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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,…

A maritime-themed weekend in Hamburg

I’ve visited Amsterdam – about two and a half hours from home – more times than I can count. Hamburg is only slightly further away – three hours by car – and I’d never been there. It was time. My husband, Albert, and I decided to spend a weekend in Hamburg and I was fortunate…

A pretty church in Altarnun, near Camelford.

Discovering the Legend of King Arthur in Cornwall

The following is a guest post by Georgie Mack of Journey with Georgie. I ended up in Cornwall largely by mistake. To cut a long story short, a misleadingly titled university (Who would have thought “the University of Exeter” was, in reality, not even in the same county as Exeter?) and a poor understanding of…

Mercure Hotel Hamburg City: a review

I expected Mercure Hotel Hamburg City to be a cookie-cutter hotel. You know the sort: identical furniture to every other hotel in its class, usually in shades of brown and red. As a four-star, I expected the furniture to be the standard: a bed with plain headboard, two end tables, reading lamps, a desk, a…