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2 Days Itinerary in Edinburgh

‘Edinburgh is a sweet surprise. A city that depicts the past yet reflects the future at the same time.’ – Hannah

After our trip to London, my husband and I thought about making use of our UK visa again. A few hours after that, we found ourselves booking cheap tickets and flights to Edinburgh, Scotland.  And off we go.

This is not our first time to travel of course so we know the drill. We researched and map out our itinerary for Edinburgh. While doing our research, we saw some pictures of Edinburgh and my husband and I were quite dismayed. It didn’t seem special at all. It didn’t seem beautiful. To be honest, we thought that if this trip will not push through we will not mind at all.

Then came the day of our trip. The day before that I had a really high fever and even had a bacterial infection in my throat so I am not really in a happy mood. When we got in Edinburgh, everything changed.

We took the bus 35 from Edinburgh airport to the Airbnb apartment we rented. The fare was just 1.65 GBP. There are other quicker options like Airlink and Tram but cheap as we are, we opted for the bus. By the way, the buses in Edinburgh accepts cash and exact amount only. If you insert 5 pounds in the machine be ready not to get any change.

We arrived at around 8:00 in the evening. After settling in the apartment, we went out hoping to catch the ghost tour which was scheduled at 9:00pm. We walked from the apartment to the city for 30 minutes, and much to our dismay, since it is winter they do not do the 9pm tour anymore. But it was worth it, though. On our way to the city center we were saying that there seemed to be nothing special about Edinburgh but when we got into the center, our jaw dropped. Truly the pictures online did no justice to how beautiful Edinburgh is.

Even at night, it was magical. With a castle towering behind the whole city, it felt like we were immediately transported back in time where kings and queens look over their dominion from afar. Seeing and hearing everything that is happening in the town below.

After the walk, we made our way to the apartment. We had dinner on the way in our favorite restaurant in the UK, Nando’s.lol, Enough about us, let’s talk about Edinburgh and what are the things you should definitely do when you are there.

Edinburgh - The probing wife
Off we go to Arthur’s Seat. Taken from the top of a double-decker bus.

Day 1.

9:00 am – 12:30 Arthurs Seat and Salisbury.

If you want to see the whole see from a top of the mountain, you should definitely hike your way to Arthur’s Seat and Salisbury. Everything that you can see there is majestic. There are 2 main ways that you can use to go on top of the mountain. One is the steep, slippery and less taken while the other is the easy and flat road. Of course, my husband I chose the road less taken. Slippery, muddy and steep. We all have different preferences so go and choose the one that suits you. Either way, you’ll reach the top and be mesmerized all the same.

Edinburgh- The probing Wife
View from Arthur’s Seat.
The probing wife - edinburgh
Cheesy. Cheeky. On top of Arthur’s Seat.

After the long hike, we made our way to the city for our scheduled free city tour.

2:oo – 4:00  Free City Tour.

I know most of you do not like tours, but my husband and I really love them because we learn a little something about the history of the city and the country as well. And if you are lucky enough to have an amazing guide that brings you to the not so touristy part of the city, that is a huge plus. During this tour, my husband and I found out that JK Rowling wrote most of the book in a small cafe in front of the Greyfriar Cemetry. We even got to see the school that looks like Hogwarts, and for a reason. This is the school where JK rowling based the idea of Hogwarts itself, especially the facade and the fact that the school has 4 houses as well.

the probing wife - edinburgh
Never ever think that this heart symbolizes love. Contrary, it symbolizes hatred and disgust. Yep, we had an amazing guide.

7:00 – 9:00 pm Free Ghost Tour

It is creepy. If you don’t feel chilly and cold enough on a winter night, then join this tour. You’ll feel the chills running through your vein the whole time. You’ll know about baby strangling, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, witches, vampire, he-who-must-not-be-named and much more.

Day 2.

After a whole day of walking, needless to say, we are very tired the next day. So we started our second day with a little hike.lol, Here’s the second day of our Edinburgh adventure.

8:00 – 10:30 Calton Hill.

The way to Calton Hill is not as steep as Salisbury nor Arthur Seat but it was equally magical. Ding ding ding! Fairytales are real.

