715.jpg
Butler’s Wharf..
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Walking along Tower Bridge
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To get to the Tower of London – must do to see the Crown jewelsA free guided tour by a “Beef Eater” – the guards for the Tower of London

I don’t know what direction we started walking, but we ended up in the Waterloo district where we saw the London Eye

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Japan fangirl travel: Tokyo station

(Nov 30, 2014)

IMG_1577-2.jpg Although not a tourist spot, I found Tokyo Station another nice spot to go to for pictures.  The interior design and architecture of the building was so different from the other train stations in Japan.

After some research, found out that this red brick building dates back to the Meiji period, surviving from the time when the station opened in 1914.
IMG_1561-2.jpgAnd the interior was beautiful from the floor, the roof and the walls!IMG_1566-2.jpgIMG_1568-2.jpg
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Japan fangirl travel: Shibuya crossing

(Nov 30, 2014)

On our last day in Tokyo we went to Shibuya to do our last minute shopping before ending the trip.
IMG_1512-2.jpgShibuya is one of the main districts of Tokyo known for entertainment and shopping..

I’ve mentioned Shibuya briefly already in a previous post for the popular Hachiko statue which is found near the station.. And for One Piece fans there’s a small area in the Parco department store dedicated to all One piece memorabilia.

One other popular sight found here is the crazy Shibuya crossing.. This time around I wanted to also get a chance to take a photo of it as everyone crosses the intersection at the same time.. IMG_1489-2.jpg

Japan Fangirl travel: Around Asakusa

(Nov 22, 2014)

Since our accommodations is in the Asakusa area, this is the first area we explored in our trip!
IMG_0024.jpgAsakusa is famous for the Sensoji temple and is a good district in Tokyo to explore and get a feel for old Japan. IMG_0001.jpg IMG_0029.jpgThe temple is a popular tourist spot so it was really crowded… still I loved all the activity around the temple and was interesting to see some of the practices done by the locals.  Here we saw all of them crowding around the incense area and waving the smoke towards their face.. Not sure what it means though is it as some sort of good luck maybe??
IMG_0022.jpgAnd of course, lots of street food to try! IMG_9996.jpg
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Spain travel: daytrip to Segovia

(Oct 14, 2014)

Although Madrid didn’t have much unique tourist sights, you can still use Madrid as a base for daytrips to places like Toledo, Cordoba or Segovia.
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With limited number of days, we chose to go to Segovia, where it’s old city and aqueduct are both listed as UNESCO heritage sites.
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This and the Segovia castle is the main reason tourists flock to this town for a daytrip.. here’s some pics of the castle..
IMG_1006.jpgIMG_1019.jpgIMG_1033.jpg We went on our own and just took a train from Madrid to here.  It’s 30 minutes one way, but be mindful of the train and bus schedules so you don’t miss the time you want to get on the train.

 

Morocco travel: the Red City of Game of Thrones

(Oct 17, 2014)

Our 2nd daytrip from Marrakech is another place well known from the Game of Thrones tv series.. Ait Ben Haddou aka The Red City of Yunkai!

While Essaouira was near the sea, this fortified city is located high in the Atlas mountain area.
IMG_1275.jpgIt was a long drive to get here but the mountain views kept me occupied during the drive.. IMG_1237.jpg
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Morocco travel: Astapor bay of Game of Thrones

(Oct 16, 2014)

The main reason why we went to Marrakech is because of two daytrips I wanted to do.. One of which is Essaouira.. aka Astapor bay from the tv series Game of Thrones!  Astapor bay is where Daenarys went to purchase the army of Unsullied to invade Westeros.

Essaouira is a port city next to the Atlantic ocean, distinguishable by it’s fortified walls, big population of seagulls, and fishing boats lining the shore.. Here’s a few photos on our walk around the area
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