Holyrood Abbey and gardens associated with Holyrood Palace | Edinburgh, Scotland

Holyrood basically means “holy cross.”  It was founded in 1128 (read: hella long ago).

I got a picture of the gardens from by looking through a gate in Holyrood Abbey, and they look quite nice!

photos by thisoysterismyhometown


St. John’s College and the Bridge of Sighs in Cambridge, England

The weather was less than stellar (occasional snow), and Daisy and I had…insufficient footwear, given the number of hours we were outside.  We end up spending some time in the college chapel just warming our feet.

photos by thisoysterismyhometown


Stowe Landscape Gardens | Buckingham, England, UK

The autocorrect function on Microsoft’s photo editing software seems to have been surreal in its optimism regarding the color of the sky.  Ah, well.

The park you can visit today is 250 acres, but it’s only a portion of the original park.  Michelle and I saw a castle in the distance, and apparently it used to be part of the park too!

Like Prior Park, Stowe is designed by an architect called Capability Brown (and if you think “Capability” is a strange thing to be named, his real one is Lancelot).  He’s also responsible for Stourhead (which I have yet to visit).

At any rate, he was influential in English gardening.  It seems to be a highly curated version of nature and generally featuring (according to Wikipedia): lakes, gently rolling lawns, groves of trees, and recreations of picturesque architecture.

I have to say that as much as I love parks and gardens, I really can’t handle “natural” nature, which I suppose is why Prior Park and Stowe have suited me so well.

photos by thisoysterismyhometown


Dahu Park | Taipei, Taiwan

Dahu (大湖) in Mandarin Chinese means large lake.  I’d seen some beautiful photos of the bridge in the evening or sunrise/sunset where it lights up and you can see the bridge’s lights glow and form a moon as the lights themselves and their reflections light up…

I found it by accident while riding the bus and went back the next day.  I went on an impromptu hike (without water, bug spray, or breakfast because I didn’t think I’d make the foolish decision to hike), and it’s a nice area.  Very casual.

At the same time, I didn’t ever see it at night, and I have to say it wasn’t slap-in-the-face stunning by day.

photos by thisoysterismyhometown