5/31/17

18 Life-Changingly Fun And Geeky Things To Do In Edinburgh

Source(s): penpaland.com


1. Chuck your change into the cabinets at Konbo.




instagram.com / Via Instagram.com
If you live for super combo finishers, chiptune soundtracks, and giant clacking buttons, then you need to visit Konbo on Gilmour Place. It's Edinburgh's first arcade café and it has an array of '80s and '90s Japanese arcade machines, including Tekken. But remember, nobody likes an Eddy Gordo kick spammer.

2. Eat crispy chicken and play N64 games at Wings.





Your friendship may not survive a few GoldenEye death matches ("bagsie Odd-Job!"), but you can at least scoff some tasty chicken at Wings together. Oh and you also win a Nerf cannon if you finish a bowl of their suicide hot wings. Challenge accepted!

3. Get dressed up at Edinburgh Comic Con.




instagram.com
Where else are you going to see the likes of Oor Wullie, Darth Vader, and Iron Man chatting over a pint of Tennent's? Held at the EICC every April, this is the place to check out the best Scottish comics, enter the cosplay contest, and get your photo taken with movie stars.

4. Or use the Force at Capital Sci-Fi Con.




instagram.com / Via instagram.com
If you saw an eight-foot-tall hairy dude dismember someone at Meadowbank Stadium, you'd usually be straight on to the polis, but at this huge sci-fi convention it's perfectly legit. Held every February, this charity event is rammed with comics, merch, TV, and movie stars galore. And wookies, obviously.

5. Play games while you dance to indie hits courtesy of We Throw Switches at The Caves.




We Throw Switches put on gaming indie club nights as well as installations, tournaments, and developer showcases. Basically, they want to get games out of the house and into interesting places, like these spooky vaults underneath the city.
wethrowswitches.com
We Throw Switches put on gaming indie club nights as well as installations, tournaments, and developer showcases. Basically, they want to get games out of the house and into interesting places, like these spooky vaults underneath the city.

6. Step into a new world at the Virtual Reality Arcade.




instagram.com / Via instagram.com
When you need to escape the crushing realisation that Half-Life 3 still isn't a thing and that Firefly never got a second series, a trip to E-VR at Ocean Terminal will help. Their VR-pods can be hired for half an hour at a time, and games include Star Wars: Trials on TatooineFruit Ninja VR, and Tilt Brush.

7. Browse new comics and rare finds at Deadhead Comics.




Instagram: @isabellacaitlin / Via instagram.com
Rumour has it that this shop inspired Edinburgh-based comedian Dylan Moran to write Black Books. Either way you can easily spend an hour looking through this treasure trove of pulp, superhero, and indie comics. Who knows what you'll find?

8. Or browse the options at Forbidden Planet.




instagram.com
For all your graphic novel, sci-fi, toys, movie, and TV needs. Also, it's on South Bridge, which is right in the centre of town. So handy.

9. Put your phones away and play board games at Tabletop Café.





Grab some pals, tell your phones to "get tae", and gather round to crush armies and fight intergalactic space battles over coffee and ludicrously tasty doughnuts at this board game café in the historic centre of town.

10. Or grab a toastie and a pint at The Mousetrap.




This Leith pub is literally wallpapered with game references, and their back room is a mini-arcade stocked with plenty of board games. Don't try their shot roulette wheel on an empty stomach – their vodka tabasco mixer will give you the fear.
Facebook: themousetraped / Via instagram.com
This Leith pub is literally wallpapered with game references, and their back room is a mini-arcade stocked with plenty of board games. Don't try their shot roulette wheel on an empty stomach – their vodka tabasco mixer will give you the fear.

11. Wage miniature battles at the Warhammer shop.




Instagram: @chrisangell89 / Via instagram.com
The figures may be wee, but this institution on the High Street (what we call the Royal Mile – just a head's up, tourists) is home to massive battles and hella good times. Just don't forget to stock up on undercoat while you're there.

12. Play the arcade games at Megabowl Fountainpark.




instagram.com / Via instagram.com
Protip: don't play their Dance Dance Revolution machine after trying the burger challenge at nearby pub McGowan's. It'll give you the boak, trust us on this one.

13. Or go even more retro at Gamesmasters in Leith.




instagram.com / Via instagram.com
This wee shop sells rare PlayStation, Sega, Xbox, and Nintendo games (mind when games used to be on cartridges?). Ask the owner to show you his really rare stuff, but be ready to fork over some serious dosh if you want to buy anything.

