Super Chill 3D2N Edinburgh on Budget (Itinerary)

Okay so after sorting out all the tickets, all the pretty clothes, all about getting to the Airbnb and around the city, here’s my 3D2N itinerary.

Day 1 Night 1: 

  • Arrive at Edinburgh Waverley Railway Station
    My goodness right when you step outside this train station you’re right in the city centre of Edinburgh where you can see every classic-old-majestic-architecture buildings all around.  Look to your left and you can see the Scott Monument. You can climb to the top and witness Edinburgh city scape. We were just looking because we’ve got too many bags and we needed to walk to our Airbnb. But at the evening we went out here again to see the Edinburgh Winter Wonderland!
  • Any grocery store
    This is itinerary on budget, see. Get easy to cook food like me so you won’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen! I got frozen tempura, fries, and turkey rashers. No need to buy oil and ketchup because most probably your Airbnb have all of that at the food cupboard. Also: pick Airbnb that provides breakfast for free.
  • Winter Wonderland
    If you’re visiting in December you’d enjoy it. There are rides and Christmas market. The smell of sausage in the air, perfect.

 

Day 2 Night 2: 

  • Edinburgh Castle
    Get up early in the morning because you’re gonna see so many Instagrammable spot en-route to the castle. I don’t recommend taking the bus. Go walk! It takes 27 minutes from our Airbnb to the castle but if you’re stopping a lot to take pics like me, it’s gonna take an hour lol. The walk is kinda steep as well, so hold on to your travelling buddy haha. The bagpipe, the kilt, the accent, hit me pretty hard in that OMG I’M IN SCOTLAND moment.

And then suddenly there it was, the Edinburgh Castle. Freaking crammed with tourists. Once you’re in you’re free to explore everything. I’d give it a 6/10 because I hate the crowd. At one of the exhibition which was inside the dungeon, dammit we were waiting on queue and it was moving so so slowly. It took almost 30 minutes to get out of the damn thing. I got claustrophobic. But the highlight of this suffocating experience was at least I got to see the crown jewel that adorns Her Majesty’s royal head. I love seeing Edinburgh from the top of the tower.

  • The Boy Wizard
    If you’re a Potterhead like me, you MUST pay a visit. It’s right outside Edinburgh Castle. It’s a bit pricey compared to other Harry Potter shops I’ve been, but this one is the biggest with the largest collection. I guess it’s because Edinburgh is the birthplace of Harry Potter. Are you a Game of Thrones fan? (what’s the name for GOT fans btw?) Don’t freak out because you can get Jon Snow’s Longclaw and Aria’s Needle too!

 

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Calton Hill
Good news for my poor feet, Calton Hill is close to my Airbnb. Walking from Edinburgh Castle to Boy Wizard to Calton Hill is right along the way home. The steps to the hill is steep. If you have a short breath like me, you’re gonna have a bad time. It’s also very windy so don’t get too close to the edge of the hill. I literally swayed with the wind lol. Also this is a perfect place to just sit down on the bench and take in the view of Arthur Seat and Edinburgh skyline. I stayed until the sunset and it got dark. It was so beautiful and perfect I cried.


Day 3: 

Regent Road Park near Airbnb and Graveyard
Our train back to Edinburgh was at 4, so we had some time to visit places nearby Airbnb that I didn’t get to see before. I mentioned this park in Part 1. It was really quiet, nobody else was around. The whole park just for us. It was a good place to talk and just admiring Arthur Seat while wondering how it felt to go hiking up there. UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_1181.jpg

Next to this park is a graveyard. This may sounds weird for Indonesians because there’s no way we would spend our holiday at a graveyard back home. The tombstones and obelisks are so old, dated back to centuries ago. Apparently David Hume rests here along with some famous people. It is a beautiful final resting place on top of the hill with the view of Arthur Seat and Edinburgh skyline. I remember saying “If I were buried here, I’d be happy.”

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There you go, in total I spent £152 with train tickets, castle, and Airbnb. Is it enough to explore Edinburgh in 3 days? Nope. I would loveee to climb to the top of Arthur Seat, visit the National Museum of Scotland and maybe take a short trip to Loch Ness. I also want to get inside the Holyrood Palace which is The Queen’s official residence in Edinburgh. The ticket costs £15, cheaper than Edinburgh Castle and I believe it is also more interesting. I also regret not staying to celebrate New Year’s Eve. The fireworks show look so much more majestic compared to what I had in London Eye. I’ll write about that one in another post.

I’d definitely want to go to Scotland again. Probably around November.

