Exploring Cities of the Past

OneDrive has an “Explore” tag that automatically sorts all your pictures into categories for you. I though it might be fun to grab pictures from a specific tag and see what stories they can tell. Here are all the images categorised under “City”, and the story behind each.

Edinburgh Castle

When I moved to Ireland, I got a message from a friend. She was in Scotland and asked if I wanted to join her for Hogmanay. I had no idea what Hogmanay was, so this is when I learned it was the Scottish name for the last day of the year.

On managing to get tickets at the last minute, we met in Edinburgh and found out the hard way that barely anywhere in the UK accepts cash anymore. Having only UnionPay cards to hand, we had no way to buy any beer.

Thankfully we met some friendly Scots who bought us beer in exchange for cash, and the night progressed quickly into blurry memories.

The next day as I was wandering the city I took this picture. I had never been to the castle before, and I didn’t have enough time to go before my flight back to Ireland. I will have to return and visit the castle one day.

Dublin New Year

On my way back home after Hogmanay I got a glimpse of Dublin’s New Year’s celebrations. I snapped this blurry picture of Dublin’s Custom House from the other side of the Liffey. I didn’t stick around though. I was tired and wanted to get home.

McDonagh’s in Sligo

One of the first places I visited in Ireland was my friend’s home town of Sligo. As we were looking for a watering hole we came across this shop bearing my family name. Naturally, my friend insisted that I get a picture with it.


A Ukrainian friend I made in Shanghai moved to Montreal. I went to visit him and he took me mountain climbing within the city. Well, we walked up Mount Royal with some beers. This is a view toward the St. Lawrence River.

Later we went to a beer festival where I made sure to get the poutine while consuming many beers from local breweries.

Chinese in Barcelona

On my way to Nowhere from Barcelona, I spotted this small Chinese restaurant near the train station. I took a picture as I planned to try it out when I got back, but unfortunately never got the chance.


Returning to Edinburgh for Fringe, we’d find the streets filled with performances and crowds of people. We went to the castle this time, but it was closed to host shows for the festival.

View from the Gatehouse

I took this with a pint of Guinness in my other hand. It’s a view from the top of the Guinness Gatehouse. We got to go on a tour as part of a team building event when our lead programmer visited Dublin.

To See a Head

I went to Drogheda to see the preserved head of St. Oliver Plunkett, an Irish Martyr. I didn’t get any good shots of the actual head, but did manage to take some mundane pictures of the town.

EPIC Museum

The only picture I took inside the EPIC Museum in Dublin, which exists to teach people how the Irish and Irish culture have spread around the world. As one of those descendants I learned a lot about Irish history on this day.

St. Paul’s Cathedral

Just a random shot I took of the Cathedral on my last visit to London. Not much of a story here really.

London Decompression

One of the UK-based regionals is the London Decompression. This is a spectacular event, and probably one of the best nights you can have in London. It was a good place to reconnect with people I know from other Burns, especially Burning Nest. I plan to go again next year, only this time I’ll stay awake for the Postcompression as well.

Race Riots

I snapped this picture as the recent Dublin Riots started kicking off. We got trapped in the town center that night, and it got a little scary. Thankfully we made it out in one piece, but it’s frightening to know that there are enough fascists in this city who are willing to do such damage.

Christmas in Manchester

Don’t tell anyone else from Liverpool, but I actually like Manchester. This Christmas we visited their Christmas Market, and enjoyed a few beers. The restrictions on where you could go with alcohol were a small reminder of why I miss Asia.

Protest for Peace

In response to the Dublin Riots there was a gathering to pay respect to the victims of the crime that sparked it. I took time out of my lunch break to attend and was happy to see people protesting against racism and bigotry. It attracted a large crowd, with speakers talking about how Ireland is supposed to be a welcoming country. There was a decent police presence, but no rioting or violence here. Only fascists need that nonsense.


This was a year of repairing connections. I went to meet my best friend in Liverpool, who I hadn’t seen for over four years. My yearly trips back home were put on hold during the pandemic.

This was the first thing I saw when I got out of the train station. St. George’s Hall. I realised that despite being in Liverpool for several years, I’d never actually been inside the place.

Another picture I too was of the Radio Tower. This was a beacon for us when we lived in the city center. As long as you can see the Tower, you knew where you were. It’s a little different these days now that Liverpool One exists.

Not a Star

The Spire of Dublin, build during the Millennium to try and revitalise O’Connell Street. At night the tip lights up, and it looks like a star. Especially if you use a low quality phone camera.

Jerk Spot

I took this photo in Toronto because I thought it was funny. I can be very immature sometimes.

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