Videos

Sunny, Snowy Scotland

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Scottish weather is a complete mystery. Sun can’t be guaranteed in summer and snow can’t be guaranteed in winter; you just never know what it’s going to be like outside. Deciding what to wear when heading out can be problematic – we can’t always rely on the weather forecast!

Yesterday, the weather forecast said it was to be dry and sunny, so I jumped on the chance of a drive to Arrochar for a small hill walk. When I got there, it was pissing down. Typical.
(Tip for walking in Scotland: Always bring waterproofs!)
Thankfully, it dried up later on and it ended up being perfect walking weather!

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Speaking of being prepared for the weather, in January, I was not prepared for the snow. Luckily, it only lasted for 2 days (thank GOD) and on one of the days, I enjoyed a stroll in Balloch Park, watching everyone sledging while pelting my boyfriend with snowballs.

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The vlog from both of these days will be linked at the end of this post!

Here are the rest of the photos!

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Also stopped at Firkin Point, Loch Lomond on the way back from Arrochar!

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Balloch Park

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Reading my High School Journal

I think it’s important to keep a diary and to write in it regularly. It not only helps you remember what you’ve done throughout your life, but it helps you to see how you’ve changed and grown over the years.

In my new youtube video, I read some of the entries from my old high school journal. It was painful to read because of how strange and immature I was back then and you’ll probably die of second-hand embarrassment if you watch it.

Remember to give it a thumbs up if you like it!

Enjoy!

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Paranormal Experience in a Haunted Hospital

5 years ago, I had a temporary job as a domestic assistant in a local hospital. From 4pm-8pm, I had to clean the old building, completely by myself, which was terrifying. In my new youtube video, I talk about the creepy experiences I had there…so have a watch! If you like it, don’t forget to give it a thumbs up and leave a comment describing a strange experience you’ve had!

Glen Loin and Coiregrograin Circuit

My boyfriend Fraser and I recently walked the Glen Loin and Coiregrograin Circuit, Arrochar in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs. We managed 12 miles in 5 hours, (it’s an 11 mile loop, but we took a wrong turn at one point!) and managed to escape the rain. It was enjoyable, but it showed me just how long it’s been since I’ve hiked – my legs were killing me!

You can see the walk in my new youtube video, which includes footage of us hitting a bog and almost getting stuck; story of my life.

Here are some photos from the day:

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The video:

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Ending 2015

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Happy new year!

This year, I’ve decided to start a new youtube series. Whenever I have an interesting week, I’ll film it and upload a vlog. The title ‘Weekly Vlog didn’t appeal to me, so I decided to name it something relating to my youtube username. Hence: Creep Week!

Creep Week #1 is out today and contains clips from Christmas, nights out over Christmas, Hogmanay and a spontaneous trip to Glencoe!

What did you do for Christmas and New Year’s Eve? Leave a comment below!

 

 

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Ben A’an

IMG_2215 As much as I love hill walking, it got put on the back burner after my Italy trip (despite the fact that on holiday, I constantly said I was missing the hills…crazy!). A few weeks after I got back, I decided to get a grip and attempt a smaller hill to easy myself back into it, so I chose the 454m high hill, Ben A’an in the Trossachs area.

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There is currently a temporary path leading to Ben A’an from the Ben Venue car park, which is pretty muddy, so decent shoes are definitely needed for this walk! I haven’t used the usual path, so I can’t tell you what I think about it, but the current one is decent – just don’t wear your best clothes!

