Wanderlust by Jona

Travel. Wanderlust. Blog. Photographer. Amanda Jona. Explore. Adventure. World. Traveller

Travel Throwback Thursday: Dublin 2011

I always mention Dublin as one of my favorite cities in the world - even though I only been there once and that was in 2011.
I really want to go back there one day but in the same time, I don't since I'm afraid that I have built up most of the magic in my head and will just get disappointed if I go back, haha. I went to Dublin for about a week with my family back in the autumn of 2011 and fell in love with the city - with everything from the architecture to the people and that is what I want to look back at in today's Travel Throwback Thursday.
We stayed at a hotel I don't remember the name of, in the central parts of Dublin, but I do remember the hotel rooms! We were first placed in a super tiny room with a view of the street that was really busy even during night time so none of us slept the first night. In the morning, we went to the reception and asked to change room, and instead got placed in a big room with 5m headroom, a fireplace and a view over the courtyard. Since we stayed so local we spent our days exploring the inner city of Dublin by foot and by a hop-on-hop-off-bus and visited cites like the old prison Kilmainham Gaol, the brewery Guinness and a wax museum. Let's just say that we could have skipped the wax museum, but I loved to visit Kilmainham Gaol (who doesn't want to learn more about torture and murder during a vacation, haha) and even though I don't drink alcohol I still thought it was interesting to see how the beer was made at Guinness - and to visit the bar at the top of the brewery with a panoramic view of the city.
After writing this post, I just feel more certain that I have to book a trip back to Dublin pretty soon, haha. I would also love to explore more of the beautiful nature in Ireland! In the meantime, here are some pictures from my last visit:
View from Guinness brewery
Thought this was so funny because it really does rain a lot in Dublin
Left: Kilmainham Gaol II Right: A concierge at a random doorway
View from Guinness brewery
Gosh, wish I had been documenting more during my travels back than, but I think this building was a part of the University? Or something completely different. Love the architecture though!
 A leprechaun at the wax museum

Arthur's Seat - Edinburgh, Scotland

One of the best things I did during my visit to Edinburgh back in November was to climb Arthur's Seat. 
Arthur's Seat is the main peak of a group of hills right outside the central city of Edinburgh. There are some interesting stories about this hill, including being the location of the legendary castle Camelot with King Arthur and the whole hill itself being a sleeping giant, but one certain fact is that it's an extinct volcano that erupted about 350 million years ago.
We climbed the hill just before sunset so we could witness the beautiful panoramic view of Edinburgh in magical, golden light - and let's just say that we weren't disappointed. We started off on the north side next to Palace of Holyroodhouse and got to the peak Salisbury Crags after about 30 minutes with some photo stops on the way. We never made it to the highest peak (which is the "real" Arthur's Seat) since we wanted to get down before it got dark, haha, but the whole area was really beautiful and if I have had more time in Edinburgh I would totally have explored more of it.
The trails are really easy to follow and not that steep which makes it accessible for anyone of reasonable fitness, kids included.
Read more about my trip to Edinburgh
Quick facts about Arthur's Seat
Area: Holyrood Park
Highest Peak: Arthur's Seat
Entrance fee: None
Permits needed: None
Elevation: 251 m (Arthur's Seat)
Location: Edinburgh EH8 8AL, Edinburgh
Who should visit?
People who don't mind walking and want a stunning view of Edinburgh, or want an outdoor activity in nature close to the city.
My rating: 
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Travel Diary: Björnö

Me and my friend Annie took a trip to the peninsula Björnö in the Stockholm archipelago yesterday.
None of us have been to Björnö (which has been a nature reserve since 1983) before so we had a lot to explore! We took the bus from Slussen in the central parts of Stockholm to get there which took a little less than an hour which makes it a perfect destination if you want to get out of the city for a couple of hours. The weather report said that it was going to rain but we manage to be outside all day without a single drop of rain! So lucky! I, by the way, wore a waterproof hiking jacket all day but brought my pink raincoat in my backpack so I could wear it for some photos, talk about dedication ;)
When we got to Björnö, we quickly decided to start off exploring the south side of the island since it's the part with a view of the ocean and walked pass Björnö Torp, Grytbergsudden, and Småängsviken.
Then we came to Småängen which had an enclosure with a lot of sheep! You are allowed to enter the enclosure as long as you show respect to the animals, and they quickly accepted us and wanted to cuddle.
After spending some time with the sheep we continued our hike on the south side of the island. I had seen a photo of a cool cliff on Google before getting to Björnö that I wanted to find and felt certain it should be somewhere around Småängsuddarna. It wasn't, but we got to see some other really beautiful views.

Somewhere around Ramsviken and Norrvik on the east side of the peninsula we left the cliffs by the ocean and walked a lot in the forest which felt almost magical, I was just waiting on a unicorn or something to appear, haha. I can't be the only one who thought this forest felt magical, because someone had made some "magical creatures" out of different materials you can find in a forest and placed them around the trees. Must be a really fun way to get kids out in nature!
We took the big road back to the entrance of the nature reserve since I still hadn't found my cool cliff and thought that it maybe was next to the beach Torpesand - and this time, I was right. It was a lot smaller than I had imagined but after five hours of hiking, it honestly didn't matter, haha. We stayed there for a while, ate cinnamon rolls and looked at the ocean before we headed back to the bus that took us back into the city.