GLOCCOVNAA is an abbreviation for 'Great Life of Conflict, Climax or Virtually Nothing At All'. That was the long and ridiculous name I came out for my blog when I was 18 years old. Do click on the colourful icons on the right to check out different types of posts in this blog.

04 November, 2012

How to enjoy Edinburgh with a tight budget #2

After all my friends left Edinburgh shortly after midnight, I was left to wander around Edinburgh on my own. Before I proceed, I must let you know that although I am not exactly a loner, I do enjoy travelling alone much more than in a group. This is mostly for the freedom of doing whatever I want, whenever I want, wherever I want and however I want. I could walk at my comfortable pace, sometimes faster when in a hurry and sometimes strolling when getting tired. I could stop by a coffee shop when I am craving for a cup of java. I could also run and scream crazily in the center of the empty Princes Street on New Years night without worrying that anyone would find out... until now.

Now the world knows about my secret outburst of joy
Solo adventures do take a toll on me in that it can be very boring at times, my solution to that is to bring along a massive playlist of music. My Kpop craze in my earbuds continued from Italy to Edinburgh and to most of the places I traveled on my own. I guess I've got to thank music for keeping my sanity intact as well as making a visit more like an adventure in a good movie with a good soundtrack pouring straight into my ear.
My music was put on party shuffle loop for most of the time.
My budget tip for food may disgust some of you, not that it is unsanitary or illegal, but it goes against the "go forth and spend" attitude of most tourists. The hostel I was staying in has a fully furnished, comprehensive and beautiful kitchen. I noticed that many guests in the hostel were not aware of this gem because they were all roaming at the hostel's cafe for convenient but overpriced meals. On the day I arrived, I made a short trip to Tesco just around the corner to get some simple frozen foods, pastries and drinks to last the whole stay. So every morning I could just walk to the kitchen, toast my croissants and pies, make a large mug of hot chocolate, and voila! Perfect breakfast that costs only ~50p. Compare that to the hefty £4 breakfast set for 5 items at a buffet breakfast, I rest my case. (How is a tiny bowl of cereal in milk counted as 2 items? Everyone complained about that ripoff!)
only £0.45
On the contrary, I did not hold back on lunch though. My lunch was as most tourists would call it, basic Scottish delicacy. Then dinner was back to the budget style again. Believe or not, my dinner that night only cost £1 even with prawns, wontons and vegetable spring roles, not forgetting a 2L bottle of cola.
the 26 piece set had a crazy 80% discount, so you never know when supermarkets get crazy with their promos.
If you noticed, almost all my tour photos in this blog are from my camera, taken by me or some helpful passerby. The major problem with solo trips is that there is nobody else to take pictures other than the owner, unless the owner hand the camera to a passerby to take a picture of him/her. Edinburgh is a panoramic city and I did not want to be left out of those terrific views, so once in a while I do get help from other tourists to take a picture or two of me. I personally like to approach tourists with huge cameras and who, I hope, are proficient enough to take a decent shot. However when help is unavailable, my amature camwhore techniques could come in handy too. On several occasions, I were also able to place my camera on road signs and rubbish bins to take my picture. Now all these are making me sound pathetic...
Framing is probably my biggest enemy!
For a budget solo trip, I need to be fully aware of the location, directions and information. There is no tour guide to bring me around, nobody to tell me stories about the place and no professional planner to arrange where to go and when. Edinburgh is not a particularly good example for this since it was not my first time there. I will elaborate in more detail in my London post. There are many tourist sites in Edinburgh worth visiting to me. So planning the time to visit each site can be tricky especially getting a view of sunrise or attending a specific event. An example of this is my walk up Carlton Hill. On the my last day in Edinburgh, I chose to wake up early to catch a view of sunrise from the top of Carlton Hill. I initially planned it on New Years day but found out that the authorities were still clearing up the fireworks debris, so I delayed it by a day.
the view was fantastic!!!
My worst fear that day was that the roads and pavements were all frosty and slippery. The night before was extremely cold and early morning was still chilly -2°C. Thankfully it did not snow or rain. The key is to prepare suitable clothing and footwear for the weather and keep your fingers crossed.
The only time I wore 3 layers and was still shivering.
I also visited the Edinburgh castle at night, what an experience to see the majestically lit castle up close. On New Years day, I found out that there were a few events going on around the city and I chose to visit the event held in the National Museum of Scotland. This event was similar to a telematch in a family day. I was more interested in the museum since it was my first time visiting it.
No obstruction, perfect view...
The roof is a must-go, the view in the evening is beautiful.
I think I covered the gist of how I travel comfortably without spending much. The next #WalkALOT will be London!!!


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