14. Catch them all in Waverley Mall.




instagram.com / Via instagram.com
In the early '00s kids came to this end of Princes Street to buy red hair dye, Dickie's baggies, and weed-flavoured lollipops. Now there's Anime Republic, the biggest manga and anime store in Scotland, which sells things you probably can't pronounce or understand. Oh, and also lots and lots of Pokémon.

15. Play tons of card games at Games Hub.




instagram.com / Via instagram.com
No we're not talking poker, or any of that other basic pish – this Tollcross geek retreat has oodles of really skilful card games that are seriously good fun to play with mates, especially when you wallop them. Oh, and the scran's amazing too.

16. Quaff cappuccinos while bombing your pals' battleships at Noughts and Coffees.




instagram.com / Via instagram.com
Noughts and Coffees on Morrison Street has the right idea – kick back with a nice coffee and some hefty eats, then wage plastic maritime war against your friends and co-workers. It's an outrageously fun hang-out (unless you're a sore loser).

17. Find your next adventure at Black Lion Games.




instagram.com / Via instagram.com
Remember what life was like before adulthood, when a Lothian Bus single cost a quid and our team almost beat Brazil in the World Cup? Well, this specialist game shop is like a portal to those simpler times of imagination, escapism, and fun – something that geeks get to experience almost every day. Come, join us!

18. And finally, get leathered in a world of TV fantasy at the Game of Thrones-themed Blood and Wine Bar.




instagram.com / Via Instagram.com
This Game of Thrones-themed bar on Dublin Street is run by events company The Pop Up Geeks. It won't be around forever, but the good news is that team behind it are launching a Walking Dead bar in Edinburgh this year.

5/30/17

Incredible Places You Should Travel Alone In Your Twenties

Source(s): penpaland.com


1. The Croatian coast



'A few years ago, I backpacked along the Croatian coast for a week. And it is still, hands-down, the best trip I've ever taken. I started in Pula in northern Croatia, the site of one of the largest Roman arenas in the world, and made my way down the coast to Zadar. From Zadar, I day-tripped to Plitvice Lakes and marveled at the beauty of the crystalline waters of the cascading lakes. It just might be the most beautiful place on earth. And I ended my trip, Game of Thrones-style, in Dubrovnik. I stayed in hostels along the way, so the total cost of the trip wasn't bad at all, and I met the nicest people along the way. I'd recommend this trip to absolutely anyone.' —Jon-Michael Poff
instagram.com
"A few years ago, I backpacked along the Croatian coast for a week. And it is still, hands-down, the best trip I've ever taken. I started in Pula in northern Croatia, the site of one of the largest Roman arenas in the world, and made my way down the coast to Zadar. From Zadar, I day-tripped to Plitvice Lakes and marveled at the beauty of the crystalline waters of the cascading lakes. It just might be the most beautiful place on earth. And I ended my trip, Game of Thrones-style, in Dubrovnik. I stayed in hostels along the way, so the total cost of the trip wasn't bad at all, and I met the nicest people along the way. I'd recommend this trip to absolutely anyone." —Jon-Michael Poff

2. Ireland



'I just got back from a solo trip to Ireland last week. I spent the week traveling up the western coast and it was by far the most amazing thing I have done. The connection you make with a place or country is completely different when you’re alone. Everyone asked if I was scared or nervous and I can honestly say I wasn’t. I knew I would be fine and I would do it again in a heartbeat.'—beccaahhh
buzzfeed.com
"I just got back from a solo trip to Ireland last week. I spent the week traveling up the western coast and it was by far the most amazing thing I have done. The connection you make with a place or country is completely different when you’re alone. Everyone asked if I was scared or nervous and I can honestly say I wasn’t. I knew I would be fine and I would do it again in a heartbeat."