Thank you for the awesome pics, Frosty 

 

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Super Chill 3D2N Edinburgh Itinerary on Budget (Part 1: Preparation)

It’s only natural to celebrate Christmas Break with your loved ones, and that’s exactly what I did.

Okay, I need to mention that I was trying to have a decent holiday in beautiful Edinburgh complete with a cozy Airbnb while I was flat broke. Sounds like a pipe dream? Not necessarily. If you’re a cheap ass traveller like me, read on.

Train tickets:

2 weeks before the D-day I had been hunting for ticket prices. Now here’s the catch: if I travelled before 24th December, the prices basically cost arms and legs. No trains are ever available on 25th and 26th (obviously). Ergo, I booked a train for 27th. I snatched two return tickets at the most reasonable price (£60 each). If you’re visiting from the south it takes approximately 4 hours travel. Choo choo

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I did not drool on this scarf

TIPS: Find the earliest train with the cheapest ticket as you’d better explore Edinburgh in the sun as long as you can before 5pm when it gets dark in December. 

Castle Tickets:

You MUST visit Edinburgh Castle if you don’t mind waiting in a long queue in the dungeons.

The price for one adult is £17.50 if you book online in advance. Alternatively you can buy on the spot for £19.50. You also get a guidebook. If you want an audio guide, you need to pay more. Get the tickets online at https://tickets.historic-scotland.gov.uk/webstore/shop/ViewItems.aspx?CG=TKTS&C=GA#428279

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The Edinburgh Castle in all its glory

Airbnb Hunting: 

I managed to secure a pretty little Airbnb within a short walking distance to a park (sadly we never know the name). A perfect spot to sit down and enjoy viewing the Arthur Seat!

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The Arthur Seat viewed from this pretty little park we don’t know its name

This perfect Airbnb was our home for 3 days and 2 nights. It’s really clean and cozy, bonus free Netflix! I was looking for Airbnb close to top Edinburgh attractions and I got it for £63 per night. Everything is perfect.

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I’ve got a serious nostalgic vibes just looking at this pic again. What memories.

Clothes:

Edinburgh in December is freeezing. Tho I expected to see snow, unfortunately it wasn’t snowing. It was just really cold and super windy. So sweaters, scarfs, and gloves are survival items. Wear boots too in case it’s raining. Don’t forget thick socks. Walking all day with boots killed my feet.

Part 2: Itinerary is coming soon!

credits to Frosty for taking these awesome pics of Edinburgh scenery and me *wink

Apologies

Hello good people,

I feel bad neglecting my blog for months. I’ve been living with deadlines chasing my ass. Seriously. Second term almost killed me. I survived writing 3 essays within 2 weeks. My procrastination got so bad I left everything to the last minute. Gosh I hope the results come out good.

So if you’re waiting for my new post, apologies. It’s my Easter Break before dissertation season and I’m committed to do this right: get on my laptop and start writing for my own pleasure again. That’s right, essays, I don’t like y’all. I almost forgot how good it feels to just write whatever I want and rant. like. this.

New post is coming.

Week 3 in Brum

I’ve been swamped with reading list and 800 words essay which is due in 2 weeks. But I survived this week! We did it, girl! *high five-ing myself*

This week has been interesting

  1. I found out that even native speakers make mistakes while speaking.

     British friend (Aidan)                : it’s so different in Korean, how the sentence is wrotten
Tasya & Veronica (non-native): written
Aidan                                            : oh wow. Wow. Native speaking right here  *point to self

He said they don’t even know grammar as much as we (the non-natives) do. Back when I was a student in Indonesia, we studied a lot of grammar at school like it’s our religion. Yet these constant instructions doesn’t necessary helpful since lots of students are still struggling to speak and write, let alone create an essay. Something IS seriously wrong with the way we learn English, and it is part of my job to find out what and why and how to fix this problem.

2. My friends ask me about hijab

Veronica : Tasya, just out of curiosity. When did you start wearing it? What age?
Tasya      : When I was in high school. At first I decided to wear it mainly because it’s my    school uniform, and then I guess it kinda grew on me.
Florentina: And you never take it off?
Tasya.      : No, we’re not supposed to take it off ever.
Veronica : But you do take it when you’re sleeping? Showering? No?
Tasya.      : Yes I do! I take it off the minute I get home
Veronica : Yeah I heard that it’s okay if you don’t wear it when there are only girls.
Tasya       : Exactly. Technically, it’s okay to not wearing it around people in family relations
Florentina : Well boys, get out! *gesturing to boys in classroom*

I’m being too honest with my answer hahaha. I should’ve been a better Islam agent but no, I can’t bear myself to educate my friends about the true nature of hijab wearing. Too complicated to explain, and I don’t want it to be awkward.

