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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 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:…

WWII and Cold War sites in Berlin

Berlin is a wonderfully diverse and dynamic city, and especially intriguing to visit as a tourist with an interest in history. In particular, Berlin is the place to go if you like learning about 20th century history, and, more specifically, World War II and the Cold War. I’ve written about a number of Berlin’s WWII…

Dunnottar Castle in Aberdeenshire

Dramatic Dunnottar Castle

As I wrote in my overview of Aberdeenshire castles, my expectation was that the Dunnottar Castle ruins would be worth about a half-hour’s visit. I’d seen photos, and its setting – on a cliff-edged finger of land extending out into the North Sea – made for some very dramatic photography. In those photos, however, it…

This half is 3 stories tall except for a tall, crenellated round tower at the corner.

Balmoral Castle tour: a review

If you’ve ever seen a film involving Queen Victoria, you’ve heard of Balmoral Castle. This is the place the queen used as her escape: her place in the country. She loved Scotland, and this location in Aberdeenshire is stunning, with its rolling hills and deep forests. As I was planning my October trip to Scotland,…

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