Jenna Holeman is a CISabroad student studying in Dublin, Ireland this semester, originally hailing from Ohio University. Follow her journey through a few different excursions she went on throughout the country.
Reading week officially marks the halfway point in my semester. However, rather than mourn, I decided a perfectly timed trip to distract myself from thinking about it excessively. So what’s the agenda for this trip you may ask? London and Edinburgh. Trust me, it was absolutely amazing.
We landed in Edinburgh Nov.1 bright, early and determined to explore the city. Starting with breakfast, we ventured to the Elephant House – the birthplace of Harry Potter! This is the cafe J.K. Rowling would sit in and write the first Harry Potter novels. It was cozy and had a beautiful view of Edinburgh Castle.
I ordered the Elephant Breakfast and a cappuccino – 10/10 recommend.
The great thing about Edinburgh was that everything was central. We stayed in an AirBnb ,which was amazing and affordable, that was only a 15-minute walk from Royal Mile. Walking around Edinburgh I was constantly in awe of the beautiful architecture and serene landscapes.
I wish I could have extended my trip and explored various parts of Scotland. It’s not hard to fall in love with such a beautiful place. In the evening we did a sunset hike up to Arthur’s Seat. I am not going to lie, I had read reviews to see if it would be a strenuous hike and many reviewers said that it wasn’t. Well boy were they wrong. All I’m gonna say is pack the right shoes and be prepared for 15 minutes of straight uphill hiking.
I’d do that hike again any day though, so worth it for those amazing views.
We finished our trip with a tour of Edinburgh Castle and explored the National Museum of Scotland. Edinburgh really is an amazing city and if you’re studying abroad in Europe I’d highly suggest it. Its perfect for those on a tight budget because many attractions are free and you’ll save tons of money in transportation because nearly everything is within walking distance.
Goodbye, Scotland. You will be missed.
Following that last day, we left once again bright and early for London. We were staying in a hostel in Edmonton which was a bit away from the city center. On this – I would advise spending a little extra and just stay in London. I found public transportation in London to be exorbitant on top of the fact that it took awhile to actually get there. Nevertheless, London was a great experience. Our itinerary for the first day was amazing. I toured the set where they filmed the Harry Potter movies.
I am unashamed to admit I am a huge Harry Potter nerd. This tour was incredible. It’s largely self-guided so you can wander around the set as you please. There are thousands of real props and sets on display that any Harry Potter fan would be excited to see. It’s a bit away from Central London but worth every penny to see.
The next day we took a trip to Stonehenge and Bath. So honestly, what’s the deal with Stonehenge? How did those people move those massive rocks all those years ago? So many questions. It truly is amazing. In true England fashion it was pouring when we went but that didn’t stop the fun. It was a great day despite the rain and another highlight of my trip to England.
After spending a few hours exploring Stonehenge we went on to visit Bath. I didn’t really know what to expect from Bath ,but was blown away. I will admit I liked it more than London. It had a really cozy feel to it and the architecture was uniform, unlike London. We didn’t pay to enter the Roman Baths but had a grand time exploring the city itself.
The last day in London was spent exploring the city. I purchased the London Pass, which is an amazing deal for people looking to do all the touristy things in London. However, I will say great planning comes with this pass. Before you go remember to look at when certain attractions close and plan your day out . I ran into a few bumps along the way due to poor planning. I wouldn’t take that experience back, it’s all about learning to ride the waves.
I truly cannot believe my time in Dublin is almost up. My next few weeks are going to be jam packed with adventures so stay tuned.
Until next time,