Friday, 20 April 2012

Edinburgh—The Magical Ancient City

It was the 2012 Easter break that I had the opportunity to visit Edinburgh, Scotland and escape from the hectic and monotonous London life.
After hopping on the East Coast train at the Kingcross Station on the 10th April 2012 at 7:30 am and several failed attempts to catch some sleep during the 6 hours journey, I arrived in Edinburgh-the city which I fell in love with.
Warm sunshine and cool breeze greeted me as I slowly emerged from the underground train station and gradually overwhelmed by the beauty and charm of the magnificent ancient buildings, churches, monuments and parks. Without further ado, I rummaged my bag and took out my new companion—Nikon Coolpix—and snapped several photos away as I made my way to the Sakura House where I called ‘home’ whilst my stay in Edinburgh.
After checking-in into the hostel, I made my way to the Calton hill to snap many beautiful pictures of the whole of Edinburgh city. I then went to Scottish monument (the black pointy building in the attached photo) which is located along the Princes Street and coincidently I ran into a Scottish bagpiper whom I took a photo with (of course, it cost me a pound). To end my first day in Edinburgh, I went to conquer the Arthur’s Seat which is one of the highest hill in the city of Edinburgh and it is a tourist attraction as the peak of the hill will offer a glimpse of the city of Edinburgh. This one is much much much higher than that of the Calton hill. (I am actually glad I am still alive after that climb)
The next two days, I went to the Scottish National Portrait gallery, the St. Giles Cathedral, the Queen’s House, the Scottish Parliament, the Edinburgh Castle (of course), the Whisky experience and several Scottish restaurants.
Overall, it was a really fun and memorable experience, however, what made me love the city is the architecture and the delicate designs of the buildings, churches and monuments which the city has been successfully preserved. I felt like every brick of those buildings and roads beholds a story of the past. The city is also less hectic and the life seems much more peaceful and serene compared to London’s and time seems to pass by slowly. It is really difficult to express such feelings in words or maybe I am just really bad at explaining (that’s what I was told), therefore, the solution is to visit Edinburgh yourself which I highly recommended!
The End.


University life is sure hectic and crazy, but it is always worthwhile to smell the roses along the journey. About 3 weeks ago, I had decided ditched my university assignments and took a break by joining the annual celebration of Japanese Culture here is the UK—Hyper Japan 2012!
Since I was little, Japanese culture has played a great role in influencing my childhood mainly Japanese cartoons and animations like the classic Doreamon, Pokemon, Yu-Ki-Oh! And so on. Japanese games like the Sony Playstation and GameBoy were a must-have in my generations. (Thinking about it now, I am actually tempted to rummage my cupboards where my ‘precious treasures’ which were once locked away by my dearest mom since I left Thailand for my education).
Anyway, back to Hyper Japan 2012, it was held at Brompton Hall and it was where magic happens. Once upon my arrival, I was overwhelmed with the Japanese culture such as the aroma of the Tempura Okonomiyaki (Japanese Pizza with Shrimp tempura), the beauty of Kimono (Female Japanese traditional dress), and the soothing Japanese songs. There were also many cosplayers who dressed as Japanese cartoon characters at the event—I was really surprised and impressed to see them for the first time actually!
My day then continued with me eating all kinds of Japanese food and snacks available—Moji strawberry, sushi (of course), Japanese ice-cream (soooo Oishi [delicious]!) and Japense Chicken curry. After that, it was picture-time and shopping time!
Overall, the event was an awesome experience as I really enjoyed the Japanese culture and food and it was also a great excuse to stay away from work for one day :D