A Memorable Stay at Ruthin Castle in North Wales

White gravel pathways meander through the castle grounds, separating circular arrangements of brightly colored flowers and purple lavender blooms

Sometimes it’s where you stay that makes traveling so memorable. I often remember more about my hotel or resort than I do about my actual destination. And this is especially true of my stay at Ruthin Castle, an ancient luxury hotel on a brilliant green Welsh hilltop, overlooking a delightful, tiny stone village. There’s something relaxing and inspiring about staying in a castle where ... Read Full Article

In Dublin’s Fair City You’ll find Guinness and Beer Aplenty

The Temple Bar- the most photographed pub in the world

Faith and begorrah! Conquering Dublin’s renown Temple Bar pubs just can’t be done. To be sure, it’s not really the sort of place where you should attempt to stagger from bar to bar, slugging back a quick beer at each (although many have tried and failed). It’s more the place where you go to sit and enjoy the friendly ambience of an authentic Irish pub for an evening, before trying another on the ... Read Full Article

Luxury Hotel Barge Cruising on France’s Beautiful Burgundy Canal

Cruising on La Belle Epoque

I pedal leisurely along the towpath beside the Burgundy Canal, past neat rows of old oaks, maples, and poplars that form a tall, shady green cathedral along the flanks of the shallow canal. My bicycle’s tires crunch on the white limestone. Coming to a lock I stand on a small stone bridge that crosses over the canal. I’m waiting for La Belle Époque — the luxury hotel Barge that will be my home for ... Read Full Article

Edinburgh’s Rose Street—A Beer Aficionado’s Nirvana

the Kenilworth, one of Rose Street's most popular bars, named after a novel by Sir Walter Scott

The medieval stone city of Edinburgh boasts a staggering 700 pubs for its population of just under 500,000, the highest concentration of pubs in Great Britain. And the epicenter of Edinburgh’s beer sampling scene, as any local will tell you, is Rose Street, only a brisk 10-minute walk down the hill from the Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle. Now a lively pedestrian walkway, Rose Street lies between ... Read Full Article

The Spectacular Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Massed Pipes - ©The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

The opening sights and sounds of the Edinburgh Tattoo are spectacular, set against the backdrop of ancient Edinburgh Castle. In the distance, behind the castle walls, I hear the sinister rattle of dozens of snare drums followed by the wail of a single bagpipe. Then, suddenly, 600 pipers fire up their instruments in a loud cacophony of noise that echos across the esplanade. The excited crowd goes ... Read Full Article

Spa Hopping and Beer Tasting in Germany’s Black Forest

Klaus-Peter shows us his office overlooking bairesbronn

The Romans had a terrible time marching through the dark masses of spruce, pine, and fir in the aptly named Black Forest. They said it was impenetrable and inhabited by wild beasts and barbarians. And sensibly they—like their fierce predecessors the Celts—seldom ventured far into its depths. But today, I’m pleased to report that although 81% of the Black Forest area is still covered with ... Read Full Article

Seligenstadt: SW Germany’s Undiscovered Gem

the small square turret on the second floor corner is decorated with two crests and elaborate acorn and leaf friezes. two faces and torsos are carved into its corners

Now and then, travel writers in Europe stumble across a unique place that has somehow remained undiscovered by the teeming tourist masses. So it was with my random visit to the small, perfectly preserved medieval town of Seligenstadt. Lying only 25 kilometers southeast of Frankfurt am Main, this intriguing town—with a population of only 20,000—packs more sights into a small area than you might ... Read Full Article

Koblenz: Another Jewel in Germany’s Crown

The Munzplatz. Enticing aromas of pastries and coffee waft past my nose

Tucked into the ‘V’ where the arms of the Mosel and Rhine Rivers meet, the small town of Koblenz is yet another undiscovered German gem that packs plenty of touristic punch for its weight. Koblenz offers enough well preserved historic attractions to keep tourists entertained for a day or two of solid sightseeing. And for aficionados of all things medieval and renaissance, the historic part of town ... Read Full Article

Touring the Roman Gold Mines in Wales

We’re overlooking a huge valley opposite where another mining technique, called hushing, was used by the Romans.

Welsh gold. This rare and soft lustrous gold is the most expensive gold in the world. It fetches up to $4500 per ounce, or three times what standard gold sells for in the London market. Pure Welsh gold is worth more than platinum and is considered by many metallurgists to be the world’s most precious metal. So it’s no wonder the Welsh have mythical goblin-like creatures that hide in mines and ... Read Full Article

Heidelberg, Germany: German Romanticism at its Best

Heidelberg

There’s a good reason why 3 million people visit Heidelberg every year. From the moment you set foot in Heidelberg’s Baroque Old Town, you feel like you’ve been transported back into scenes from Grimm’s Fairytales. With these fascinating medieval scenes, its no wonder Heidelberg is one of Germany’s most visited places—remarkable for a town of only 133,000 residents. And many of these visitors are ... Read Full Article