Travel

Two weeks…three countries…one backpack…Wales, Scotland & Iceland | Rutele

Hello errrbody! I’ve been MIA for months, but I’m back!! Just recently I went away to Europe for two weeks and squeezed in three countries..Let’s just say it was exhausting!! This has to be one of the coolest trips that I have ever taken. All of the places were so different and unique. Oh and I managed to travel with just one backpacks guys….one backpack. Can I get a high five for this? I’m a girl…that is basically impossible to do.

Cardiff, Wales

This is such a cute little town. So quaint and quiet. Full of beautiful architecture and nature. My boyfriend and I actually attended a wedding an hour outside of town and got to experience the Welsh countryside and even better, the Welsh customs. They sure know how to have fun. The weather ended up being absolutely amazing! A slight drizzle during the first few days and then all sunshine. Our friends there said this was quiet unheard of, so lucky for them, we must have brought the sunshine from Florida. Here we did not go to any specific monuments or famous destinations, just ventured around and took in the city. What you can expect around town is tons of beer/cider and bangers with mash. Oh and meat pies! Those are actually exquisite. The food here is amazing! Also if you love lamb…this is the place for you!!

 

Edinburg, Scotland

I don’t even know how to start this one…the first words that come to my mind are YES, YES, YES!! Goodness gracious this town is absolutely stunning. The dark architecture, the old pubs, the amazing food and Harry Potter was written here.

Arthur’s Seat

Yes we did climb a mountain to see the seat that he actually never sat in. I basically fell off the mountain and nearly blew away because of how windy it was but the view from here was superb. Just let your inner mountain goat take over and climb the mountain.

Downtown

Walk around all over the actual downtown area. This time of the year it’s so green, yet still has the dark and gothic feel to it. You can find such cool and authentic pubs here that have been around for decades. Eat some more bangers and mash and voila, you’re basically Scottish. I really suggest paying close attention to the architecture. The old town consists mostly of gothic architecture, while the new town consists of mainly neo-classicism architecture. Really quite interesting how it all flows together and what kind of feel it exudes.

Edinburg Castle

This is actually still an active military base. How cool is that? While in Edinburg, you can’t miss this. This is one of the most beautiful castles that I have seen. Its extremely intricate in architecture and you can explore quite a lot of it. You can get a good look at where James VI and I (King of Scotland and England) was born and the oldest Crown Jewels in the British Isles.

The Elephant House

This is also another place you cannot miss (if you’re a Harry Potter fan). Ah the books were such a huge influence in my childhood that it would have been a crime to miss this spot. This little cafe is where J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter. Or at least started it. It was cheaper for her to buy a cup of coffee here and write than heat her own home. From the back room you have a wonderful view of the castle, which is probably what inspired her (I am just speculating here). The bathrooms in here are so neat. The walls are completely covered in messages from the fans of the author and the characters.

Whiskey Tour

Now I am not a whiskey fan but this place was superb! I figured since we love immersing ourselves in the different cultures when we travel, we might as well get to know the main drink here in Scotland. We actually learned a ton about how this liquor is made and where it’s made. During the tour you get to pick out which whiskey you would like to try (different regions focus on different ingredients and different aging processes) and explore the biggest whiskey collection in the world. This room was so fabulous. It is so huge and just filled top to bottom with whiskey’s from all over the world.

Reykjavik, Iceland

I really had no idea what to expect from Iceland. I knew that it would include tons of hiking and putting myself out of my comfort zone so I was slightly worried. It surpassed my expectations on every level and I can wholeheartedly say, put this place on your bucket list. It’s seriously so different than anything else that I have ever experienced. I have never been so one with nature and everything that it has to offer.

Gullfoss Waterfall

Where is the Hobbit?? This was my thought the whole time here. Being from Florida and not so outdoorsy, this waterfall blew my mind! If you’re in Iceland for less than 7 days, I would suggest doing the Golden Circle instead of the ring road. The Gullfoss waterfall is one of the destinations on this route. I mean the pictures speak for themselves, there isn’t really anything else to say.

Skátaskálinn Fluga

My life dream came true on this day. I adore horses and these ponies are just beyond adorable. They turned out to be so friendly and playful. Although keep in mind that they like sugar cubes a lot more than apples. It took them a couple minutes to warm up to me but from that point on they out of my hands and let me pet them. So in loveee! Iceland is not necessarily abundant when it comes to forests but we happen to run into one while driving around. Which really excited me! Forests are absolutely my favorite part of nature. I come from Lithuania where that is a huge part of our landscape so I really miss them when I go back to Florida. It was really refreshing to hike through a dense and green forest. Something about the way the air smells just gets me.

Reykjadalur

Best day of my life! That may even be an understatement honestly. Let’s just say this day was full of soccer, hot springs and wild sheep. I think everyone would be the happiest camper on a day like this. You know this started off just like any regular day. Woke up and decided to drive around. We had a nearby town in mind to watch the Iceland vs France game so everything really revolved around getting there. We had no expectation of discover hot springs here, but we did! At the bottom of this mountain we discovered really neat mud pots but as we climbed higher and higher, we kept running into beautiful waterfalls and hot springs. Well turns out these hot springs run into little rivers that you can bathe in…and if you’re curious on what that felt like…well it was like a naturally occurring hot tub (without the harsh smells and chemicals). This seriously was heaven. On our way back down a cute sheep approached us and basically demanded to be scratched. This was really the tipping point for me on the definition of the best day ever.

Blue Lagoon

After all of the hiking and running around, the Blue Lagoon was the best way to unwind and relax. The lagoon is full of silica and sulfur which is what gives it the light blue hue. Although this is a super touristy destination, it was fabulous. We did a silica and an algae mask, had a couple of drinks and just lounged about. Perfect day!

 

I cannot even begin to explain how much I really needed this trip. It’s been a stressful couple of months, hence my disappearance but this vacation really helped me get out of this rut and get my life back together. Keep an eye out for more blogs to come. Makeup related of course 😀

 

Have you been to any of these countries?? Share with me in the comments below!

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14 replies »

  1. It looks like such a lovely trip. I can’t believe you managed to travel with only a backpack AND attend a wedding on top of that. You deserve a medal not a high five haha
    I live in Edinburgh and I still haven’t visited the elephants house caffe. Shame on me. I will try and do that ASAP when I come back from Lithuania hah lovely post, lovely photos! Xx

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