Well, I'm starting a blog. I've been meaning to do it for some time now, but am just getting around to it. It's an odd thing. Blogging means that you think your life is interesting enough that people will want to read about it. I don't know if this is true, but I figured I would give it a shot anyway. This is a blog about my travels and quest to live fearlessly. Welcome.

- Christina

Friday 9 August 2013


Ah, finally time for the last blog post about our U.K. trip. From Edinburgh, Scotland we flew to London, England. When we arrived in London we had to figure out the public transportation system. It was extremely confusing at first, but we got the hang of it pretty quickly. We stopped off at our hostel and settled in. Then we headed off to explore. We walked around a little bit and got ourselves used to the tube (underground train system).

David in the tube station. 

The next day we went to do a free walking tour of the city (put on by the same company we used in Edinburgh). Once again, the tour was wonderful and filled with so many facts about the city. It seemed like we walked the entire city in the 3 hour tour. London is huge, especially compared to the tiny city of Edinburgh which we had been in last. After the tour we stopped off at a pub for some traditional food and drinks. David and I shared some fish and chips and bangers and mash, with beer of course.

On our tour we saw Buckingham Palace, and learned about it's history, so the next day we went back to see the changing of the guards. Everyone who has been to London talks about seeing the changing of the guards, so we figured it was a must-see. We had no idea what to expect, I mean is it just guards changing shifts? Well, we decided to check it out. We got there a half an hour early and the place was packed. People were crowding the streets and police were directing foot traffic. We finally managed to squeeze our way in so we could see through the gates. I guess it's more than just guards changing shifts, I thought. Soon the guards started pacing back and forth in a very calculated manner, and a while later a band came out and played a song. They then continued to stand neatly and walk in precise steps. This lasted for like an hour. Honestly, it was ridiculously boring. I don't see what the big deal is. Besides the 3 minute song played by the band, you were just watching guards with stern faces walk in a calculated manner over and over again. But, at least we saw it, right?

People waiting to see the changing of the guards.

Guards standing. 

After that my feet hurt and we were starving, so we decided to walk around the city in search for food. After lunch we headed to Picadilly square, which is the main shopping area, and then Harrods, which is a famously huge department store. David and I realized that we aren't much for shopping, and left as soon as we arrived. I guess that kind of thing is fun for some people, but we just aren't into wandering around and looking at stuff we cant afford/don't need. So, we decided to go to some museums instead. At the science museum we saw the Imax 3D movie "Under the Sea," which was pretty cool. We ended up coming back the next day and doing the "Legend of Apollo" 4D experience because it was half off, but it wasn't as good as the ocean one.

 "Under the Sea" 3D

That night we went to a pub crawl that was put on by the same company that does the free tours. The crawl started at a bar, went to two more, and then to two clubs. We met a nice brother and sister from Ohio (I think?) who were traveling in London. At the first club I was ready to dance, but the friends we made didn't want to, so I was standing there nursing my beer and contemplating when a fellow traveller came up and started talking to me. He asked if I was from America, and when I said yes he said that he could tell because I wasn't dancing. Well, I took immediate offense to this (not literally. I wasn't mad, but I felt the need to immediately prove him wrong!). I grabbed the girl we were with and we started dancing, but her brother refused! He just stood there pouting until I grabbed his hand and forced him onto the dance floor. We ended up having a great time. It seemed like people in London have more fun when they're in clubs dancing, and are less worried about how they look. David and I left early at the last club so we could catch the tube back to our hostel. Overall, it was a really fun night!

The next day we went to Camden Town. We were weary of going here because we'd had bad experiences with tourist shopping traps -like I said before, they just weren't for us. Camden was totally different. We loved it! It's this section of town full of tiny booths that sell everything you can think of: crafts, clothes, home decor, food... oh the food. We walked around jut looking at all the unique things and drooling over which food to eat. That's when we discovered Dutch Pancakes. They are these little tiny pancakes covered in Nutella, strawberries, and powdered sugar. Literally the best thing I've ever eaten. Ever. They were so good that we made the journey to Camden Town again the next day.

Camden Town.

Dutch Pancakes!


So happy. 

On our last day in London we went to Shakespeare's Globe theatre (well, a reproduction of the Globe). It was so cool. We had a really awesome tour guide (we learned that they make all the difference in your experience). We sat in the seats and looked down on the stage while learning the history. The Globe is still a working theatre and they have shows for as low as $5, but they book up quickly. I wish we could have been able to see a show. 
Trying on Shakespearean props. 

