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Day one of 4 Sillies invading Edinburgh

Another trip to add on to my travelog series!

So a few of us decided to do a day trip to Edinburgh courtesy of a deal that we found on www.secretescapes.com.So we all got the whole hotel deal from that website, for only 62 pounds per person!
Which included:

  1. A standard room for two for one night
  2. 20 pound dinner voucher
  3. Access to swimming pool and sauna
  4. 20 pound off a ONE HOUR spa treatment

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It is a good deal! Not only that, the Carlton Hotel is placed right between the old Edinburgh town and the new Edinburgh town, so the location was perfect for a day trip! Getting anywhere was just a walk down the street in either direction. You can find my review on the Carlton Hotel on Trip Advisor here. Just a quick tip about this hotel, It is currently under heavy construction in being converted to a Hilton Hotel.

Another cost for the trip was the train ride from Newcastle to Edinburgh which was only around 20 pounds per person! Totally worth it! Especially with some of us not having railcard, so we ended up just splitting the total cost of the group train tickets equally among us!

Edinburgh Castle

Highlight of the trip was to roam around the castle grounds of Edinburgh Castle. We didn’t manage to go into the castle because we thought it was a bit too pricey for each of us as most of us have already been inside. Sadly, I have never been into the castle but I believe it would have been brimming with history. However, we got some really lovely shots of the castle, grounds and the atmosphere, looking out at the city of Edinburgh.

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Edinburgh Old City

Edinburgh is basically made of two parts of the city and there were streets that represent the old part of the city. It’s just filled with historic buildings and statues. With the pavements not very much different from the olden times. I learned from my friend Ryan that Scotland is famous for their Haggis (savoury pudding containing sheep’s pluck (heart, liver and lungs); minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock), Fried Mars Bar (Which I didn’t get to eat this time), Shortbread, Kilts and Tartan clothing. When you walk down the streets of Edinburgh, you will not fail to see loads of cashmere stores selling all those things.

Childhood Museum

I honestly didn’t think that we would actually enjoy our time in this museum. But I was stand corrected. We had LOADS of fun! More details of our trip of the childhood museum can be seen in Zern’s Vlog. Click here to see it! If you’re in Edinburgh and you enjoy going down memory lane of old toys and games or you just want to pass an hour or so then you should check it out.

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Pool, Jacuzzi and Sauna

After a nice long walk around Edinburgh, it’s nice to be able to relax in the hotel with great company and pools. We didn’t get any shots of this, being all in bathing suits and all! But I can vouch that we had a good time! However, remember when we all thought that we would get spa voucher worth 20 pounds? WELL, long story short, we THOUGHT we could get away with a free treatment that is worth 20 pounds. BUT we couldn’t because we didn’t  see the part about the “for a one hour declour treatment” so basically, we had to get a treatment worth more than 60++ pounds to get to use that voucher. wjbgaljebrgoahebrgjanebrhgbaelrjbgaeoirhbaehrbeaijrbg. sad. We still enjoyed our swim and the mini Jacuzzi that could only fit 5-6 people max. The sauna was relaxing too!

Dinner at the Carlton Hotel

For 20 pounds, you are able to get a really hearty meal here. I chose the chicken dish. which was their weekly special, and fish cake with pouched egg on top. The menu during the dinner had a really good range of dishes. Great meals for the deal we had! No regrets!

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BAAAM!

My Starter: Clip from Zern The Foodie’s Vlog

Anyway! Just to end the Vlog of Day 1 in Edinburgh. This is a vlog of my good friend Zern about her take on the trip! You can see me trolling in the background at time! Enjoy!

Tune in next time!

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Summer Weekend away at Newquay, Cornwall England – Part 1

I call it the summer weekend away because Joy is having his placement during the summer, and we were only able to take time off to travel during the weekends! So this weekend, we went to Newquay, Cornwall! It is located at the South West Region of the United Kingdom.

Travel Itinerary (Train):

Bristol Temple Meads > Exeter St. Davids > Par > Newquay. ( 4 hrs 15 mins )
Newquay > Par > Newton Abbot > Bristol Temple Meads. ( 4hrs 25 mins )

Journey:

It was a smooth journey all the way on trains, the seats were comfortable, quiet and the transit times were not less than 10 minutes, giving ample time for the changing of trains. It may be a hassle to change trains, but I found it alright to get up and change trains after no longer than 2 hours on the train.

Newquay, Town

The Newquay train station is located in a very convenient location. It was nearby a large Aldi supermarket with all prices somehow cheaper than the normal supermarkets such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s. The train station is also located on a hill begins the main shopping street of Newquay. To briefly describe the location of Newquay, it is just like a long road filled with random mainstream shops that you may recognise such as NewLook, Peacock, Boots, Shoe Zone, etc. Then at the end of the main road, the road branches out and leads to various beaches. My absolute favourite beach was Fistral Beach, which is known as the best surfing beach in the UK (not that I surf).

