The transition is real! When we all arrived in the UK almost 6 years ago, all we ever did in the first year was of course work, drink and have fun! A lot of laughs, rants and even tears in between but I’m proud of how this friendship turned into family. And as we continue to grow and evolve, the gang is also getting bigger as we are joined by cute little angels! Let’s do this trip every year, yeah?
I finally took a day off from being sick and decided to breathe in a bit of fresh air from the outside. I’ve had a rough couple of days and after my endless coughing and quick trip to the A&E, I deserve a bit of wandering and sunshine. On my list – God’s own junkyard!
God’s own junk yard is like a live kaleidoscope of neon colours curated by Mr. Chris Bracey. It does bring a bit of Las Vegas lights to mind but the overall aesthetic and the way everything has been creatively put together gives an ecclectic, dreamy artsy atmosphere.
My obsession with funky, artsy things led me to finding this spot online and I’ve been wanting to visit this for the longest time. It was a 45 min drive from Basildon and there is parking space available. For commute, the nearest train station is Walthamstow Central (overground) + 13 ish minute walk to the estate.
I was pleasantly surprised arriving into the estate. Apart from the neon lights, I didn’t really expect anything else but getting there, I was already loving the vibe – just chill, laid back with music and beer and people baskin under the sun. I already can see myself coming back!
The actual junkyard is housed in like a big warehouse. Few steps in and you’ll be greeted by a lightfeast to the eyes! Just be mindful cause only phone cameras are allowed inside so don’t bother bringing anything else. Initially, I thought we would be asked to pay some amount but entrance is free!
Mind you it can get pretty busy and it can be packed with tourists but after several rounds of oggling the lights, you can take a moment to sit down and actually dine inside. Cakes and drinks and a few hot meals are available. Can I also say, they were playing a bangin playlist the whole time and I’m doubly impressed!
Overall, this is a nice gem to visit and would definitely tick one of the instagrammable and must visit spots in London.
We recently celebrated our first year of marriage and as per tradition, we’ve decided to reward our ‘hard work’ with of course, travel!
The original plan was going to Copenhagen (scored really cheap tickets) but due to unforseeable circumstances a.k.a me losing Gelo’s BRP (UK visa) we just had to ditch the plan and just go local. So for plan B, I let my ever dependable husband (why am I rolling my eyes typing this? Lol) plan the whole trip for a change. He arranged everything – from itinerary to booking the hotel to driving us there.
From Essex, it was more or less 10 hours getting to the Highlands. Since it’s winter season and the sun basically sets at 3pm, we had to leave early to catch at least a bit of light. Out first stop- Hadrian’s Wall.
Technically the wall still lies within England however, having taken our life in the UK exam (had loads of history questions) fairly recently, we understood how it was associated to Scotland and we got curious how it still exists considering the x amount of years it has been there. Honestly though, it’s literally just a wall.
From the wall, we drove for 4-5 more hours passing by the city of Glasgow to get to one of their famous Lochs (Irish, Scotting gaelic term for Lake), Loch Lomond.
This lake is actually one of the largest in the whole Great Britain. During this trip, I have been obsessed with taking pictures by the jetty (dock) and luckily we found this sweet spot. The water was so still and it almost looked like it was an extension of the sky. So serene I love it!
After that long drive, we had an early rest in a small town called Garelochhead and stayed overnight in the Anchor Inn. The next morning (day of our anniversary) we had the chance to enjoy the sunrise over Loch Lomond.
From there, we drove for another 2 hours planning to get to the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct. On our journey I must say we had to stop multiple times (too often that I may have annoyed Gelo a bit haha) especially when we passed by the Glencoe Valley just to appreciate the breathtaking views. If any of you are planning to visit and capable of driving on your own instead taking tours, I strongly recommend you to do so.
From the original plan to get to the duct by 10, we arrived 2 hours late lol. For food, we actually packed Adobo + Rice and just ate at the parking lot (Tipid techniques).
I’m sure any Potterhead would be familiar of this view – The Glenfinnan Viaduct. On arrival, there is an actual visitors area where you can buy souvenirs, food and use the loo. They also have a carpark and charge £3 for the whole day. On the side, they have a trail leading to a viewpoint which is the view you see from the picture above. If you want a better and closer look (which I’m sure you would), from the visitor centre turn right, walk until you see the next entry to your right.
We had to do a bit of hike (around 10-15 minutes) which wasn’t too bad considering you get this view. Thank god it was sunny too!
For our sunset session, it took us another 3 hours to get to our next spot, Eilean Donan Castle. Normally, there is an admission fee of £7.50 but they just finished a wedding event so fortunately the gates were opened to public. As much as seeing the inside of the castle is a treat, I personally preferred this view:
I couldn’t think of a better way to end this special day. Scotland continues to capture our hearts. Super stunning!
On our last full day before heading home, we visited more castles starting with Urquhart which overlooks the ever so famous Loch Ness.
Admission to the castle costs £9 and an hour would probably be enough to see the ruins. The next castle was Dunrobin and it was so dreamy I felt like I was in a Cinderella movie.
They are actually closed for winter but for some reason, they gates to the gardens were open so we just took the opportunity to snap some pictures! Would be a nice setting for pictorials or even weddings.
Overall, I think our anniversary trip is a success. Of course the most important thing is that we spent quality time and just enjoyed hours and hours singing and talking about anything. I also enjoyed the fact that I took a back seat in terms of arranging all details for the trip. Will let him do all the planning the next time we leave for a holiday.