The Globe stage.

Outside the Globe.

After the Globe we went to rid the London Eye. This is a huge ferris wheel with glass pods that fit up to 20 people. From the top you can see all of London. It was a really cool experience to see London from that view. Because we had been there for a few days we were able to identify most of the major buildings.
On the Eye.

Glass Pod. 

Well, I think that's about it. The next morning we headed to the airport. We weren't too jet-lagged when we got home. Overall, our trip was amazing, but we were ready to be home. I cannot wait to go on more adventures!

Thursday 1 August 2013

Edinburgh, Scotland

Hi all, I know this is very late considering we got back from our trip over a month ago, but this blogging business is hard! It takes a lot of work and time, so I've been putting it off. Sorry.

Anyway, after two weeks in Ireland and Northern Ireland we headed back to Dublin and caught a plane to Edinburgh, Scotland. The ride was only about an hour, and we arrived in Scotland in the evening. We spent two nights in Edinburgh (pronounced: ed-in-bur-uh-- we were corrected on this many times). We had no idea where we were staying that night, so we found the nearest hostel and crashed there. It turned out to be an old cathedral that had been turned into a hostel. Walls were put up to become dorm rooms, and you could still see the cathedral ceilings while in the hostel dorms. The place was very cool, and unlike anything we had stayed in before. There was one downside though; it smelled like weird old shoes/popcorn. It actually made me kind of sick. Needless to say, we spent one night here before looking for a new, non-smelly place to sleep. It was sill neat though, see:

Cathedral turned hostel in Edinburgh.

The next day we went to explore Edinburgh. It is a relatively small town that sits on the base of an extinct volcano. We walked round the town and soon headed to Edinburgh Castle. The castle was built right into the side of the mountain/extinct volcano. It looks like something out of a movie. The castle towers over the small town, and from the top you can see everything. We walked the cobblestone streets within the castle walls, explored dungeons and jail cells where prisoners were held, and saw the Scottish crown jewels. The Edinburgh Castle was amazing. 
 Strategically placed castle. 

 Within the castle walls.

 Swords for days...


In a jail cell.

You can't actually take pictures of the jewels, but here's the sign. 

After the Edinburgh Castle we went to the National Museum of Scotland (we quickly learned that anything with "National" in front of the name is almost always free- woo hoo!). This was a huge museum full of history and science. We had an amazing time just wandering around and soaking up the culture. That was it for our first day in Edinburgh. 

 Space suit up!


 Moose skeleton.


Totem pole. 

The next day was our last in Edinburgh. We only had two days, but honestly it was enough. The town was pretty small and we didn't have a car to go anywhere else. It wasn't like in Ireland where we could just drive wherever we wanted to go. So on our last day in Edinburgh we went on a great free walking tour of the city. We had heard about a company that did free walking tours and decided to try it out. It is mostly young people who give the tours and they work off tips. We had an amazing tour guide who took us all over the city in the 3 hour tour. He taught us so much about Scottish history and customs. We loved the tour so much that we decided to do it again the next day, but in London! More on that later though. After the tour we went to a traditional Scottish pub for lunch. David had the haggis, which was traditionally all the "nasty" parts of the sheep cooked in it's stomach, but it now something similar to our meatloaf. It was beef/lamb cooked in a bag, with gravy on top. It was actually really good. I got bangers and mash, which is a dish I learned to love while in Ireland. Its sausages, mashed potatoes, gravy, and vegetables- what's not to love?

After lunch David wanted to do a "Scotch Experience" at the world's largest private collection of scotch. It was kind of expensive and I had already toured the Guinness and Bushmill's factories, so I decided to skip this one. I just went back to the National Museum and walked around some more, there was still tons to see. We met up after the tour and talked about what we had seen. David had a great time at the Scotch experience. He told me how he tasted scotch from different parts of Scotland and how you could really taste the difference based on where it was made. For dinner we stopped in a little Italian restaurant and had some delicious pizza and enjoyed a glass of wine, mmmm.

 A panorama of the world's largest private collection of scotch. 

 David being sexy in front of some scotch ;)

Wine :)

And that was about it for Scotland. I wish we could have traveled around and seen more of the country, but we just didn't have time. We headed off to London next, more to come...