3. Paris



'During my semester abroad, I spent a weekend in the city of love hitting up the museums, eating dinner in fabulous restaurants, and snacking on croissants. Instead of sharing it with a partner, I learned to love myself by spending time in the Louvre, staring at the Eiffel Tower from the top of the Arc de Triumph and people watching from the banks of the Seine.'—tessh5
buzzfeed.com
"During my semester abroad, I spent a weekend in the city of love hitting up the museums, eating dinner in fabulous restaurants, and snacking on croissants. Instead of sharing it with a partner, I learned to love myself by spending time in the Louvre, staring at the Eiffel Tower from the top of the Arc de Triumph and people watching from the banks of the Seine."
tessh5

4. England



'After college graduation (Go Cougs), I travelled all around England for just under three weeks. It was an amazing trip. It was made possible by my godmother, who had left me some money after she died. I truly feel that this was a trip that we would have taken together and I know that she would have been so proud of me. I learned so much about myself and what I am capable of. All of my friends said that I was crazy to go out alone in a country where I knew no one, that I would feel afraid and that I wouldn’t want to go out anywhere, but I never felt that way. I felt empowered.'—Clarissa Ramey
buzzfeed.com
"After college graduation (Go Cougs), I travelled all around England for just under three weeks. It was an amazing trip. It was made possible by my godmother, who had left me some money after she died. I truly feel that this was a trip that we would have taken together and I know that she would have been so proud of me. I learned so much about myself and what I am capable of. All of my friends said that I was crazy to go out alone in a country where I knew no one, that I would feel afraid and that I wouldn’t want to go out anywhere, but I never felt that way. I felt empowered."

5. Hawaii



'I took myself to Hawaii for a week when I was 23 and it was the most rewarding and rejuvenating experience of my life. I booked the tickets on a whim at a time in my life when I had no control over the things around me, and I just needed to get away. It’s perfect for the solo traveler! Hawaii was far enough away to feel like I escaped but safe enough that I felt comfortable going alone. Everyone there is extremely happy, relaxed and friendly. Everywhere I went locals were happy to help me get around or talk to me at the bar during dinner. The beaches are wonderful and make for a full day of activity that isn’t weird to do solo. Everyone should travel alone at least once and Hawaii is a great place to start!'—nicoleb48c50a074
instagram.com
"I took myself to Hawaii for a week when I was 23 and it was the most rewarding and rejuvenating experience of my life. I booked the tickets on a whim at a time in my life when I had no control over the things around me, and I just needed to get away. It’s perfect for the solo traveler! Hawaii was far enough away to feel like I escaped but safe enough that I felt comfortable going alone. Everyone there is extremely happy, relaxed and friendly. Everywhere I went locals were happy to help me get around or talk to me at the bar during dinner. The beaches are wonderful and make for a full day of activity that isn’t weird to do solo. Everyone should travel alone at least once and Hawaii is a great place to start!"

6. Japan



'The plane tickets can be pricey but Japan is great for solo travel. It is one of the safest countries in the world and there are tons of good hostels in all the major cities. Nowhere else I’ve ever been is so packed with interesting stuff as Japan. You can’t throw a stick without hitting something cool or wacky or historical. And while, no, not a lot of people speak English with any fluency, people are helpful and generally pretty patient. The trains and buses are everywhere and pretty easy to figure out, so you can get almost anywhere. And the country has been traveled so much by foreigners that there are tons of guides on things to see and how to get around. I would say it’s worth it to rent a mobile hot spot so you can look things up on the go. With a smartphone in your pocket, Japan is your oyster.'—bandezanne
buzzfeed.com
"The plane tickets can be pricey but Japan is great for solo travel. It is one of the safest countries in the world and there are tons of good hostels in all the major cities. Nowhere else I’ve ever been is so packed with interesting stuff as Japan. You can’t throw a stick without hitting something cool or wacky or historical. And while, no, not a lot of people speak English with any fluency, people are helpful and generally pretty patient. The trains and buses are everywhere and pretty easy to figure out, so you can get almost anywhere. And the country has been traveled so much by foreigners that there are tons of guides on things to see and how to get around. I would say it’s worth it to rent a mobile hot spot so you can look things up on the go. With a smartphone in your pocket, Japan is your oyster."

