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Dunrobin Castle, Scotland, as seen from the garden.

Dunrobin Castle, Scotland

In my last post – about the Scottish Highland heritage tour that I took with my friend, Kate – I mentioned Dunrobin Castle as one of our stops. In reality, we stopped there twice: once on the way north and again on the way south. The first time we tried to see Dunrobin, the electricity…

Bran Castle: Should you visit Dracula's castle?

Should you visit Dracula’s castle?

As the crowds shuffled through the castle, some tourists tried to stake out spots where they could take pictures of each room without people in the photo. Others posed for selfies, their backs to the beautifully restored spaces. One man, reaching high in an attempt to snap a picture above our heads, leaned casually on…

Another view of Burghausen Castle

Lovely Burghausen Castle

I love castles, especially the medieval kind. I wrote about this attraction to everything medieval a few years ago, trying to get at why we like it, when that historical period was clearly such a terrible time in Europe. But anyway, as a result, I visit castles pretty much whenever I can. So this summer,…

Deva Castle, as seen from where Albert stood under the shelter. It's the closest we got to it.

Not visiting Deva Castle

We weren’t even planning to go to Deva Castle. My husband and I were just driving along, minding our own business, on a road trip in the western Carpathian mountains of Romania. The GPS was guiding us from Timişoara (beautiful buildings, much in need of renovation) to Alba Iulia (18th century fortress with seven bastions),…

Gripsholm Castle in Mariefred, Sweden

Gripsholm Castle and Two Charming Towns

It surprised me that the lovely town of Mariefred is only about 40 kilometers east of Stockholm, Sweden. It seems much further because it is so different. “Only” 40 kilometers is a bit misleading, however, given that most of what lies in between is water and islands. Traveling there by road, as I did recently on…

Matsumoto Castle, including both of the added wings

Matsumoto: My first Japanese castle

I chose to visit Matsumoto because I love castles. I’ve seen many in Europe, so this was an obvious choice in Japan. There are a few other things to see in Matsumoto, but the castle is the big draw, and, judging by the hordes of tourists shuffling through the castle with me, it’s a popular…

Chateau Chaumont

Forbidden Spaces in Chateau Chaumont

What intrigues me almost as much as the chateaux we’ve been visiting, is what we usually haven’t seen.  The rooms that are all done up for the tourists, dressed up, you could say, are lovely: period furniture; beamed, painted ceilings; ornate tapestries; and so on. There are signs explaining who lived there, along with interesting…

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