Europe

Holyrood Castle

Holyrood Palace Abbey

Romance, Murder, Intrigue!


At the bottom of the Royal Mile lies Holyrood Palace. Unlike Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood has never been a fortress, relying instead on the spiritual power of its abbey to offer sanctuary and safety to its royal patrons and guests. This strategy has had mixed results.

Holyrood was originally founded as an Augustinian monastery in the 12th century by King David I.… Continue Reading →

Photo Friday: The Great Glen

Outside Glencoe, Scotland

Outside Glencoe

The Scottish Highlands are drop-dead gorgeous.
Continue Reading →

The Royal Mile

Royal Mile Edinburgh, Scotland

Old Town’s Oldest Street

After you are done visiting Edinburgh Castle head through the gates and across the esplanade to the Royal Mile. This series of streets has linked the castle, the town and the palace of Holyrood since the 1100s.

Dominated by tall buildings on either side, the street has tiny alleyways, or closes, branching off from the main drag.… Continue Reading →

A Visit to Edinburgh Castle

View of Edinburgh Castle

Centuries of Scottish History Perched on a Hill

I have wanted to go to Scotland ever since I was a little girl. As a teenager I devoured my grandmother’s copies of Mary Queen of Scotland and The Isles and Outlander*. As an adult, I came this close to Scotland, with trips to England and Ireland, but never made it to the promised land.… Continue Reading →

EMA House

View of Zurich from EMA House Hotel

Affordable Accommodation in Zurich

Switzerland is expensive. And as the financial capital of the country, Zurich is really expensive. That does not mean a stay here has to break the bank; it just means you have to get a little creative. The heart of the city surrounds the Bahnhofstrasse, the main drag that connects the city’s train station (Hauptbahnhof) and the Zurichsee (Lake Zurich).… Continue Reading →

Hiking in the Lauterbrunnen Valley

Part Four of our Alpine Adventure

For every soaring, snowy range in the Alps, there is a lush green valley at its feet. The Lauterbrunnen Valley is one of the most striking and beautiful valleys in Switzerland. It has enchanted tourists for centuries, including Goethe and J.R.R. Tolkien, who apparently based the idyllic Elven refuge of Rivendell on his teenage hiking trip to Lauterbrunnen.… Continue Reading →

Piz Gloria & The Schilthorn

Blofield's Lair - Piz Gloria

Part Three of our Alpine Adventure


We all know that being a tourist is about eating, going to the top of things and seeing things you saw in a movie right? So visiting the Piz Gloria, a rotating restaurant/Bond villain lair perched on top of a mountain is the tourist destination equivalent of a triple-threat.… Continue Reading →

Eiger Guesthouse in Murren

The Eiger Guesthouse, Murren, Switzerland

Part Two of our Alpine Adventure


As we discussed yesterday, the charming village of Murren makes the ideal home base for exploring the Jungfrau region of the Swiss Alps. Since the main industry of the town is tourism, there is no lack of hotels, and we recommend the Eiger Guesthouse.… Continue Reading →

Traveling in the Swiss Alps

Jungfrau from Murren

Part One of our Alpine Adventure

The Swiss Alps. Just saying it conjures up visions of snow-capped peaks and lush green valleys. Dainty edelweiss and clanging cowbells. Yodeling, milkmaids, leiderhosen and Bond villains. In short, an irresistible combination of stunning scenery and nostalgic kitsch. And the best place to experience these alpine delights is in the Bernese Oberland.… Continue Reading →

Photo Friday: St. Margaret’s Chapel, Edinburgh

Stained glass in St. Margaret's Chapel, Edinburgh

St. Margaret’s Chapel in the Edinburgh Castle complex is the oldest surviving building in the city. The chapel was built in the 12th century, but the stained glass dates from 1922. See more photos of Edinburgh on our Pinterest board.
Continue Reading →