7. Bologna, Italy



'My first solo trip was to Bologna, Italy. At first I was really regretting not going on a trip with friends as I sat next to a group of girls at the gate, but by the end of the trip I was more than elated that I had gone alone. I finished a book all about solo girl travels (What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding) right before leaving, and it was a perfect inspiration. Every time I felt lonely, I remembered how Kristin Newman (the author) learned to be at peace with her own thoughts and I was okay again. My favorite part of the trip was when I accidentally bought a train ticket to the wrong place, but ended up in a small city called Bassano del Grappa. I was able to make the decision to go there instead on a whim, and do whatever I damn well pleased when I got there. I learned a lot about myself in my capabilities of travel and communication. I’d never trade my solo travel experience for anything and I can’t wait to do it again.'—katier4c75c4cd2
instagram.com
"My first solo trip was to Bologna, Italy. At first I was really regretting not going on a trip with friends as I sat next to a group of girls at the gate, but by the end of the trip I was more than elated that I had gone alone. I finished a book all about solo girl travels (What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding) right before leaving, and it was a perfect inspiration. Every time I felt lonely, I remembered how Kristin Newman (the author) learned to be at peace with her own thoughts and I was okay again. My favorite part of the trip was when I accidentally bought a train ticket to the wrong place, but ended up in a small city called Bassano del Grappa. I was able to make the decision to go there instead on a whim, and do whatever I damn well pleased when I got there. I learned a lot about myself in my capabilities of travel and communication. I’d never trade my solo travel experience for anything and I can’t wait to do it again."

8. Madrid



'Madrid! I’ve done a few solo trips abroad and they’ve all been nice. I must say though that Madrid was one of my favorite places. It’s entirely safe and relatively easy to get around as well. During my time there I went to museums, saw the Russian imperial ballet, ate at the markets — all on my own time. Plus don’t even get me started about the shopping!'—truleemadlee
instagram.com
"Madrid! I’ve done a few solo trips abroad and they’ve all been nice. I must say though that Madrid was one of my favorite places. It’s entirely safe and relatively easy to get around as well. During my time there I went to museums, saw the Russian imperial ballet, ate at the markets — all on my own time. Plus don’t even get me started about the shopping!"

9. Los Angeles



'If you’re not ready to go international, check out coastal LA! From Venice to Palos Verdes, there’s a variety of places to explore. Save on costs by staying in hostels or using Airbnb, and biking everywhere!'—ginam41b32b8e5
buzzfeed.com
"If you’re not ready to go international, check out coastal LA! From Venice to Palos Verdes, there’s a variety of places to explore. Save on costs by staying in hostels or using Airbnb, and biking everywhere!"

10. Barcelona



'Whether you like art, history, or nature there is something for every traveller. It’s affordable compared to some of the other places in Europe and most importantly the subway system is AMAZING!!! I never had difficulty getting to where I needed to go. It’s perfect for a low stress, fun vacation.'—rebeccav212124
instagram.com
"Whether you like art, history, or nature there is something for every traveller. It’s affordable compared to some of the other places in Europe and most importantly the subway system is AMAZING!!! I never had difficulty getting to where I needed to go. It’s perfect for a low stress, fun vacation."

11. Lisbon, Portugal



'Lisbon was amazing! I went by myself when I was 20 to celebrate getting my GED and my first semester in college. It was safe and the public transportation was very easy and cheap. In the center of the city almost everyone spoke English, which shouldn't be expected when you travel to a foreign speaking country, and those who didn't were still accommodating and happy to play charades. I stuffed myself with custard pastries every day. The food was great. There were lots of great hostels, the one I stayed in was in a train station. It made it wicked easy to take day trips. Overall, the whole trip didn’t cost very much. It was a great experience and I can’t wait to go again.'—MaddyOC3
instagram.com
"Lisbon was amazing! I went by myself when I was 20 to celebrate getting my GED and my first semester in college. It was safe and the public transportation was very easy and cheap. In the center of the city almost everyone spoke English, which shouldn't be expected when you travel to a foreign speaking country, and those who didn't were still accommodating and happy to play charades. I stuffed myself with custard pastries every day. The food was great. There were lots of great hostels, the one I stayed in was in a train station. It made it wicked easy to take day trips. Overall, the whole trip didn’t cost very much. It was a great experience and I can’t wait to go again."

12. New England


"I just completed my first ever solo trip this past weekend! I visited several places along the New England coast including Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire. I flew into Boston and stayed at an adorable bed and breakfast in York, ME and had a rental car to go everywhere in between. There was so much to see, the scenery was breathtaking, the food was incredible, and I felt completely safe the whole time. Plus, everyone I encountered was so friendly and helpful and wanted to make sure I had a good experience while there. I was worried I’d get bored or lonely by myself, but there was so much to do and see that it was never a problem. I’d definitely recommend this area for solo travel, especially if you love history and the outdoors."