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Parking in the Ben Venue car park is £3, although a nice man gave me his ticket (shhh), so I didn’t have to pay.

loved this walk. It took me approx. 1 hour 30 mins to reach the top, but I was constantly stopping to film, take photos and talk to people, so it’ll vary for everyone else. Unfortunately, I had my fair share of embarrassing moments…

  1. As I began to walk up the path I heard someone shout, “EXCUSE ME!” and when I turned back, the man who gave me the ticket yelled “YOU’VE LEFT YOUR CAR DOOR WIDE OPEN!”. So I headed back down, red-faced and realised that I’d left my driver’s side door wide open! What an idiot. Only about 6 or so people witnessed it though…cringe.
  2. About 10 minutes into the walk, I had the overwhelming urge to pee, so I veered off the path to search for a decent bush to do my business behind. It seemed that every bush was visible to other walkers and I was starting to give up until I looked round and saw an old couple staring at me from the path. They were obviously wondering what the hell I was doing, so I pretended to be looking for something. Ugh.
  3. On the way back down, I was trying to avoid slipping in the mud but it was inevitable. I slipped, landed smack down on my bum and fisted the mud with both arms. God.

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Once I’d reached the top, (after being overtaken by quite a few elderly men… putting me to shame!) the views over Loch Katrine were incredible. I spent about half an hour at the top eating my lunch and it was just so peaceful! Where I was sitting, not a soul passed me, and who wouldn’t want to eat lunch while looking at this view?

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I would definitely recommend this hill for someone who doesn’t feel fit enough to climb a Munro. Good practise! Although steep, it’s a great wee climb, not too strenuous.

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If you’re interested in seeing some footage, here is my Ben A’an vlog!

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My Trip to Italy

On  the 20th August 2015, my boyfriend (Fraser) and I embarked on a two week trip to Italy, the majority of which was spent in the city of Florence. For 13 nights, we stayed in a lovely little apartment in the centre of the city. It was a 10 minute walk from the Duomo Cathedral and 25 minute walk from Santa Maria Novella train station, which helped us travel to different cities in Italy over the course of the trip. I filmed our entire trip and will include the video at the end of this blog post. It includes more information and you can experience the trip with us!

FLORENCE

With it’s fascinating history and countless attractions, Florence is a beautiful city filled with stunning architecture, fantastic restaurants and plenty of streets to explore – or in my case – get completely and utterly lost in. 

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Fraser and I at the top of Piazzale Michelangelo

Some people say the best view of the city is from the Duomo, but we took a short (but steep!) walk up to Piazzale Michelangelo, a square with stunning views of Florence. There is a bar at the top where you can relax, drink some cocktails and appreciate the view.

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The Duomo (Cathedral of Santa Maria Dei Fiore

Florence Cathedral (or the Duomo) is hard to miss when walking through the centre, with its impressive exterior and sheer size. However, as much as we wanted to see inside it, we didn’t think the hour and a half – 2 hour wait was worth it, especially since we saw a good few cathedrals throughout our trip, which were all stunning and didn’t have a queue. Another visit to the city to see the Duomo (and other things we missed) is definitely on the cards in the future, although perhaps not in peak tourist season!

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Outside the Duomo

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Santa Croce

The Basilica of Santa Croce is a must-see, where the tombs of Galileo, Michelangelo, Marconi and many other iconic Italians are found. Like the Duomo, the exterior is impressive and there is plenty to explore inside and outside.

Fraser was reading a lot about the Medici family before the holiday and he was desperate to see the Museum of the Medici Chapels. We decided to do it on one of our last days and despite not being enthusiastic about it at first, I would highly recommend it. The museum consists of many treasures belonging to the family, the crypts and lots of information about all the artifacts, which were fascinating to me. The main chapels were under renovation, but they were spectacular. I hadn’t heard much about this chapel, but I feel like it’s a bit of a hidden gem (if you can even call it that, it’s probably really well known!).

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IMG_0974Uffizi Gallery

I’m not an arty person but I enjoyed visiting the two main galleries, the Uffizi and the Accademia. Hours could easily be spent walking about these galleries and admiring the vast amount of amazing sculptures and paintings. The highlight of the Accademia is of course, Michelangelo’s David, which is absolutely fascinating. The work that was put into this sculpture can be shown by how insanely detailed it is, e.g. the veins in his hand and the stance – brilliant!

