Two of my favorite reading materials this summer: Game of Thrones and Me Before You – hands down! I started re-reading the Song of Ice and Fire books during the late Spring and now I’m hooked (again). And, of course, with the new season being so epic I am completely submerged in the world of Westeros once more. Though the season just ended (and what a finale!) I am still in the middle of reading so I get to stay with the characters for a while longer. With this in mind, I wanted to make a little “fashion inspired by” Polyvore set and ended up making another one for the book-that-made-me-cry-more-than-The-Fault-in-Our-Stars – also known as Me Before You.
I love all the individual styles of the characters in Game of Thrones. I love the whole winter-y an steely look of the Starks but also the bold and rich colors of the Lannisters. And don’t even get me started on miss Khaleesi herself! Her style has changed so much but it’s always recognizably Dany!
Me Before You was such a tearjerker that I don’t know how I survived it. It was heartfelt and emotional – something I couldn’t stop thinking about for weeks. I still haven’t seen the movie but will hopefully soon. I love the casting of Emilia Clarke as the lovable, goofy Lou and Sam Claflin as the intelligent and handsome Will. Lou’s style is very quirky and colorful. Bold patterns and interesting shapes cover her feminine shirts and dresses. And I love that about her – she seems like a radiant sun personified!
Have you read Song of Ice and Fire and/or Me Before You? Did you like them?
Unfortunately this is the last part of my Scotland tour series – but before we embark on other adventures, I still have loads to tell you about our last days on the road.
We didn’t need to drive far to reach our first destination: St. Conan’s Kirk is a gorgeous church a short drive away from Oban and it has the most beautiful view of a loch. You can even see the Kilchurn Castle, which was our second stop of the day.
Doune Castle was a lovely treat on our last stretch before Edinburgh: the castle has served as a filming location for Monty Python’s Holy Grail as well as Outlander (Doune Castle is Castle Leoch). It even appeared in Game of Thrones as Winterfell! There was an audio guide which had fun tidbits both about the history of the castle as well as the movies that were filmed there. The entrance fee was 6 pounds, which was not too bad either. From Doune Castle we made our way toward the famous Glencoe.
Glencoe was the last location we visited before getting back to Edinburgh. I can’t even stress enough how beautiful the mountains were around us and the amount of green was just staggering.
Once we got back to Edinburgh, we still had one and a half days left to explore the city. Our pre-planned stops included The Elephant House (where J.K. Rowling sat writing Harry Potter), Tom Riddle’s grave (okay, Thomas Riddell’s…but that was in any case the inspiration for Voldemort’s real name), Arthur’s Seat and Greyfriar’s Kirk.
Arthur’s Seat took the longest amount of time considering the climb you have to do just to get up on the hill. But the scenery overlooking Edinburgh is amazing. Especially on a warm and sunny day, you can see really far and get wonderful snapshots as memories.
All in all, our tour of Scotland was amazing (we used the company MacBackpackers) and we met wonderful people and saw more than we could’ve hoped for. I wholeheartedly recommend it!
Have you been to Scotland?
Pride Helsinki: the one day when my city is more colorful than I could imagine and when my friends and I head to a wonderful summer-y picnic. Amidst all the hate and mistrust, which breeds things like Brexit and the attack at the international Istanbul airport, there’s nothing more wonderful than joining in to a celebration of love and equality!
The march was only an hour long but it went great: there were no hateful incidents (at least none that I saw or read about afterwards) and the weather was unbelievably sunny and hot. Most times that I’ve attended Pride, the weather has been great, which I take as a sign of approval from the universe…
The main event of Pride Helsinki after the march was in Kansalaistori, a park area right in the center of town. A stage was set up for artists to perform and speeches to be made. The area is quite small though, and with the 35 000 attendees trying to squeeze there, it got very crowded very fast. We ended up choosing a more quiet area further away from the booths that had food, balloons, and various storefronts as well as from the stage. The music was background noise while we sunbathed on the grass. We even had ice cream that came with little “fortunes” and didn’t mind paying 4,5 € for the yumminess that came in the form of butterscotch ice cream in between salted peanut cookies.
Did you attend Pride this year?
Time for another part of my Scotland tour: from Lewis, we made our way to the Isle of Skye, a famously breathtaking island that is filled with faeries. The first stop on the island was the famed Faerie Glen, where you can climb onto a faerie “castle” and see the entrance to a cave that leads into the faerie realm. You must be careful not to take even a twig as a souvenir though, because otherwise the fae will make sure you’ll have bad luck until the item is returned!
We also saw the famous Kilt Rock and it’s waterfall and later spent the night at Kyleakin where I did an evening walk to the Castle Moil, which was stunning in the evening light.
From Skye, we crossed on a ferry back to the mainland and to Oban – but not before visiting Fort William and the Steall waterfall in Glen Nevis. As a massive Harry Potter fan, I was really excited when we stopped at the Glenfinnan viaduct on our way to Fort William. Glenfinnan viaduct featured in Chamber of Secrets in the scene where Harry and Ron try to find the Hogwarts Express while flying in the Ford Anglia. And speaking of the Hogwarts Express, you can see the actual train either puffing over the viaduct or on your stop at Fort William. You can even ride the train! How cool is that?
After a lunch in the picturesque Fort William, we hiked up the mountain sides to the second largest waterfall, Steall, in Glen Nevis. The scenery was unbelievable – jumping over little streams and climbing on rocks until you saw the massive waterfall completely made my day!
Oban was our end destination and we stayed there for two nights. The small waterfront town has delicious seafood and lots of cruises going to the nearby islands, such as Mull and Iona. I spent my free day in Oban by doing a half day trip to Kilmartin Glen, an area that has a massive concentration of Neolitchic and Bronze Age remains and a museum that tells you all about them. The best part is that after the museum tour you can actually go and see all the places that are talked about. Imagine climbing into two ancient cairns (tombs) and walking across a field with fluffy sheep before resting your eyes on ritual places, such as the Templewood stone circles. It felt like being sucked into a historical novel.
Places to Visit from Oban
- Iona (“the cradle of Scottish Christianity”, graveyard, Iona Abbey, beaches)
- Mull (beaches, wildlife, brochs, castles)
- Staffa (PUFFINS)
- Kilmartin Glen (ancient cairns, standing stones, castles)
- Oban’s own McCaig’s Tower & the local distillery