3. Finally received my monthly allowance ALLAHUAKBAR ALHAMDULILLAH now I can buy proper skincare and winter coats and boots with the fuuuuurrrr. 

If anyone has any money-saving tricks, I’m all ears.

4. Cooking skills has greatly improved.

I mean, REALLY improved. Look at the pics. I’ve had trouble with my own cooking. Burnt my chicken, burnt my rice, my eggs. Got food poisoning bcs I recklessly cooked a bad egg. Too salty, not enough oil, etc. It’s pathetic.

But now, I’ve created some masterpiece hahahahaha. Target = gendut

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5. Went picnic when it’s sunny

I just realised when we took this pics, we’re the only ones who sat under the shades hahahahaha. Btw ini rumputnya bersih banget sihhh, ga ada semut-semut, ulet, atau ee kucing wkwkwk.

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the last summer day…..

 

6. Exploring Victoria Square all by myself

Mba Indri lagi bikin tugas, Aina lagi ada acara juga. Raka sama Awan males gerak, ada yg males mandi juga hahahahahaha.

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    jangan tanya belakang gw apa, gw jg gatau ini gedung apa

 

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Maap fotonya ga niat, ga ada yg fotoin gw :’)

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Jadi ceritanya abis dari Victoria Square gw nyasar sampe ke Canals. I was going to sit in one of the cafe but….don’t wanna be all by myself….

 

Minggu depan rencananya balik ke sini lagi sama yg lain. Biar gw ada yg fotoin 🙂

 

My Birthday in Birmingham

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Shout out to Antoni Nugroho, the super talented artist who draw this fantastic art as my birthday gift. Thank you. 

I’m 24 but my local friends say I look like an 18 year-old. Thank you! Hahahahahaha

It was lucky that on my birthday we had the sun throughout the afternoon. The day was nice and warm, I had no class. I was planning to visit this beautiful garden called Winterbourne which is actually located inside the campus by myself since all my friends had classes until 4 or 5, I didn’t wanna wait that long (afraid I was gonna lose the sun). Anyway, I went to the library and met my friend who thankfully had finished his class so he could go with me. He’s amazing in taking pictures, I love how they came out!! Check my instagram for it lol.

My friend actually didn’t know that it was my birthday until I told him after we were done walking through the place, and then he wished me happy birthday after lol. This garden is HUGE and has lots of beautiful flowers. It’s very heartwarming to see old couples holding hands, kissing cheeks, hugging, huddled together there (something rare to see in public in Indonesia, especially for senior citizens). Got me thinking that I want THAT for me and my husband in the far future. Loving each other without a care in the world about what others think. We’re gonna be that adorable old couple!

Back to my birthday, haha. I was very happy to spend my birthday in a truly wonderful place. It’s perfect. Back home, I kinda expect my housemates to give me a birthday surprise (typical Tasya hahahaha), but Aina was busy cleaning the house and everything, she wished me happy birthday but that was it lol. My Mom called at exactly 11 p.m (Indonesia time) like she always do because I was born around that time. Mom asked me if I’m gonna get a surprise but I told her that there’s no chance of that. Just after speaking to Mom, Aina and Miya came from behind with this cute little pink cupcakes with candles singing happy birthday, joined by sis Indri, haha you got me there! I had given up hoping on the whole birthday surprise thing and wearing pajamas without hijab, so there were no videos of my surprised face.

By this post, I thank everyone for your sincere wishes for my birthday. Even though I spend my birthday away from home in a cold country, I’m still surrounded by your love and warmth. Having friends and family who care for my happiness is such a blessing from God. Alhamdulillah

 

First Term Starts ( Autumn )

You alright, bab?

So yesterday my academic life officially started! I was really excited for my first week, well I am still excited! I never feel not excited in this city!! How can I not? Even when it’s freezing I’m still down to have fun.

My Master’s in University of Birmingham is TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) is a one-year-full-time program. Meaning I only have 3 semesters (Autumn, Spring, and Summer). Term 1 (Autumn) lasts from 1st October to 10th December, and after that we have Winter Break but all our assignments are due on the 7th of January. Basically, I have 6 modules for one year. I have 4 compulsories and 2 optionals. This semester I have 3 compulsory modules and every module ends with 4000 words research paper (which is overwhelming), but I know I can do it! And maybe get distinction grade in every one of them! Bismillah!

There are only twelve of us in TEFL this year. I’m the only Indonesian, 7 are Chinese, 1 from Bangladesh, 1 from Rumania, 1 from Hungary, and 1 from the Birmingham. It’s a nice little community we have in our class. I like being in the small group because this way everybody has a chance to engage with the professors in our meetings. All of the teachings are conducted in School of Education, it’s kinda far back from the centre of uni so from my house to the campus it takes around 20 minutes (if I walk fast and risk fainting).  I’m gonna write a separate blog about health here!