Accommodation:

The hostel that we stayed in, was called “The Longbeach Hotel, Hostel“. The price was only 50 pounds per night for a twin sharing room with a shared bathroom. I know what you might be thinking, SHARED bathroom? I assure you, even with 7 rooms of various sizes within the house, it seems very rare to actually be queueing up for the use of the toilets. Most of the time, it wouldn’t be occupied, so the toilets would be used in peace. The toilet is kept very clean. The owner was lovely when we arrived. He told us the rules of the house, and off he goes! ALSO, he mentioned that this hostel supports recycling, so he urges us to bring down our recyclables to the reception. I thought this small gesture for the environment was great! More about our accommodation, it was clean and equipped with a sink, a kettle, a tv and a hairdryer. The tv was really oddly placed (under the sink), because of that, we didn’t use the tv at all. Other than that, the interior of the room was cosy! My best part of the room was the view! It overlooks the golf course and the famous Fistral beach at its best! The view was breath taking!

Longbeach Hotel Newquay

Longbeach Hotel Newquay

The rating I would give this hostel is 4/5!

Fishing Trip (Deep Sea Fishing) :

We went for an 8 hour deep sea fishing, 9.30am to 5.30pm. If you are interested in fishing, or at least would like to try it once, I would recommend this fishing trip agent, fishnewquay.co.uk. The skipper is named Wayne, and is said to run the cleanest boat compared to the other fishing trip companies. He is a great guy and very professional when it comes to angling. We could feel his passion in fishing and enjoys watching people catch their fish. A good skipper also knows the best places to fish and he did just that! Joy and I managed to catch around 20 fishes! Which is apparently quite rare for anyone of any fishing levels to be able to do. You will be provided all the tools for fishing, like rods and baits during the trip. Basically, all you have to bring is yourself fully clothed according to the weather, noting that it is cooler out at sea. I would suggest you not to bring great amount of food on board. It is recommended by myself to bring dry food, such as biscuits, plain sandwiches, or chocolate on board, this will ease your stomach as sea sickness is quite prone and these food may be your life saver.

fishing newquay mystiqueThe boat is called “The Mystique” on the left.
Wayne Fishing trip Newquay
Us and Wayne, the Best Skipper!

The DEEP sea fishing was a great experience! We were driven around 9 miles away from the Newquay shore, where we couldn’t even see any land. I have personally never been fishing ever in my life. Let alone held a proper fishing rod. It is crazy easy to fish actually. I was surprised at the simplicity. Basically, you learn from the skipper the basic mechanism of fishing, then it would become a norm after 10 minutes. It’s like riding bike really, when you get it, you just get it.

The main technique of fishing is: Put bait in sea > Release the catch that releases the line > let the line be released while placing your thumb lightly on the reel > Until you the line is not taunt anymore, close the catch > Start reeling the line up slowly > if there is fish, keep the rod bent > If you see your bait floating, start from step 2 again.

Fishing NewquayFirst time holding a fishing rod and fishing in the deep sea!

During the fishing trip, we were able to catch so many fish! We caught almost over 20 fishes! The fishes included Pollocks, Cods, Lings, Red Girdles, Spurdogs (Sharks, but we weren’t allowed to land them according to the law). OH! Apparently I managed to fish up a rare Spurdog that the skipper had only seen 3 times in his whole fishing trip life. I was dubbed the lucky star on board!
Spurdog Newquay

Spurdog Newquay Fishing

It was crazy strong! It was a challenge to fish him up alright! HIGHLIGHT of the day! Quite glad I had at least one decent picture of me holding my catch! I was really struggling to keep him still :X

pollocks newquay fish

This was our fish bucket, containing all the fish that was caught. They were all nicely gutted on the boat by our skipper. He said it was cleaner to clean the fish on the boat instead of on land.

In the end, we ended up only bring 3 fishes back because we wouldn’t have been able to take them all home! We took back one of each of type of fishes that we caught! So in Joy’s hands, there was a Cod, Ling and a Pollock! Glad that we didn’t catch too many types of fish, if not, it would be even more of a struggle to bring back to our hostel. It was around 20-30kg weight of the 3 fishes combined! We even had to ask the men on the boat to help us fillet the fish so that we wouldn’t have to bring such big fishes home!

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The longest fish you see in the photo was the Ling, and the meat is delicious. The skin especially!

The NEXT highlight of our day, had to be the sighting of FOUR dolphins following our boats! Sadly we couldn’t get great pictures of them! But I am sure you know how dolphins look like.. But the experience was amazing! Meeting wild dolphins just casually swimming in front of our running boat. It was exhilarating to watch!

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Just as we were entering the harbour, we were greeted by a really friendly… SEAL! His name is the Medallion Man. One of the few seals that you would rarely see wild at the Newquay harbour! Apparently, the seals here are very commonly seen around fishing boats! As it would associate boats to having fish in them! So it was there staring at me all big eyed, pleading me for fish! It was so adorable! ❤

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It was a great trip and experience! Til Next time for Part 2! ❤