I wish I could be a full time traveller and spend my days exploring the world discovering all the history and culture it has to offer. Alas, I am not, but I’ll settle for travelling part time and with that comes my next big adventure! But let’s start at the beginning…
The idea began a year ago when my dear friend Hannah and I spent some time on the beautiful island of Samoa. Although surrounded by tropical sapphire waters, tall palms, coconut refreshers and a mini crab city that we called neighbours for the week, Hannah decided she was done with the heat, suddenly announcing our next trip should be a white Christmas. In my blissed out state, soaking up the sun and chilling in the water, I could have died happy there and then, my reply was …”Yeah, sure Han”… not really comprehending what she said. Sorry Hannah haha.
A few months later Hannah was calling to tell me I needed to pay for my flights to London by 5pm that day! It was then that it actually hit me. Wait! What! Christmas in Europe, in the snow! Again! Oh no…
But due to my incurable condition called Wanderlust. A condition which causes my brain to melt when kept in one place to long, my bank account to suffer and my impulse control to lapse. Resulting in travel purchases made at inappropriate times, without thought. (Cure = Not yet confirmed. Me on a leash maybe? Cure = Denial.) I handed over my credit card.
So here I am, three weeks out with half my trip booked and in a frantic rush to find places to sleep in one of the busiest travel periods of the year! Forgoing the glorious Australian summer heat for a trip into the magical winter wonderland of Europe. Last time I got lucky and the UK and Europe were having their hottest winter on record. Think I can get lucky again?
Sitting back and thinking about it, I actually love the UK and Europe in winter. It makes it that much more mystical, like stepping into a fairy tale and if you’ve read some of my other posts, you would know that I love fairy tales, history, stories, mystery, anything medieval or ancient. So, Europe in a nutshell. Even Christmas comes alive. When I’m in these amazing cities and landscapes it’s so easy to throw myself into my imagination and get lost. Thus, we begin the first leg of our journey.
‘Chasing Magic, Longing Lochs’
(Shut up, I know it sounds cheesy and romantic but I’m sticking to it, so deal!)
We start our journey in London, taking a ride to Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studios in Leavesden. And this is where the ‘Magic’ comes in. Really, Harry Potter is one of the best stories of all time, so it’s only natural for me to get my geek on and lose myself in the place that brought this story to life. Who doesn’t want to try Butter Beer and wander down Diagon Alley?
Then we hit the road, hiring a car and stopping along the way wherever takes our fancy. Destination: York. I’m ready to explore somewhere new, so any suggestions for this area I’m all ears!
Then we are up at first light to make our way to Alnwick Castle. Okay, maybe, yes I’ll admit I’m chasing Harry Potter up until this point and my love for castles. Which then leads me to Edinburgh, Scotland. Exploring the beautiful Edinburgh castle and the mystical Loch Awe.
Loch Awe, I know nothing about it yet I have an overwhelming excitement to visit the Loch. I read a book that was set at this castle in Medieval times. The way the author wrote about it was captivating and now I’m obsessed with seeing it. I’m not sure I want to know its history. My mind has created some intense images and stories just from what I have seen through pictures and maybe if I know it’s history it might shatter the magic I have created for it. But I can not wait to spend the day inthralled by its calm beauty. What a prefect name…Loch Awe.
And is that not the joy of travelling? You see buildings aged and cracked and your mind can only dream up what the walls have witnessed through the times. What lies beneath those still lakes or what did? Who played, battled and died as snow fell, blanketing them into history. What magic has happened at castles that now crumble and how brutal was its history that formed the world as we now know it. You watch people in a city street and wonder how they live in such cities as they do and not feel enchanted by what once was. That is my only goal for this first leg, to be enchanted in the history of Scotland, a place that forms a huge part of our history yet is tucked up and away in such a small part of the world.
Who knows I might even find Nessy at Loch Ness.
First journey mapped out.
- Car hire
- Money for entrance fees,petrol and food
- Winter coat, gloves
- Winter walking shoes
- Travel Insurance
- Note book
- An opened mind
Any ideas for sight seeing feel free to share.