Posts tagged Travel
{To wander} My first visit to Edinburgh

The second I walked off the train, onto the platform at Waverley Station, I was in awe of this city. On my left stood the gloriously historical, hodge-podge skyline of Old Town, while the Georgian elegance of  New Town's Princes Street sat neatly in contrast to my right.

The architecture in Edinburgh is so varied and so wonderful. Even Waverley Station inspires! Here are some shots I took during my wanders around Old Town. The famous Victoria Street's double layer,  curve and colours house a mixture of shops from books and nick-nacks to coffee and I spent a thoughtful couple of hours walking through Greyfriar's Churchyard.

The closes are tiny and one can get blissfully lost wandering off the Royal Mile and find gems like The Devil's Advocate Pub, or the Writer's Museum...

I spent my first visit to Edinburgh without a smartphone, which in hindsight was a blessing in disguise. I allowed myself to get lost, but if I needed to, I turned to paper maps and actually used my noggin for a change. I really love the city's abundance of coffee shops, galleries,  print shops, and bookshops. Creativity is everywhere and the temperamental weather, going from cloudy to warm and sunny in minutes, coupled with the lush greenery, cobbled streets and confused alleyways and striking architecture all together make me want to write, paint and photograph until the day is done. No wonder so many literary greats were based in this city. Look up. This is so important whilst travelling. With heads down focused on phones or arbitrary conversation, we miss so much. Above you can see what I mean about the glorious hodge-podge. of buildings.

Flowers hang from most pubs and many windows and as you can see, summer really does show off in the UK. Here you can see a good view of Scott's Monument, and little Greyfriars Bobby. The inscription on this memorial says:

“A tribute to the affectionate fidelity of Greyfriars Bobby. In 1858 this faithful dog followed the remains of his master to Greyfriars Churchyard and lingered near the spot until his death in 1872, with permission erected by Baroness Burdett-Coutts.”

Filament Coffee on Victoria St makes a damn good flat white. The reading material is equally great. Hip, so very hip.  Delightfully reminiscent of Cape Town in many ways. It is said that the over 350 year old George Heriot's School inspired J.K.Rowling's Hogwarts. I saw this quote whilst walking, during my first night in Edinburgh. Rather fitting I must say. Too true Tolkien. Who cares if I was lost at the time?

Edinburgh_June2014_03

There's something so delicious of being in a completely new place. Check in soon for more from my first visit to Scotland's capital. Over and out.

{To wander} Greetings, London
London_May2014_18

Last Tuesday I arrived in drizzly, grey, fantastic London. Filled with anticipation and lugging heavy bags, I was excited by the mere sight of a pub or white daisies which seem to be everywhere. Later that day I felt overwhelmed by the prospect of actually going outside to explore... but I was mighty glad I did. I met a friend for lunch at a lovely little spot called Birdhouse, in Clapham Junction. Perfect flat whites and amazing sandwiches. Hello happy place.

Source

A couple of days later, I met a good friend for lunch in St.James park. What a gorgeous place! If you stand on the bridge and look out across the water, you can see the London Eye on one end of the river, and Buckingham Palace on the other.  Sipping our Starbucks coffees, we had a great chat about moving countries, and the challenges and excitement that go with it. He reminded me that while it's not easy to leave what you know, it's so important to keep looking up and appreciating your new surroundings, to constantly remind yourself why you chose to do it, and be positive. I'm so grateful for this opportunity and think that challenges are so important for growth and to open our minds. I am also so lucky to have such wonderful, supportive friends and family helping me through this journey. Thanks guys :)

I love the stark contrasts in London; between the grungy, old textures, worn down by rain, and the clean, bright aspects against the grey sky.

Another highlight of my first week in London was a visit to Chelsea and the V&A Museum, described as being "the world's largest museum of art and design".

Roses seem to be commonplace in London. Beautifully British.

As you can imagine, I could spend days there. Their collection of fashion through the ages alone is incredible.

Even the cafe is exquisite (see below right):

I love that museums are a place for the old and young to connect in common interests and awe.

Next up, a visit to a wonderful breakfast spot, a touch of Covent Garden and the British Museum. Have a great weekend all. Get out and explore your surroundings!

{To Live} Wayfare Magazine

This incredible new online magazine was a very pleasant surprise, as I often feel a tad dissatisfied after poring through books and magazines about travel. Rather than simply rambling on about what there is to see in this place and that, how much you will spend and so on, Wayfare has taken a fresh approach by focusing on "celebrating the art of the journey". I love that.I have wanted to travel for as long as I can remember.. but still take so much joy in little road trips, sitting on a boat as it crosses a small lake, driving into a wine farm... While these things are child's play compared to a long train ride across China, there is something whimsical about exploring. About the journey. Ah the life metaphors.

To quote Wayfare Magazine:

We recognize that travel is not defined by how many miles you cover. It’s about finding inspiration along the way and celebrating the everyday moments. It’s about the spirit of discovery – breaking out of your routine to unwind, connect, and learn.  It’s this desire to go, to celebrate and to experience that drives everything we do.

Happy place. And their design and photography is rather fantastic...

I especially loved this article about a family of 4 who moved to East Africa to farm coffee beans. The pictures of the little boys, and the farm are gorgeous! Growing up in Africa, and having time on a farm, truly is unique.. special.. and leaves a mark on you that no cityscape can.

You can read the mag here: Wayfare :)

Eat Move Learn

3 guys. 44 days. 11 locations. A terabyte of footage.EPIC

The result is 3 compelling, beautifully edited short films, showing actor Andrew Lees experiencing the countries they visited with no apparent limits as to what they were willing to try! Divided into 3 categories: Learn, Eat, and my favourite, Move, you will be inspired and amazed by what you see, how much they cover, and how perfectly it's all shot. I love the fact that they were so clearly respectful of the people and their cultures, so keen to learn and really embraced the places they visited in their entirety. These include: Peru, Spain, Italy, France, and Chile.

STA Travel Australia sent the 3 of them: Rick Mereki, Andrew Lees and Tim White on this amazing trip. So, this is FANTASTIC advertising! Love it.

WARNING! If you suffer from the Travel Bug as I do.. this will only increase the symptoms. Watch at your own risk.

LEARN:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xc0d510zTA4&feature=relmfu]

EAT:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcOgjrRWx_Q]

MOVE:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BrDlrytgm8&feature=relmfu]

AWESOME.

STA TRAVEL Thanks to http://agnessokol.com/ - where I first saw these videos.