My lecturers are….just…brilliant. OMG I can’t believe I’m actually studying under these extraordinary people! I don’t want to compare them with my lectures in Indonesia, they’re all GREAT. Semua punya style mengajar masing-masing. Jadi jangan tanya enakan dosen di UK atau dosen di Indonesia. I love them all. Respect your teacher ya guys! I can’t stress this enough. JUST RESPECT THEM. Percayalah, ilmu yg kalian kejar gak akan berbekas kalau kalian gak suka atau benci sama gurunya. Okay, back to my lecturers here.

  1. Mereka mulai mengajar benar-benar on time. Bahkan kelasku harusnya kan jam 10, tapi dosen hari ini sudah siap di kelas dari setengah jam sebelumnya. I thought I was late! I apologized, and she kindly said “You’re not late, I just like to start my class early.”

TOP TIPS:

– Be there at least 30 minutes before the class. 

– Check the room in your timetable and confirm with your classmate. Yesterday I got into the wrong room and it was pure embarrassing. I won’t share that here :((

 

2. Mereka super santai dan friendly abis. Bukan berarti gaya pakaiannya senyantai pake kaos doang ya. They wear comfortable sweaters, cardigans, and trainers. There’s no rules for clothing. My lecturer today actually told us that she was planning to wear silly clothes and silly hat just to get our reactions. Isn’t she sweet? They’re also very approachable! Saying “We’re all colleagues here, not teacher and students. We all have something to share with every one, and we all can learn from every one.” Now as PG students we are expected to do more discussion, and they are very encouraging us to speak up. No ideas are refused. They respect everything we have to say even when we make mistakes with grammar, or not able to deliver our points right, or speak too softly. The thing that I like the most is they make us learn from each other; every time someone points out something, we are asked to respond, to give our own perceptions. They told us not to be afraid to argue. In fact, we SHOULD argue when we don’t agree with something. They even allow us to QUESTION them, to actually say “Professor, that is not always the case! This is what I know…”  

3. They want us to READ EXTENSIVELY. There’s a reading list for every meeting. We are expected to have READ and UNDERSTOOD the topic for next week before the actual session begins. To support us, they give all resources available in from of downloadable ebooks or books we can borrow easily from the library. They also give us tips to do online research effectively (showing their go-to site for journal articles), and actually show it in front of the class.

4. They upload materials after each class in our online system. That way, we can get the PPT files and even the video of the teaching! It is very helpful when we can’t attend the class.

Jadwal kuliahku enak semester ini. Senin, Selasa, Rabu dari jam 10 sampai jam 1. That’s it. I have plenty of time to do my readings. Plenty of time to catch up with friends. Jadi inget pesen dari salah satu sahabatku, “Tasya, jangan cuma belajar di sana! Go out enjoy the night life, enjoy the beer!” (sebuah nasehat yang nakal). She’s totally right. I only have a year here! I don’t really wanna spend my time studying. Gotta work hard and play hard.

London 3 Days Itinerary

Last week we went to London because I knew that the following week would be hectic with uni welcoming week and course induction and I don’t know when I will have free time to go exploring other cities.

We’ve been planning this trip from Indonesia. We actually booked the Buckingham Palace Tour H-5 flying to Birmingham because the ticket were sold out in such a terrifying speed. For the accommodation, we also booked two beds in Wisma Siswa Merdeka prior leaving Indonesia cuz it is in high demand. We finally bought the train tickets from Birmingham to London H-1 departure to London using the two-together railcard (purchase this card to get discounted price for two people travelling together).

Blue texts in the itinerary are only relevant for those travelling from Birmingham.

