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Castle De Haar: An extravagant vision of the medieval

Castle de Haar is one of the most fanciful castles I’ve ever seen, if you discount Sleeping Beauty’s castle at Disneyland. It’s got a moat, a formal garden, towers and turrets galore. Stunningly ornate, especially inside, it’s a medieval princess’s dream. Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you click on one of them and…

What to do at Changi Airport, Singapore?

Disclosure: The following guest post is sponsored by Cathay Pacific airline and written by Cathy Carter. I’ve added comments in italics here and there. Singapore’s Changi Airport offers numerous striking views as you wait for your next flight. The airport is considered to be one of the greatest globally. Other captivating things you will find…

A Riga City Tour: 10+ things to see in Riga

This could have been a review of a tour that doesn’t actually exist. What I mean is that the Riga city tour I took was sponsored by #LiveRiga, a campaign of the Riga Tourism Development Bureau, but it is not run on a scheduled basis. Rather, our guide, Juris Berze, is a freelance tour guide,…

Tenement Museum tours: A review

Back in 2013, I visited the Tenement Museum in New York City’s Lower East Side and loved it. When I visited again recently for a different tour, well, I didn’t love it. This article combines both reviews, with updated museum information. My family’s immigration history Three of my four grandparents were Ukrainian Jews who immigrated…

Two Latvian food tours

As you’ve probably guessed, I love food. I can’t call myself a foodie, exactly, because I’m not choosy about what food I eat. I’m likely to enjoy whatever national cuisine I try, or at least find it interesting. Generally, I’m happy with anything from street food to chic food. But tasting the difference between one…

Muiderslot Castle (a.k.a. Amsterdam Castle)

This entry is part 22 of 25 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…