Spring 2017 – Rain and unicorns

Spring 2017 - Rain and unicorns

I can describe the spring of 2017 with one word – work (very hard work). Three months have passed since I quit my job and I have never been happier. I spent many hours every day working on my blog, barely finding time for anything else and yet I love this. It’s really a dream job.

If you are wondering why and how to start a travel blog, check out this article.

Where I have been

Glasgow (Scotland) – May
Edinburgh (Scotland) – May
Stirling (Scotland) – May
Linlithgow (Scotland) – May
Roslin (Scotland) – May

I made one trip, but it was a trip that I’ve been dreaming for years. I spent 8 days in Scotland. I was hoping to like the country, but it beat my expectations in every way. Endless green meadows, centuries-old castles, romantic alleys, haunted places, Scotland has it all! The country is outstandingly beautiful. Scotland has this medieval charm that grabs your heart and never let it go.

Yet there was one thing that I didn’t like so much – the weather. It was like the four seasons were changing every single day. At the end of the trip, I got sick and I had to recover for a week after that.

I spent 2 days in Glasgow and 6 days in Edinburgh. I made two-day trips from Edinburgh, visiting Stirling, Linlithgow and Roslin.

Glasgow
Glasgow

Highlights

Start working out every day and eating healthier

As I work from home now, I manage to spare more time for working out. I love the TurboFire program. It is an intense cardio program that you can do at home and really gives awesome results.

breakfast

Found a new pastry shop – Pastane, Sofia

It is a very small pastry shop, but they offer the best Turkish sweets that I have ever tried in my life.

Pastane
Pastane

Found a new place for awesome cocktails – Planet Club Sofia

They serve really interesting and tasty cocktails. I tried one with rose water.

Planet Club Sofia
Planet Club Sofia

Found a new place to dine in Sofia – Lavanda

Lavanda is located in an old house in the centre of Sofia (above One More Bar). The atmosphere is home-like. The menu – small but tasty and interesting.

Lavanda
Lavanda

Went to two awesome concerts

Bears and hunters
Really cool Bulgarian band with even cooler name.

Bears and hunters
Bears and hunters

Pain
I missed them when they visited Bulgaria the first time (8 years ago). I am so grateful that they came back again. Although the concert started with 2 hours delay, it was awesome!

Pain
Pain

Went to a cat show

Cats, many cats in one place. This is all a cat lover can dream for.

cat show

Climbed Cherni Vrah in Vitosha mountain

As Sofia is located at the foot of Vitosha mountain, I don’t miss a chance to escape the hot weather in the city.

Vitosha Mountain
Vitosha mountain

The University of Glasgow blew me away

If you want to feel as if you are in one of the Harry Potter movies, visit the University of Glasgow. Although the movies weren’t shot here, it has the magical atmosphere of Hogwarts.

University of Glasgow
University of Glasgow

Fell in love with the medieval look of Edinburgh

Edinburgh is undoubtedly beautiful and filled with medieval charm. I have never been to a city, that looks so haunted.

Edinburgh
Edinburgh

Get lost in the medieval Dean Village

Till 19th century this milling village wasn’t a part of the city. It is such a romantic and calm place.

Dean Village
Dean Village

Visited one of the most haunted places in Edinburgh – Mary King’s Close

Since the first time I heard about the Mary King’s Close, I wanted to visit it. It is a small underground close on the Royal Mile. Many people died locked up here during the Great Plague. The close tends to be haunted. Unfortunately, I didn’t see any ghost.

Was stunned by the views from Calton Hill

Calton Hill is the most romantic place to watch the sunset over Edinburgh. There is also a view to the North Sea and Arthur’s Seat.

Calton Hill
Calton Hill

sunset

Calton Hill
Calton Hill
Sunset over Edinburgh
Sunset over Edinburgh
View from Calton Hill
View from Calton Hill

Saw squirrels, rabbits, a fox and a bear in the Edinburgh’s parks

I was really surprised to see rabbits jumping around in few small gardens on my way to Calton Hill. Yet I was even more surprised waking up one morning to see a fox in my backyard (I stayed in an apartment near Calton Hill)! I was checking the weather when I spotted it. It ran away fast, so I couldn’t take a photo.

A squirrel in Princes Street Gardens
A squirrel in Princes Street Gardens

Of course, the bear wasn’t real. I found this cute bear in the Princes Street Gardens. The statue commemorates the soldier bear, Wojtek. It was helping the army by moving crates of ammunition during the WWII.

Me petting the bear
Me petting the bear

Went to castle hunting

There are so many castles in Scotland! It was a hard choice which ones to visit. Finally, I decided to go with Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle, Linlithgow Castle and Holyrood Palace. My favourite one was the Linlithgow Castle. The Scottish rulers used this castle as a residence during the 15th and 16th centuries. Nowadays it is in ruins. You have to use your imagination to picture how the rooms looked back in the medieval times. Yet, the castle is a really impressive and romantic place.

Linlithgow castle
Linlithgow castle
Enjoying the view from the castle
Enjoying the view from the castle

I was fascinated by the history of Rosslyn Chapel

The Rosslyn chapel is a 15th-century chapel in the village of Roslin, near Edinburgh. There are many legends and myths connected to it. It is guarded by a black cat. In fact, I spotted two black cats. Both friendly and eager to be petted.