Edinburgh - The probing wife

Edinburgh - The probing wife
Edinburgh. Athens of the North.

10:30- 12:30 Holyrood Castle.

Holyrood Castle is right below the Arthurs Seat. As a matter of fact, you can even start your trip here then go to Arthur’s Seat. We just didn’t do that because we were excited about the hike. There is usually an entrance fee of 12GBP to go in the castle but my husband and I were at a perfect time because that day it was free entrance so we grabbed the opportunity and toured the castle.

holyrood-castle

By the way, it is not allowed to take pictures inside the castle, so take as many as you can while you are still allowed to do so.

Holyrood Castle - the probing wife
So touristy.

1:00- 3:00 Edinburgh Castle.

Every 1:00 in the afternoon the Edinburgh castle has an old tradition where they set off a canon. It is an amazing tradition and one that you should definitely look forward to. There is an entrance fee of 16GBP. We have had a lot of castle for a day so my husband and I didn’t go in. But for all of you who loves castles, this is definitely for you.

 

Edinburgh castle - the probing wife
Edinburgh Castle

 

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Edinburgh Castle

We spent the rest of the day walking around Royal Mile, Grass Market and more. There is truly more to Edinburgh that meets the eye. Be ready for an adventure because you will not lack one in Edinburgh.

 

‘Go and travel. The world is waiting.’

– Hannah 

 

 

P.S.

Here is another airport transfer service from Edinburgh Airport to the city.

 

Airlink 100- 4GBP

Tram – 5 GBP

Bus- 1.65 GBP

No Excuse not to be Fit When in Denmark

If someone will ask me what it is that I love about Denmark, I am pretty sure I can go on the whole day stating my reasons. I mean, it is hailed as the happiest country in the world so truly there are multiple (if not thousands) of reasons why I fell in love with it. As a matter fact, I wrote a blog before about how it is to live like a Dane. 

But one of the reasons why I love Denmark is that it gives a person absolute NO REASON not to be fit. Let me tell you why.

  1. Parks are everywhere.

    In Denmark, there are a lot of parks and playgrounds. After every few blocks, you can see a park filled with kids and adults alike. In these parks, you can play basketball, trampoline,climb or jog. Do whatever you want and nobody will care. Also, on weekends or at night time you can just go to any school playground and use the amenities there,for free.

  2. Intended walk/jogging path.

    It is very safe to jog/walk in Denmark. You do not have to worry about passing cars because Denmark already thought of that even before you did. That is why they have really wide walkways which are very convenient for everyone to use when they are jogging or doing their morning walks.

  3. It is very safe to walk around even at night.

    If you are a busy bee and do not have the luxury to exercise in the morning,do not worry. Denmark got you covered. You can do a night exercise if you want. It is generally safe to run in Denmark even at night time. As a matter of fact, I am sure you will not be alone as many Danes tend to run as well during night time. Who knows, you might meet your “fitness buddy” on one of those nights, under the starry sky and big blue moon…ahh.Sweet.

  4. Bike Lanes.

    Remember what I told you about pathways? Well, that’s not the only thing that Denmark has. They have bike lanes too. It has a reputation being the world’s most bike-friendly country.  Most of the Danes use bikes when they go to the office or even when they run their errands.In fact, almost 50% of those living in Copenhagen do use a bicycle when going to work.  30 minutes bike ride is an easy-peasy for them. I don’t know if it’s just the Viking in them, but men, these people are so fit and strong!

So if ever you are looking for a “fitspiration” country, I would really say that is Denmark. And if you want some motivation to be fit, visit Denmark because this country will give you NO REASON not to be one.

Trip to London: Day 1- After the Storm

If you have been following my blog, you know that our first few hours in London fell nothing short of an adventure. It was like a race against time. Had we been contestants on Amazing Race, we would have won the race, no doubt about it!. If you haven’t read about it, feel free to check it out here. During those times, I can say it really pays to marry a Superman.

After the fiasco, we went to our Airbnb apartment and rest for a while trying to catch our breath and get a grip of what just happened. The moment we recovered, my husband and I realized we’re famished. Good thing his friend came to the rescue. He works for a Japanese restaurant in London as a chef and he invited us to come over.

