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the detail shows a group of men in long, striped robes, with beards and turbans, and a group of locals dressed in black with wide-brimmed hats and white collars.

Amsterdam Historical Museum

This entry is part 21 of 21 in the series Amsterdam Museums

I visited the Amsterdam Historical Museum (more properly just called the Amsterdam Museum) as an afterthought. It was on my list: one of the many small museums in Amsterdam that I like to visit and write about. That day, though, I wanted to see Below the Surface, an archeological exhibit in Rokin metro station. But…

a typical fairytale castle: with a tower and defensive crenellations on its walls, perched high on a hill above the village visible in the foreground: Visiting Karlstejn Castle from Prague

Visiting Karlstejn Castle from Prague

It took me three tries before I got to visit Karlstejn Castle in Czechia. I’d wanted to see it ever since my terrifying flight in a teeny-tiny airplane from Czech Airport, when I got, quite literally, a bird’s-eye view of it. The first time I tried to visit I was on a road trip across…

an array of objects arranged in neat rows are all that makes up Below the Surface Amsterdam

Below the Surface in Amsterdam

This entry is part 19 of 21 in the series Amsterdam Museums

When I went to see Below the Surface in Amsterdam, to be honest, I hadn’t done my research. Just a quick internet search, and I added it to my list of what I might see that day in Amsterdam. I expected a museum, a small one, in or near Rokin metro station, since that was…

This face looks like an animal, but with a human nose, a grimace, and big ears.

Crathes Castle in Scotland

A so-called “tower house”, Crathes Castle in Scotland has been added to and changed over the centuries. First built in the mid-16th century, it was the home of the Burnett family of Leys, who lived there for over 300 years. It’s one of the 14 castles in Aberdeenshire worth visiting. Crathes Castle still has its…

The hallway is long and upward-sloping, with white walls and ceiling and bright red carpeting on the floor.

TWA Hotel Review

The old TWA terminal in JFK Airport, designed by Eero Saarinen in 1962, has been restored and repurposed into the TWA Hotel: a review of the new hotel.

The castle extends across the whole photo, with a large blockish building on the left and a round tower on the right.

Visiting Cesky Krumlov Castle and UNESCO site

When we arrived at Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic, it was almost dark and we couldn’t see much. Following our GPS, we found our hotel, checked in, and ate dinner at a nearby restaurant. Nothing too exciting so far, but we’d come because the town is a listed UNESCO world heritage site, a designation…

An outstanding art museum in the Hague: Mauritshuis

My initial interest in visiting Mauritshuis, an art museum in the Hague (Den Haag), had to do with one single painting: Girl with a Pearl Earring, by Johannes Vermeer, painted in about 1665. But this outstanding little Den Haag museum has many more gems of Golden Age painting. A disclosure: This is a sponsored post:…

Don’t tar all “influencers” with the same brush.

I hate the word “influencer.” It has taken on a bad connotation: young people, generally female and white, who claim “influence” through pretty poses on Instagram. Articles circulating on social media accuse them of all sorts of bad behavior: buying followers and demanding free rooms and meals from hotels in exchange for pictures, posing for…

Special places in Lebanon: two full-day tours

Recently I made a short trip to Lebanon, despite a lot of “But is it safe?” from everyone I mentioned it to. I’ll write about the travel warnings at the end of this article, but first I want to report on all the special places in Lebanon that I saw in the two free days…

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