Rosslyn chapel
Rosslyn Chapel

If you don’t believe in unicorns, it is time to begin

All over Scotland, you can see images of unicorns. Apparently, Scotland was their homeland. In fact, the unicorn has been a Scottish heraldic symbol since the 12th century. It is also a part of the Royal Coat of Arms of Scotland. Unfortunately, I didn’t spot any real unicorn.

unicorns

Tried some mouth watering food in Scotland

To be honest I didn’t like so much the traditional Scottish food like haggis and fish and chips. Yet, I loved the porridge, the cranachan and the shortbread. I found the porridge so tasty, that now I often make one for breakfast at home.

I tried some really amazing healthy breakfast.

Hula Juice Bar & Gallery
Hula Juice Bar & Gallery

And some not so healthy breakfast, but still heavenly delicious.

Baba Budan and The Manna House Bakery 
Baba Budan and The Manna House Bakery

I also tried some delicious Mexican (El Cartel in Edinburgh) and Indian food (Dishoom Edinburgh and Obsession of India in Glasgow).

Enjoyed some fine Scottish music all over the city

Scottish music

Of course, a picture with a red telephone booth is a must

red telephone booth

Where I stayed

I stayed in apartments in Edinburgh and Glasgow (booked them via Airbnb, click here for a free credit for your first stay).

The one in Glasgow was in an old building with a stone staircase. Everything was so authentic. I loved the experience.

The apartment in Glasgow
The apartment in Glasgow

The one in Edinburgh was close to Calton Hill. It was very spacious and ideal for a longer stay.

The apartment in Edinburgh
The apartment in Edinburgh

Most popular photo on Instagram

I took this photo while walking on a cold evening in Sofia.

What I read

Toujours Provence by Peter Mayle (see it on Amazon UK)
It is a sequel of A Year in Provence. The book tells the story of an American couple, that moved to live in France.

Skipping Christmas by John Grisham (see it on Amazon UK, Amazon DE)
It is a funny novel about a couple that wants to skip all the hustle and bustle around Christmas.

What games I played

World of Warcraft (see it on Amazon UKAmazon DE)
I spent another three months fully obsessed by World of Warcraft.

World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft

What I watched

Crime & Investigations and Viasat History
Finally had a little more time to watch my two favourite TV channels.

Outlander
I started watching these series to get some inspiration for my trip to Scotland. The series tells the story about a woman that is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743. I love the Scottish accent in the series. I was thrilled to hear it in person during my trip.

Reign
As I was fascinated by the history of Scotland, I started to watch Reign. It tells the story of Mary, Queen of Scots.

Twin Peaks
Twin Peaks was my favourite series when I was young. I don’t know why my parents allowed me to watch this at 8 years old. It is scary to watch it even now! I started to watch them again from the first season before continuing with the sequel.

Silicon Valley
Comedy series about a new tech start up.

The White Princess
The White Princess series tells the story of the famous War of the Roses in England.

American Gods
The series is about the battle between the new and the old gods in America.

What I listened to

Last months I listened to Gareth Emery, Armin van Buuren, Parov Stelar, Saint Saviour and Dynazty.

Favourite songs for the last three months:

Erdling – Stimme der Wahrheit
Arion feat. Elize Ryd – At The Break Of Dawn
Breaking Benjamin – Had Enough
Evans Blue – Alone not lonely
Stone Sour – Song #3

Parov Stelar Lyrics – The Sea
Lord Huron – The Night We Met
Eddie Vedder – Guaranteed
Bears and Hunters – Comeback Story
Harry Styles – Sign of the Times
The Skye Boat Song (from Outlander)

Nick Badza – I’m not really fine
Duke Dumont – Ocean Drive
Ben Gold – I’m In A State of Trance (ASOT 750 Anthem)
Gareth Emery – Into The Light (feat. Mark Frisch)
Orjan Nilsen – Iconic
Robin Schulz – OK (feat. James Blunt)
Mahmut Orhan – Save Me feat. Eneli
Mahmut Orhan – Feel feat. Sena Sener
Melih Aydogan – Loved by U
Pascal Junior – Holdin’ On
Lewis Capaldi – Bruises
Charlie Puth – Attention

Inspiring thought

They deem me mad because I will not sell my days for gold; and I deem them mad because they think my days have a price.

Favourite travel blogger

I love people that inspire me. The Youtube channel of High on life can really inspire you to think positive and to travel more. Check out my favourite videos below:

What Can You Do In 365 Days?

3 Years of Travel in 3 Minutes

5 Years of Travel (Lessons and Adventures)

New (or updated) posts on the blog

6 Reasons to start a travel blog

Where to stay in Milan – the best area and hotels

1 day in Berlin

2 days in Berlin

The best classical music concerts in Vienna

Where to stay in Berlin – the best areas and hotels

Bjorn’s adventures: Glasgow and Edinburgh

Glasgow in a day

2 days in Glasgow

One day trips from Glasgow

Where to stay in Glasgow – the best areas and hotels

How to choose a good hotel

Is Edinburgh haunted

2 days in Edinburgh

3 days in Edinburgh

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Spring 2017 - Rain and unicorns

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