Today is day 7 of the 12 Days of Guest Bloggers. Today's inspiringly festive post is written by Molly from Tangled in Maps. You honestly really should take a look at her blog. She takes the most incredible photos that will induce wanderlust. Get ready for lots of festive inspiration from the UK, that will make you want to buy a plane ticket. Thank you so much Molly for getting involved in the 12 Days of Guest Bloggers. You have no idea how much I appreciate it!
Christmas is my favourite time of year: all the decorations, the carols, the food... But I was born and raised in Australia, where December is hot and sunny and the place I live in never gets snow.
A couple of years ago I went on university exchange to Scotland for the winter semester and spent a couple of months afterwards travelling around Europe. Most importantly, however, this meant that I got to experience Christmas in the northern hemisphere for the first time.
It was my introduction to mulled wine and hot cider (Australia, please adopt these immediately). Real Christmas trees were being sold on the streets and I bought a tiny little one in a pot for my university room (and subsequently dragged it down to London for Christmas day).
I spent many days, nights wandering around Christmas markets. In Glasgow they sold Irn Bru fudge, baskets of pine cones, homemade wreaths, and paper with clan name histories written on them.
In Edinburgh the Christmas market seemed to go on forever. I remember being mesmerised by the two-storey carousel pouring with Christmas carols, set in the heart of Edinburgh. The market branches out into food stalls (so much fudge, so many cookies, and a lot of warm wine) and places to buy Christmas trinkets.
And of course there was London's Winter Wonderland markets in Hyde Park. I visited more than once, and each memory I have from there is spilling with good food, gorgeous handicrafts, many jolly Santa statues, and most importantly, ice skating.
Now coming up on my second Christmas back in Australia since spending it overseas, each time the temperature rises one degree, so does my wish to get back to Christmastime with jumpers, scarves, and hot cider.