Dublin

Do I really travel somewhere unless I travel to a castle? The answer is no, and in Ireland of course I made it to a castle! While in Dublin we stayed in this lovely airbnb which was in Malahide, which was a near a  ‘haunted’ castle. I saw no ghosts.

Easter break

Dublin

Dublin

Easter break

We decided to take a hop on hop off bus the next day, because it was Good Friday so a lot of places weren’t open.

Easter break

Dublin

Easter break

 

However we did make it to Dublin castle.

Dublin

Look at all the umbrellas! But no rain! Silly Dublin.

 

Finally we ended the tour the last day where we made it to the Guinness factory for a cheeky pint.

Dublin

Easter break

 

Needless to say by the end of this trip (coming right on the heels of Italy) I was quite tired, and wanted a nap. There were two Cathedrals we saw in Dublin but alas because it was Good Friday we didn’t go in to look around, which brings the count to a tie!

Castle Count: 13

Cathedral Count: 14

 

Milan

They say there’s no time like the present and I write this in the present on a bus heading towards Dublin, after a crazy 48 hours in Belfast with my mom. However this isn’t about Ireland it’s about another country that starts with an “I”, and that country is Italy. More specifically in Italy Milan. I think it’s been stated but I can’t be bothered to go back and look, but I have no classes on Friday which makes traveling that much easier.

Milan
It was a long day to start with I got up around 5 am to catch the train at 6 and arrived at the airport around 9. My plan was delayed an hour and I didn’t arrive into Milan until around 2 pm, around 3:30/4 I met up with Richelle. We took a quick tour through a castle (yes another castle) that Di Vinci would work in and was once owned by the Sforza’s. No idea what the name of the castle was but it was beautiful and had a big court yard.

Milan

Milan

Milan
We later met up with Richelles flat mates and friends where had lunch admired the view and talked. We agreed to meet them later as she showed me around Milan, like the Duomo and some of the stores.Milan is one of the fashion capitals of the world and it shows. There were children dressed better than I was. The flag ship stores for Prada, LV and others were in their shopping center, and even though I know they have the same stores as high street stores in the UK everything just seemed… well better. I stood out like a sore thumb. If you think you have a great sense of fashion just go to Milan, you’ll most likely be proven wrong.

DSCN1000
We ended the night at a lovely place for dinner with her flat mates where I split a bottle of wine with Richelle, it took forever to get the check. Italians have no sense of urgency and it drives me INSANE.

Castle Count:11

Cathedral Count: 7

Edinburgh

I love the Scottish accent there I said it. I think it’s wonderful, and just as I adjusted to the other British accents I heard, being in Scotland required a certain turning of the ear when listening to the natives. However apparently Edinburgh is considered the “posh” area of Scotland so the accents there for the most part were very easy.

Scotland

Anna being Anna, and me being me, just happened to drag ourselves to the Scottish Museum. It was big and interesting and not at all what I expected. However it was free, and that is an universal favorite word of University students.

For all you Harry Potter fans out there, Anna and I did the free Harry Potter tour where you can see direct places that JK Rowling got her influence from. Such as theres a school, that has four houses that the houses of Hogwarts mirror. However sadly there is no sorting hat, and students are placed randomly into the houses.

Scotland

This is the Elephant House cafe which is where most of the third and fourth books were written. JK Rowling wrote in back room where she could see the grave yard, that inspired a scene from the fourth book, and Edinburgh castle which was an inspiration for Hogwarts Castle.

Scotland

A really cool thing is inside the bathrooms almost every inch of it is covered with graffiti, from book quotes, to what Harry Potter means to people, thank you notes to JK Rowling, and the unofficial official sign up place for Dumbledores Army.

Scotland

It may not look like much but this is the inspiration for Diagon Alley! We know this because JK Rowling has said so herself.

As much as Elephant Cafe may call themselves the birth place of Harry Potter, it was more likely this place called Spoon, which is where she wrote the entire first book, and provides much more of a friendly writing environment than Elephant House Cafe.

Scotland

Anna and I settled down for some tea and ginger beer after our tour so we could relax before going back into the cold and rain. It was a perfect place to relax and the next day we went for brunch we liked it THAT much.

Scotland

Edinburgh castle was just as magnificent as you would expect from a proper medieval castle. It was  like a little town once you entered the gates, and I don’t mean because of gift shops, I mean because you could tell that people worked and lived in the same area.

Scotland

Scotland

The view from the castle was the perfect view of the entire city it was for fear of being too repetitive in these posts, breath taking.

Scotland

I laughed out loud at this cafe… I just could not pass up an opportunity to get a picture of this sign.

Scotland

Scotland

Scotland

Scotland

The queen like with Stirling castle is required to visit here once a year at least. There’s three official royal castles (not places) I think and two are in Scotland if I remember/ heard correctly.

Scotland

Scotland

You see how green that grass it? That’s because it rains folks. A lot. It rained even at the end of our only sunny day. I wore rain boots the entire time I was there.  Fun fact though, whenever I would bring up I’m going to Uni in North Wales, they would say stuff like “it rains more there than it does here!” So I guess I get the worst of it, and it just follows me wherever.

Scotland

A beautiful stain glass window, from St. Margaret’s Chapel which is the oldest part of the castle. I had to take a picture.

Scotland

And as always my odds and ends to tie up this post. We were able to see the Scottish crown jewels but pictures were unfortunately not allowed. We wandered a lot when went shopping on the Royal Mile, which is a street leading up (or away depending on which direction you’re going), from the castle.

We walked in and out of quite a few free museums and galleries, and neither Anna or tried Haggis. I did however find a cathedral so my cathedral and castle count both increase by 1. With castle still very much so in the lead. I would love to travel to other parts of Scotland it’s such a wonderful place.

Castle Count: 10

Cathedral Count: 6