Hello from Edinburgh!
The colors of autumn are in full display, and it's so magical!! The temperatures here have been fairly normal for October, with highs around 50 degrees. There hasn't been much sun, and rain can come at any time. I always carry an umbrella! However, the sun can also pop out at a moments notice, so you have to be prepared for any type of weather.
Since Edinburgh is a small city compared to London, you only need a bus pass to get around. I've discovered Old Town, which has become one of my favorite places to hang out. The castle-like architecture is everywhere and so fun to look at. Old Town was the backdrop of the epic battle between the Avengers, and Thanos' henchmen in the movie Avengers: Infinity War! Other films shot in Edinburgh were Avengers: End Game, The Da Vinci Code, and Fast & Furious 9. And J.K. Rowling wrote most of her Harry Potter books here in several local cafes!
Whether walking through Old Town or New Town, Edinburgh Castle is always within sight. It was built in 1103 on Castle Rock, which was formed by a volcano several hundred million years ago. Inside you can visit the Scottish National War Memorial, National War Museum of Scotland, and St. Margaret's Chapel. It's been used as a royal residence and a military base. You can spend quite a bit of time here, and seeing it without the usual tourists made it an extra special treat.
Arthur's Seat is an extinct volcano and the highest peak you can climb in Holyrood Park in Edinburgh. The view is amazing and worth the hike up the hill - especially on a clear, sunny day! There have been some famous movie scenes (Chariots of Fire, Trainspotting) that were filmed here too!
The Trials of Mr. Umbridge
I was so fortunate to have a wonderful Airbnb family to stay with in London, but an even greater surprise was that one of the family members was young actor Mikey Bharj! We decided to join forces and make a short film using our own equipment, knowledge, and creativity.
The Airbnb was located in Harrow, London and Harrow School (5 High Street) has quite a history. It is an exclusive boarding school for boys and was founded in 1572. It also happens to be where they filmed some scenes from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Seasons 1 and 2 of The Crown were also filmed here. So what a better place to shoot our short film, The Trials of Mr. Umbridge!
I had never stayed in an Airbnb until my travels began earlier this year. When I was in Austria and Croatia, I had my own apartment. In both cases, the owners lived nearby and I rarely saw them other than the first day I moved in. I loved both my apartments and the privacy it afforded me!
But I found that Airbnb prices in the U.K. were quite a bit higher than in Europe, so I had to rent a room in someone else's home from June until now - something I definitely wasn't used to. However, I really lucked out and had two wonderful families to stay with in London and Edinburgh. They made me feel welcome and right at home.
However, I must say I'm looking forward to having my own apartment again coming up in December. Although things are always changing with Covid and lockdowns, my plan right now is to head to Lisbon, Portugal before the end of November. As in the past, I get a bit concerned when travel restrictions come into play. But...I'll just take it day by day.
Thanks for following along! Stay safe and healthy everyone!
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