Travel Tip: If you will stay in London for 3 or more days, it best that you get an Oyster Card. We bought an oyster card good for 7 days so we paid £37. Oh, when you are done using the oyster card you can return it and then get a refund of £5. 🙂

Since our apartment was conveniently located near the city, it was pretty easy for us to go the restaurant. My husband and his old friend said their hi’s and hellos. I wasn’t paying much attention because all that I can think of was food! They talked about our little adventure that day until our order was served.

The moment it was laid on the table, I immediately took a bite. I do not know if I was just very hungry but it tasted nothing like anything I have ever tasted before. It was so good! My husband’s friend Kuya Rey (the chef) ordered a lot for us! Even if my husband and I were hungry, we are not really big eaters so we were taken aback by the amount of food served on us.

Remember when I said the food was so good and my husband not being big eaters? Well, scrap that. The food was not just good, it was heavenly to the point that my husband and I finished EVERYTHING! I mean, we had Volcano Roll (sushi), Spicy Mango Roll (sushi), Rib Eye, Wagyu Beef and rice. All of these were served in huge portion but we were able to consume it all plus the desert!

murakami-wagyu-beef

It was the best way to start the calm after the storm and I wouldn’t really wish it any other way. We loved the food so much that before our flight, we decided to eat again in Murakami and it was yet again another gastronomic experience!

After we left the restaurant, my husband and I walked around the city to take touristy shots.Our first stop was, of course, the Big Ben. I was beyond amazed when I saw the Parliament and the Big Ben! I can still remember it explode from the James Bond movie so I was beyond thrilled that finally, I AM IN LONDON! (And we found my bag with everything still in it!)

Right across the bridge was the London Eye. Yes, you read it right. I saw the freaking London Eye! I literally have to pick up my jaw and screw it back. It felt so surreal for me. It was just beyond amazing! My husband loves taking pictures of buildings at night so we have decided to go somewhere else since it is still early. He asked me where I would like to go.

“I am just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her back…” That was all I can ever think of during that time. And so off we go to Notting Hill. 

When we got to Notting Hill, we immediately started looking for the blue door and the bookshop. We were so happy when we found it and took loads of pictures. Apart from the blue door and Travel/Book shop, Notting Hill is a pretty amazing street so if ever you are in London, I suggest you put it on your list.

After going all cheesy in Notting Hill, we have decided it is time to go somewhere magical. And what could be more magical than Platform 9 3/4? I am a Potter-head so seeing that platform in real life made my heart leap for joy. You can take pictures on the platform but there are also photographers there from the Harry Potter store (conveniently located next to it) that can take your picture and print it for £15. My husband is not a fan of printed pictures so we decided to take pictures of our own and it turned out pretty amazing.

After the magical encounter, we went back to the parliament so my husband can take pictures and then went home around midnight. The train closes at 01:00 so we still had plenty of time. But since we were so tired, we have decided to end the Day 1 of our London Adventure.

 

 

PS.

Day 2 will be even more exciting so don’t forget to follow so you will not miss anything. 🙂 Also I will write about our Where to Eat in London so we can talk more about the food and of course more pictures! 🙂

 

WTE Copenhagen: Hija de Sanchez

A lot of you might have heard about the famed 2 Michelin Star restaurant NOMA. It is truly a place for foodies and culinarian alike. It is so famous around the globe to the point that all aspiring chefs would like to experience working there under the supervision of no less than René Redzepi.

So when the news broke out that its pastry chef Rosio Sanchez left NOMA to start her own business venture, everyone was shocked and at the same time thrilled on what and how she will do outside the revered 2 Michelin Star resto.

And ‘lo and behold, she did well! I mean so well that on the opening day of her stand called Hija de Sanchez, she said on an interview via Vogue Magazine that “Sunday we had the longest line I’ve ever seen.” Of course I will never let the opportunity pass. A week after my husband and I arrived in Copenhagen we went and tried this coveted taqueria stand.

I can’t really say much about it but all I know is that it’s the best taco I have ever had.Try their Ice Pops called Paletas. It taste beyond perfection! If you want to experience ultimate foodgasm without breaking a bank, go to Hija de Sanchez!