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I read quite a few mixed reviews about the Boboli Gardens, the main negative ones being about the entrance fee (€10), which in my opinion was fair. It gives you access to a few museums within the gardens, and there is plenty to see. The walk to the top is quite steep, but perfectly manageable, and the views are lovely. For us, this was a more relaxing day, and we managed to fit in some sunbathing at the top!

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FLORENCE TIPS

1. We found that many museums have a reduced price for EU citizens under 26, so make sure to find out which ones do before you go!

2. If you’re visiting Florence for a short time, consider buying a Firenze card, which costs €72, lasts for 72 hours and grants free entry to major attractions. Just make sure to calculate the total cost of the museums you want to visit and decide whether the card is worth it!

3. Learn the lingo!

4. If you visit in tourist season, be prepared to be caught up in crazy crowds wherever you go. Queues galore!

5. In relation to the previous tip, book museums in advance! We booked most things online.

6. Explore the markets. Lots of great little souvenirs!

7. Eat gelato and drink Limoncello. YUM.

8. When using trains or buses, make sure to validate your tickets at the machines beforehand, or you could face a hefty fee!

9. People constantly approach you to try and sell you things – avoid them. It’s illegal to buy from them.

10. While dining, some restaurants/bars put snacks on your table but usually you’ll find that they’ll be included on the bill at the end of your meal.

11. EXPLORE AND ENJOY!
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One of the excellent things about Florence is the easy access to other parts of Italy from the city. We took great advantage of this and travelled to Fiesole, Pisa, Lucca, Siena and Rome, all which took around an hour and a half on the train, apart from Fiesole which was a very short bus ride from Florence city centre.  I will be covering these trips in another blog post but in the meantime, I’ll be sharing all my photos from the trip on my instagram page!

MY ITALY VIDEO

 

Thank you for reading! Let me know in the comments below if you have ever been to Italy, or where your favourite travel destination is!

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Climbing my First Munro, Ben Lomond.

Last month, Macb asked me to be a part of their campaign, Unleash Your Bottle, which encouraged people to set challenges for themselves that were out of their comfort zone. My challenge was to film myself doing three things that were out my comfort zone, the first being a dancing in public video in Glasgow City Centre (where I unleashed my best “dad” dance moves and made everyone jealous of my skills). In another of the videos, I tried frogs legs, (a huge deal for me because anyone that knows me knows that I’m extremely fussy!)

I chose to attempt my first munro for my second challenge (the video will be included at the end), so after scanning a list of “easiest munros to climb”, I decided on Ben Lomond. For anyone who isn’t familiar with the word, a munro is a Scottish mountain over 3000ft high, and there are 282 of them. Ben Lomond is Scotland’s most southerly munro and is 3193ft (974m).

After having a look at the route on Walkhighlands, I figured it seemed easy enough and set off to Rowardennan, dragging my friends Zoe and Brad with me.

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To get to the bottom of the mountain, we headed through the information centre, where at the back, the path is clearly signposted. It climbs steadily through woodland for a short while, eventually reaching a clearing (which reminded me of Jurassic Park, but then again, I seem to say that everytime I hike!)

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After about 15 minutes, the sweat was dripping off me (I’m so attractive) and I realised that the climb probably wasn’t going to be as easy as I thought. We joined another path further ahead and continued straight up, where the views started to become gradually more and more amazing.

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 As we climbed, the clouds slowly started to surround us, eventually making everywhere look completely white, and rather eerie.

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After some rather steep parts, the path levelled out along the Sron Aonaich Ridge. Looking down, we could see absolutely nothing but white, which was actually quite peaceful. As we climbed, the temperature gradually dropped and the layers we previously stripped off were back on. 20-30 minutes later, I could finally spot the trig point in the distance.

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Climbing to the top of a mountain and being unable to experience the view gave us a good laugh, along with the ruckus we caused after an enormous insect walked across my shoulder and proceeded to fly into Zoe’s face. After eating our sandwiches, we started the descent and to our delight, the clouds began to clear.

