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Muiderslot Castle

This entry is part 22 of 22 in the series Amsterdam Museums

When you were little, did you ever draw a picture of a castle? If you were like me, the castle in your picture was square, with a tower in each corner, crenellations along the walls and a drawbridge to an arched gateway in front. I’ve been to a lot of castles in my travels, but…

Eating Europe’s Jordaan Food Tour: A review

Rows of pretty small houses and shopping streets lined with a mixture of hip and quirky stores, along with a smattering of “coffee shops” leaking the reek of marijuana out onto the sidewalk: this used to be my image of Amsterdam’s Jordaan neighborhood. It never occurred to me until I took a Jordaan food tour…

Menkemaborg in Uithuizen: Dressed to impress

Groningen has three nearby manor houses or “stately homes” that are open to the public and furnished to allow visitors to learn about local history. I’ve written about one of them before: Fraeylemaborg, which I only half-mockingly referred to as the “ancestral home.” Another is Menkemaborg, a similarly impressive display of wealth and social position…

Boat Bike Tours: A review of “Hansa Highlights”

One of the first people I met on my recent week-long trip with Boat Bike Tours was a retired Canadian man named Peter, who told me right off the bat that this was his third tour with the company. I took that as a good sign. Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in that I…

Gammelstad church town UNESCO site in Sweden

Back in the 17th century, not long after the Reformation turned Sweden Protestant, a new law required church attendance, depending on one’s distance from the church. People up in the cold north of Sweden, despite living on widely-scattered farms far from the nearest church, still had to get to church. Disclosure: This article contain affiliate…

Things to do in Rovaniemi in the summer

What do you think of when you hear the word “Lapland”? Reindeer, cold, snow, huskies pulling dogsleds? All of that is true, of course, though in reality the dogsleds are mostly for tourists these days; locals are more inclined to use 4x4s or snowmobiles. If you ever venture this far north, the town of Rovaniemi,…

Hurtigruten review: A breathtaking Norway coastal cruise

I wanted to take a cruise. My husband steadfastly refused to consider a cruise, but he wanted to see Scandinavia. Our compromise: a Hurtigruten cruise up the coast of Norway. Disclosure: I received a media rate for this cruise: a discount, which makes this a sponsored post. Nevertheless, all opinions are my own and the…

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 22 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…

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