A city called Eidyn

You might have read our journey to the South Island of New Zealand here. Because there is similarly a city named Dunedin located in a beautiful spot along the coast. If you had read our article or are from New Zealand, you would know that the city was named because of the influx of Scottish immigrants, or so we were told.

So where’s the inspiration come from to name this city that far in the southern hemisphere? The answer is obvious. It must had been the city in Scotland itself!

So here we are, in a continuation of the last handprint story where we had left the lake district. The drive was north as the crow flies, though we traveled further than the bird could in a day. And we ended the day searching high and low for a place for the night. For as you might have read previously, we drove without a plan (of places to visit or sleep) with nothing but a map and hope…

Great stuff right?

But having survived the night we were in Edinburgh, and we had to make to the mandatory sights on the then brochure at the tourist center. We did as much as we could along the tourist trail. And with precision we left as soon as we were done. Find out what we did in Edinburgh in just one day here. Yes we know we ought to have stayed longer and we do regret that.

What would you recommend if we were to return to this city?

The MRT series – Dhoby Ghaut (NE6)

The last post on this station we introduced you to the Istana, the heritage museum (in case you cannot access the Istana) and we told you about the dhobis. Did you remember all of that here?

Well, there is definitely more than these to look out for here. For one, the station’s mural art deserve a little more attention. Of course if that is not your thing, perhaps some shopping at the nearby Plaza Singapura can fill up your day!

←Clarke Quay (NE5)

→Little India (NE7)

Part of the MRT series here.

Snail mail is still cool

Yes we think so too. Because wherever we go, we try to buy postcard(s) and post them to ourselves and our friends. Today we fondly look through these cards that we have “collected” from around the world.

This article (here) though speaks about the seeming herculean effort that is required to bring the mail down from the top of a 12,000+ feet high mountain to send it all around the world. But you know we don’t focus our posts on these linked stories.

Instead we refer to the fact that as pen and paper goes the way of the Dodo, a chapter would have passed when we can physically hold a piece of memory in our hands. As opposed to having all of it on our digital devices. We don’t know about you, but we surely feel different being able to flip the post cards and reading our almost illegible and faded handwriting. On a sunny afternoon, sitting together looking out from our little box in the sky (ie apartment), we enjoy leafing through these memories.

Call us old school. Who cares?

The only disadvantage is that with the fading, these old cards and documents do have a limited life. Whereas digital supposedly keeps them for perpetuity (read our VR views here). What are we to do?

Do you still send snail mail?

Lake District and the northern “frontier”

This is a continuation of our reminisce – ie our blast from the past series on the UK. The last time we set foot on the UK was in 2010! But lest you think it was just 8 years ago, read on. In the last handprint post, we shared that the road trip that began in Wales.

Well now we had to make a choice.

You see back then we did not plan out an itinerary to follow. We simply rented a car, bought a motoring atlas (of the UK) and began driving making it up as we went along. Heheh… we have since progressed a long way from that!

In some ways that was exciting at that time, a few younglings packed into a rental and having the freedom to roam as they wished. On this occasion we simply drove north and made a sharp left into the lake district, incurring the admonishment of the local traffic cop as we exceeded the speed limit a little… heheh. Read about it here.

You might notice from the essay link that we pieced two parts of our journey back together. One at the lake on the way north somemore, and then back down. For you see we wanted to keep the article focused on England. To pique your interest somemore, let us tell you that Great Walls weren’t proprietary of the ancient Chinese. The Romans did the same too in the UK.

Do you know the names of the two “Great Walls” in the UK?

The MRT series – Clarke Quay (NE5)

We used to think that Clarke quay along with Boat quay further down the bend of the river was the home of too much boozing. Well not quite the sort of pub crawl one’s accustomed perhaps somewhere in the northwest corner of Europe. A little saner perhaps.

Like Boat quay the shophouses you see now were once ‘godowns’ – aka little storehouses along the river where ‘bum boats’ plied to un/load goods. This was the equivalent of our red dot’s Dubai creek!

←Chinatown (NE4)

→Dhoby Ghaut (NE6)

Part of the MRT series here.

What seems tranquil that wasn’t

Will you travel to a gulag? Don’t know what that is? There was a really dark period of history in the story of Russia and its legacy remains till this day. Though from the onset one might not get the feeling that a lot of bad things happened here.

The location itself is definitely exotic enough.

This story from the Daily Mail covered it all (link). And the pictures that you will see in the link may suggest Solovetsky is a beautiful place to visit, albeit a little on the difficult to reach since it is ~100 miles from the arctic circle. Remember our post about this dream cruise (here)?

But the point is – some places appear so peaceful today when one strolls through it, but back in the day, there could have been carnage or immense suffering and destruction that took place. Well ‘Solovi’ has all the trappings of it all. One might bump into a monk, but the places were meditation and prayers take place today was once home to a brutal regime of torture.

Dark tourism some call it. Though there are also natural wonders such as the many arctic terns that nest in the islands as alternative sights of interests.

So here is one more of the exotic locales we wrote about in the vastness of the Russian federation (previous ones here). Will this inspire you to make the journey there?