Stockbridge, much like nearby Dean Village, is a former suburb of Edinburgh that was long ago incorporated into the city. Though only a short walk from the city core, it maintains a distinctive vibe as an upscale neighbourhood filled with boutiques and cafes.
Right next to Holyrood Palace, in Holyrood Park, is a volcanic mountain formation known as Arthur’s Seat. The distinctive crags are visible from many places around Edinburgh, including from our apartment window.
The highest peak is 251m and it can be climbed in under an hour with a modest amount of exertion and proper footwear.
On our day tour of the Western Highlands, we stopped at several scenic lochs.
Another stop on our Highland tour was the Rest and Be Thankful pass, which provides beautiful views of Glen Croe.
The adjoining road (now the A83) was built by the General George Wade in the 1700’s, after the subjugation of Scotland by the British. As his soldiers marched the many miles to Western Scotland, they would rest here.
On our day tour of the Western Highlands we stopped at numerous lochs and castles.
Doune Castle was a medieval stronghold near the village of Doune. It was constructed in the 1300’s by Robert Stewart, the Duke of Albany. Various movies and TV shows have filmed here including Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Game of Thrones and Outlander.
Sprinkled across the Andalusian countryside around Seville are a series of small towns known as the Pueblos Blancos, or White Towns.
Since the towns aren’t very accessible without a car, we booked a day tour with Naturanda that took us with a small group through two of the smaller towns and on to the larger city of Ronda (which we posted about here).
Seville has no shortage of beautiful and photogenic sites. The Palacio de las Dueñas, tucked away in a residential neighbourhood not far from our apartment, is one of those.
This complex is much smaller in scale than the vast Alcázar we explored on the weekend, but it shares a similar aesthetic with intricate Mudéjar architecture, arched patios, and lush gardens of fountains and citrus trees.
The Real Alcázar (Royal Alcazar) in Seville is a Royal Palace constructed by a succession of Moorish Kings beginning around the year 913.
It is now a sprawling complex of beautiful buildings, gardens, fountains, and baths, and is one of the most visited sites in Seville. The royal family still uses some of the upper levels as an official residence.
After an overnight flight on Aer Lingus (good experience, would fly again) we arrived very early in the pre-dawn drizzle of Dublin. Since we’re just on a short layover, for minimum hassle we stayed at the shiny new Holiday Inn Express on O’Connell Street, located on the north side of the River Liffey. Free breakfasts and Wi-Fi are nice touches, and we can walk everywhere.