The Forest of Wisdom

Diary of an Autumn Leafer – Heyri Artist Valley & Paju Book City  If you tell a bibliophile that there’s such a magical place as a “Book City”, then it had better live up to its moniker. Add in 8 m high bookshelves and something called “The Forest of Wisdom”, and just point me in the…

The wuthering heights of Yorkshire

Anglotopia Day 7 – Drive from Edinburgh to Haworth to the edge of the Peaks “Come, walk with me” We used to love on winter nights To wander through the snow; Can we not woo back old delights? The clouds rush dark and wild They fleck with shade our mountain heights The same as long…

“I need tea.”

Anglotopia Day 5 – Edinburgh (Brexit vote day) Many windows in Edinburgh sported the “Vote Remain” sign. “Vote Remain” against the looming Brexit polling day. When we woke that morning however, my British friend came into the living room, looked at me because we had both seen the “Yes, Brexit” vote, and said, quite tiredly,…

A red bus, castle, and haggis

Anglotopia Day 4 – Edinburgh For this post, I am mostly going to share photographs from our day taking the Hop-On, Hop-Off bus around Edinburgh. I generally frowned on these sort of expensive tourist traps, but to be honest, they are a great way to see a city in a short period of time, to orient…

Rent-a-kilts and grave robbers

London/Edinburgh Day 3 – Afternoon – Exploring Edinburgh’s streets Arrival in Edinburgh entailed me trying to contact my friend I was meeting there, as she had our rental car and was parked somewhere near Waverley Station on Market Street. Of course, I started walking up from the station, only to realize that I was on…

Accio Train Station! to Platform 9 3/4

London/Edinburgh Day 3 – Morning – Train to Edinburgh It was time to bid farewell to London, at least for now. I made my way to King’s Cross Station via the Tube relatively early in the morning to catch a train up to Edinburgh. And, as any self-respecting Harry Potter fan had to do, I…

Art and an American diner in London

London Day 2 – Afternoon – V & A Museum Travel Tip #4 – The Victoria and Albert Museum is another great free museum in London. Reserve about 3 hours or more to visit a lot of its rich exhibits and get a feel for its collection. Special exhibits are paid, so if something catches…

Off with yer heads

London Day 2 – Morning – Tower of London England travel tip #3: Purchase your Tower of London ticket ahead of time. It saves getting caught in long queues. You will get more time to fangirl over everything you learned in The Tudors if you do. Plan to spend at least 3-4 hours there exploring the grounds…

An amusing incident with a kebab

London Day 1  – afternoon – Portobello Road and Notting Hill  Travel Tip #2: If you are into history or literature (or knowing about famous inventors, politicians, and scientists),  download the Blue Plaques for London app. It tells you what historic houses or sites are around, and many of them are places where famous authors, scientists,…

Two days at a desert mirage in Abu Dhabi

When others dream of laying on a beach in a postcard perfect tropical location (not that I don’t – sometimes), I dream mostly of crumbling castles, acres of perfectly mowed green lawns, and the homes of my literary favorites – Austen, Brontes, Wordsworth, and Dickens. Yes, I dream of England. It has become an interesting…

Night from a railroad car window

Night from a railroad car window Is a great, dark, soft thing Broken across with slashes of light. “Window” by Carl Sandburg, American poet Indeed, it was. Props to Carl Sandburg, a fellow Midwesterner and former Chicago resident. However, I found overnight train travel to be far from completely as romantic as it’s sold to…

A tale of train tickets

When I arrived in Bratislava, I purchased my ticket for the overnight train to Kraków and a couchette reservation. At the time, that sounded rather nice – and, as the lady had convinced me – cheap. However, while that was the cheapest way to hang out on the sleeper train, I wasn’t excited by sharing…