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Overall, the climb took us approximately 3 hours and the descent lasted 2 hours. After recently climbing my second munro (Buachaille Etive Mor, which I’ll also write a blog post about), I can see why this munro is classed as an easier trek than many of the others. It was an enjoyable hike with a brilliant, straightforward path and rewarding views of Loch Lomond.

If you are planning on venturing up this mountain, remember to come prepared and don’t underestimate the Scottish weather. As you can see from these photographs, what may seem like cracking weather at the bottom, can quickly turn into the complete opposite as you get closer to the summit. Decent walking shoes are required, as some of the rocks can slip under your feet during the descent.

I would highly recommend this as a starter munro for anybody. If I can do it, anyone can!

Happy hiking 🙂

Here is my video of the experience!

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City of the Dead – Haunted Graveyard Tour

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Recently, my friend Amy and I stayed in Edinburgh for a night, which was so much fun! The first day consisted of visiting the castle, doing a bit of shopping, eating way too many nachos and at night, deciding to partake in a ghost walk.

I have a bit of experience with ghost walks in Edinburgh, but none of them compare to the Haunted Graveyard Tour with City of the Dead. A few years back, I took the same exact tour and absolutely LOVED it, so I felt that this was the one I had to show Amy.

Lonely Planet once named it “The best of Edinburgh’s ghost tours” and I would so far have to agree. The highlight of the tour is the chance to possibly witness and experience a “real” poltergeist (I’m still on the fence as to whether I believe in it or not!).

Actors, drama and constant jump scares are what I loath in a ghost walk (although, those would be great for younger people and those who like that sort of thing, of course). I want to feel scared, not to feel like I’m on a children’s tour, so someone with a fake voice and dramatic demeanor isn’t my thing.

The company website has an interesting description of the experience, including a warning at the bottom, stating that the Mackenzie Poltergeist can cause physical and mental distress. If you don’t know anything about the poltergeist, there is no need to read up on it (unless you want to know the full story before the tour), because all the information is covered on the walk.

There is usually a sense of nervousness when you approach the City of the Dead sign outside St Giles Cathedral on the Royal Mile. The sign displays pictures of various cuts, bruises, burns and scratches that people have found on their bodies during the tour, usually after stepping into the Black Mausoleum, the site of the Mackenzie Poltergeist. Both times I’ve had a small fear of the next victim being someone on our tour. Including myself.

On this walk (and the previous one!) our guide was Katie. She is absolutely brilliant at creating a spooky atmosphere and captivating everyone with her storytelling.

The tour consists of interesting (and true) stories of witch trials, the plague, grave robbing and the real Greyfriars Bobby tale (which is not what you would expect!) and a short walk through Greyfriars Kirkyard (comfortable footwear is recommended!) before stopping outside the locked gates of the Covenanters Prison. The story of the Covenanters is explained, which is extremely sad but captivating, and then the guide begins to talk about the poltergeist. The tone of the tour changes slightly at this point. The group is asked if there is anyone present who is pregnant. If there is, then that person probably won’t be able to enter the prison. The guide states that City of the Dead are the only company that own a key to the locked gates, and once we step in, the gates will be locked behind us. Once the group enters the prison, we head to the Black Mausoleum, a family tomb in which the Mackenzie Poltergeist resides. Inside, it is dark, cold and pretty terrifying. The guide doesn’t enter the tomb with us, she stands at the entrance, candle in hand. Poltergeist stories unfold, along with experiences with it on previous tours. I don’t want to go into too much detail about the stories because I have a video of the tour (which I’ll link at the end of this post) and I would love for others to experience the tour and hear the stories for themselves.

Nothing strange happened on any of the walks I’ve been on and I’m not sure whether I’m relieved or a bit gutted!

The tour costs £10 (£8 discount, £6 child), which in my opinion is very reasonable, and it lasts for approximately 1 hour 20 minutes. No unaccompanied children are allowed, or children under 12.

I highly recommend this ghost walk and here is the video of the trip (you’ll have to endure Amy and I being idiots at the beginning) –

 

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