Arthur’s Seat was the first hike of the trip. Scotland gets rain nearly everyday, so the $37 investment I made in a raincoat proved to be the best investment of the trip, but the rain also makes everything so incredibly green and lush, Arthur’s Seat was covered with yellow flowers, actually ALL of Scotland was covered in these yellow flowers.

This wasn’t even to be considered a hike at all, according to my guide Erin so I didn’t even wear my hiking shoes.

(NOOB TIP: Definley DEEP REGURTS on that. Wear the hiking shoes, because your sketchers just won’t cut it.)

It took us a fair bit of time to hike to the top, along the way I stopped for rest breaks when my heart was palpitating ….er I mean to take photos with my iphone.  The castle ruins we saw on the way were a great photo op and overlooked a pond full of swans.

Since I was drastically undertrained for this trip, (totally my own damn fault) I found getting to the top challenging, the uphill climbs were hard for me especially having the backpack throw off my center of gravity, but I did it and when you get there you are greeted with 360 degree views for miles, it is truly spectacular.

I was too busy clinging to the pillar that marked the top trying to catch my breath. The way down was MUCH easier.

Edinburgh is the land of steps. Our first airbnb required going up 6 flights of spiral staircases to reach the top, completely dizzy and out of breath. We were there for 2 days and it never got easier.   

The ancient stone buildings are sometimes tied together with long uphill staircases.

Each day I went to bed having walked over 15,000 steps (most of them uphill) and completely exhausted.

The money was BEAUTIFUL! At first it was a little overwhelming to understand, but eventually you catch on. The colors were beautiful with holograms and the bills were in different sizes by denomination and finally the hardest thing to grasp was there is nothing smaller than a 5 pound bill, so let than 5 pounds is made up with coins.

We were at a coffee shop trying to figure out how to pay for a cup of coffee and we didn’t want to let our tourist flag fly by holding out wads of bills and handfuls of coins to the clerk to take what they needed, so one of the locals helped us.  When she learned we were from America, she said, “I don’t understand your money either, it’s all the same size!”

The image on the right was the view from the 6th floor flat we airbnb’ed.  I desaturated the look completely to leave a hint of the blue curtain but to add an antiqued feel to the photo. This view has probably been the same for hundreds of years and I wanted the editing to reinforce that idea. 

One thing that is great about Scotland is that since it rains so much, it is almost overcast every day. This means you can get soft pretty light on almost every picture no matter what time of day you shoot. This was the first castle I had ever seen in real life.

I would encourage you to go outside at dusk when the streetlights are just trying to come on and it’s just dark enough to start looking really moody. The rain in the last picture helped lend a reflection quality to the photo that worked really well with the phone booths. Those old phone booths were a blast from the past. I loved the way they fit into this ancient city. 

More to Come!

XOXO Ninya

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VELVET GUILD: A Serial Novel

I was as a single mom whose unemployment was running out fast. I was desperate for a way out

Velvet Guild is a serial novel broken into episodes. Each episode is approximately 12,000 words and can be read in an hour, like your favorite TV episode. It is sure to become your guilty pleasure.

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