Day-1 London Attractions

  • 9.30 a.m
    Board the train from Selly Oak station to Birmingham New Street (the hub for national trains) £2.50 @ adult-all-day ticket
  • 10.00 a.m
    Buy the two-together railcards (must be used for the two persons registered, each person must bring 1 passport photo size) £30 @ card, find the platform for trains going to London Euston.
  • 10.45 a.m
    Tap the ticket barcode on the emails sent to you (if you buy tickets online). I strongly recommend online (pay using cc) because you can save up more if you buy in advance. Board the train. Sit anywhere you like (choose the ones that are close to the toilets). Enjoy the view. At some point this train guy will go around checking tickets so don’t forget to show yours and the railcard if you have one. Our ticket was £32 @ 2 persons for roundtrip
  • 1.30 p.m
    Upon arrival at London Euston, go to the visitor centre and get an oyster card for each of you. We pay £30 and it consisted of £5 deposit and £25 credits which should be enough for 3 days if you only go in Zone 1 and 2. You can get any remaining credits and your deposit if you return the card at the end of your trip (if you’re not planning to be back in London in anytime soon). This oyster card can be used for tubes, trains, and buses.
  • 1.45 p.m
    Use your brand new oyster card to go to Wisma Siswa Merdeka using the London underground (tube). If you’re not sure about which line to take, check google maps. Your stop will be at the Willesden Green Station and it takes around 10 minutes to walk from the station to Wisma. Check in (£13.50 per night), put all your luggage in the bedroom and prepare for a great day in London! Don’t forget to eat tho!
  • 2.15 p.m
    Go to Willesden Green Station and take the tube to go to the British Museum (it’s free!!) It is both beautiful outside and insideIMG_9113.jpg
  • 3.30 p.m
    Go to the National Gallery Museum. This location is perfect because you can also get to see the Trafalgar Square (it’s literally right in front of it!)IMG_9114.jpg
  • 4.30 p.m
    Go to Westminster Bridge and you get to see triple attractions: The London Eye, The Big Ben, The River Thames. BIG BEN IS UNDER CONSTRUCTIONS FOR 3 YEARS SO DON’T GET YOUR HOPES UP LIKE I DID
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  • 6 p.m
    Go to the London Bridge to see…London Bridge, need I say more? We actually stayed until it got dark and the lights were so pretty.IMG_9116.jpg
  • You decide what time to go back to Wisma, but FYI the streets from Willesden Garden Station to Wisma is very quiet. If you watch too many thriller movies, do be back earlier.

Day-2 Big Fans Attractions

  • 10 a.m
    Go to Chelsea Stadium. It’s free just to take pictures outside. If you wanna go inside the stadium, you kinda have to pay around £27
  • 11 a.m
    Go to Platform 9 and 3/4 at King’s Cross Station. It’s a long queue to get your picture taken there with all the props (free) and shop at the Harry Potter shop (obviously not free)

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  • 1 p.m
    Go to the British Library (free) because why not? It’s right next to King’s Cross Station. By the way, this station is BEAUTIFUL. The most beautiful. Don’t forget to snap a picture.
  • 2 p.m
    Go to Natural History Museum (free). Take picture outside, I insist! And inside you can meet dinosaurs.
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    This museum also gives me the Hogwarts vibe

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  • 3.30 p.m
    Go to the Sherlock Holmes Museum. It’s not free, and the museum is small since it’s just his house. Taking pictures outside his door is a must.
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  • 5 p.m
    If you’re a fan of The Beatles, you’re in luck. The London Beatles store is literally 5 steps away from the Sherlock Museum.IMG_9235.jpeg

 

Day-3 Meet The Royals

  • 9 a.m
    Go to Green Park Station to see Changing of Guards at the Buckingham Palace that starts at 10. Don’t trust the website that says it’s at 11. You need to be there before 10 to secure your place. It’s so crowded! While waiting for it to starts, take pictures around.
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  • 11 a.m
    Go to the Golden Tour Office to claim your tickets for Buckingham Palace tour. Pay attention to the tour guide on the bus as he tells you unique stories about royals.
  • 12 a.m
    Your Buckingham Palace tour will start after you’re through the security checking like the ones they have in airports. No cameras allowed. Phones must be switched off or in airplane mode. You will be given an audio guide. Now you’re free to explore the palace without any tour guide rushing you around. Take pictures once you’re outside at the garden. Don’t forget to visit the souvenirs shops.

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    it’s not at the garden actually, it’s the palace from the front
  • 2 p.m
    Take the tube to London Euston, and board the train back to Birmingham New Street.

    I can confidently say that my 3 days in London is not pricey. As you can see, most of the attractions are free. If you want to go up the London Eye you have to pay £27. Since I didn’t go into any attractions beside the Buckingham Palace Tour, I only spent £73 for 3 days (not including meals and souvenirs I bought from Harry Potter Shop and Buckingham Palace). Breakfast is provided at Wisma.

    TIPS:
    1) Check the weather before you go see the Changing of Guards. There won’t be any if it’s raining.
    2) Take newspapers for free. Inside you’ll find coupons of McD, like you can buy the meal for just £1 instead of £5.
    3) Be aware of your surroundings especially in crowded places.
    4) Stand on the right when taking elevators.
    5) Prepare coins. You’ll need it for the toilets and also to give some to awesome street musicians! 

    2) Wear comfy shoes and coat. You’re gonna have to walk around and it’s chilly.