Locations:

Torvehallerne, Frederiksborggade 21

and

Slagterboderne 8

PS.

WTE means Where to Eat!

 

It’s the Thought that Counts

“Sharing is caring”, may seem like one the world’s most cliché adage.  (Time is gold tops it.) We hear it almost every day of our life. We know that we ought to help one another. We ought to share our blessing. We know that we ought to help without expecting anything in return.

But why is it so hard to do?

Last Sunday, July 10, 2016, my husband and I attended the mass. The sermon that father gave was about Sharing. He spoke about sharing your time, talent and treasure. This concept is not new to me. I have always loved helping people. When I was younger, I would go up the mountains, to far-flung places even, just to help our less fortunate brothers and sisters through teaching them or to simply just giving them small gifts. The children in the area cannot go to school because the nearest one is about 3 hours walk from their area and mind you, the way there is not easy. You have to cross mountains, walk through slippery slopes and even walk through a bridge made of two bamboo trees/stems tied together.

Every time I go to those areas, I feel like I was always hanging for dear life. Apart from those far-flung areas, I have been to areas where armed rebels have devastated so the chances of them coming back is not remote and, ‘lo and behold,it did happen once or twice. I know it is dangerous, I know it is tiring but there is always something that pulls me back every time I feel like I can not do it anymore.

At first, I thought it was my love for the children that motivates me. Seeing them smile made me really happy but while listening to the sermon last Sunday, I realized it was not just their smile that motivated me. It was the joy of giving that was filling me. The happiness that I felt seeing the kids smile and knowing that I have been an instrument of the happiness that they feel overwhelmed me. It feels so good to know that even though I was just doing a small thing, it made them glad and it mattered to them.

However, when we (my husband and I) moved here in Denmark, I felt like it is hard to share our treasure with other people. Honestly, my husband and I are not rich. We live a comfortable life but we are not rich. Apart from that, Denmark is a very expensive country! As much as we want to give to the less fortunate, financial constraints limit the help we can give. We are not complaining, though. We know that we are really lucky and we are so blessed to be living the life that we have. And since we feel really blessed, we want to pass it forward. We want to help others who are in need and share our blessings.

So my husband and I thought of ways to help others without the thought of financial constraints limit us. We accepted the fact that we cannot share TREASURE as much as we want so we focused on sharing our TIME and TALENT.

How did we do it? 

Simple. When we have friends who ask us for help in moving heavy things in their unit, we go and help. We offer our time to look after their kids if they are busy. We spend time with them and just do nothing but listen if they are going through tough times. When they are celebrating a milestone in their life, my husband volunteers as photographer/videographer and me as host/emcee. No buts, no excuses. Expecting nothing in return.

I know what these are just little things but it does not matter. What matters to my husband and I is that we are doing it from the heart. We just want to help, and if these are just what we can do, then be it. At the end of the day, it is always the thought that counts.

 

Photo credit: cogdogblog via Foter.com / CC BY

Copenhagen Sakura Festival

 

In my previous post, “Cherry Blossoms in the Cemetery” I mentioned that I love Cherry Blossoms, right? I was not kidding. I really love cherry blossoms and I will never ever grow tired of seeing them.

Last time, my ever supportive and sweet husband went with me to Bispebjerg Kirkegård. So this time we decided to check out Langelinie. It is a park/ pier here in Copenhagen made famous by “The Little Mermaid Statue”. Our timing could not be any more perfect because that same day, they are having their annual Sakura Festival.

It is a festival that honors its roots from the beautiful country of Japan. In Japan, once a year, under a Sakura families and friends gathers and reconnect. And this is also the main idea behind the Sakura Festival in Copenhagen, bonding people under the Sakura tree and have a great time.

It was my first time to attend the festival because for some weird reason I keep on missing it the previous years. And I was in for a treat. It was beyond my expectations. People from Japanese descent wore their Kimonos and other traditional Japanese costume. Others were in their cosplay outfits. It was so fun and indeed very festive.

There were also a lot of stalls selling Japanese food and delicacies but I was s fixated with the cherry blossoms and people in their costumes that I forgot to take pictures of them. lol

Sakura Festival, I am so not over you! I’ll see you again next year! 🙂