I mentioned in my last post that this was my favourite New Years ever and that was not an overstatement. I'm not really a New Years person because it gets so hyped up and never meets expectations. Last year Will and I had a disastrous night losing each other in a crowd of 80,000 and spending the whole night trying to find each other when we were completely wasted - not a good idea. Because of that fateful night, I decided that this New Years I wanted expectations low and to just get a house somewhere with friends, that somewhere turned out to be Spain. I didn't want it to be a clubbing night or an expensive night, just a good time. This was one New Years that worked out perfectly how I expected.
Since moving to the Northern Hemisphere I have decided that a winter Christmas is magical but New Years should be spent in the sunshine. Hence why we hopped on a plane and headed for Spain. A few days before New Years Eve myself, Will, Jamie, Scott and a last minute but valuable addition of Tim, flew from Stansted to Barcelona where we would then make the journey on to Sitges. This was my first group travel experience with friends and although trying to pick a destination in Spain was stressful, I wouldn't hesitate to do it again.
Last weekend, I had never even heard of The Highland Games then this weekend I was making the trek up to Braemar in the heart of The Highlands, to see men in kilts toss a caber. We were offered the tickets from our new landlord who could no longer make it. Tickets, accommodation and meals were sorted we just had to get ourselves there and back. This was the tricky bit. If you look at Braemar on a map it is in the middle of a national park. At first glance we thought it would be impossible to get there, but we were determined and searched every possible way. It turned out we could catch a train to Aberdeen and then a bus from there. Leaving after work on Friday, we knew we had to be in Aberdeen by 9.45pm to catch the last bus across to Braemar. We left ourselves plenty of time between the train and the bus, booking the 6.33pm train arriving in Aberdeen at 9pm. Everything was going to work out swimmingly. But, as we turned up to Waverley station, we saw that dreaded word that ruins everything – delayed. Due to a signaling outage between Newcastle and York our 6.33 train was delayed by 5 hours. This meant our 9.45 bus would be long gone. Thinking the Virgin train staff would be able to help, we went to them seeking guidance.
I am sick of being silenced in fear of offending. Honesty is valued as long as it is politically correct and unoffensive. I am a self-aware person with strong opinions that I like to share. In being self-aware, I know that these opinions are mine and not everyone will agree, nor should they. Occasionally people on the receiving end do not realise this and it often ends in misinterpretation. In saying this I would never say anything to intentionally upset someone.
This weekend was a little different to last as we had our kiwi pal Scott with us. We went lighter on the shows and heavier on the exploring Edinburgh. Scott being the ride or die Harry Potter fan he is meant we explored Edinburgh's trail of HP treats. We also climbed Arthur's Seat for the first time in a long time and man did I feel it. That thing is hiiiiigh. But the views are unbeatable. Riddle me this though Edinburgh - Arthur's Seat is covered in Sheep poop, but I have never, not once, seen a sheep up there. Anyways, Fringe! See my favourite show's from weekend two below.
So I just read this article about a guy who has been to every country in the world. My problem with this guy is that he drove through 19 countries in 24 hours. To me, that is not travelling. We had 24 hours in Porto and that sure as hell wasn't enough. Through my travels I have gauged that two days is the absolute minimum you need in a place. Unfortunately we just couldn't squeeze the extra day in for Porto. But alas, we made the most out of the time we had.
Edinburgh has been taken over and the ground has been littered with performer's hopes and dreams in flyer form. That's right Ladies and Gentlemen The Fringe Festival has arrived and the streets they are a bustling. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Fringe, it is a month long festival that takes place in Edinburgh every August. Over 40,000 shows, across over 350 venues, everything from comedy to poetry to cabaret is available at your culture craving little finger tips. You can't walk around the city without having flyers thrust into your hands. I have so many right now, I could be one of the promoters. Some of my favourites I have attended so far are below and have been part of The Free Festival.
Is happiness actually just an illusion? An ideal sold to us in order to capitalize. In a culture that focuses on happiness as a destination, the human race do their best to throw a spanner in the works to make the car break down along the way. To me, happiness has been fleeting, never constant. Upon it's irregular and short visitations I question everything. Is this happiness? Why am I feeling this? Do I deserve this? Expecting the other shoe to drop momentarily. I question it because like with so many other people, it is unfamiliar.
I wasn't sure how I would feel about Lisbon after falling head over heels for Lagos. Through my experience in Europe I tend to prefer the smaller, more charming towns to the bigger cities. Lisbon however, was different. Lisbon was unique in the way it felt like a big city but also had those small town vibes. You could wander into the alleyways, up into the hills and feel like you were in rural Portugal. Glancing into people's windows and seeing them eat on the floor in a circle made me feel like I had stepped back in time.
Lagos you sneaky son of a bitch. I knew your coast line would be stunning but my god, every essence of your being took my breath away.
A writer, explorer, and music enthusiast. This site is where I share my thoughts, aspirations, adventures, and mishaps.