On our last full day on Astypalea we were fortunate to catch one of the first Avra island tours of the season. This daylong cruise in a wooden boat took us to some of the tiny unpopulated islands we’d been glimpsing off the coast of Astypalea during our stay.Read the full post »
While in Utrecht we walked along a substantial section of Zocherpark, a lush and scenic green space located on the footprint of the now-demolished city walls that used to encircle the city center.Read the full post »
The Hortus Botanicus in Amsterdam is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world, dating to 1638. It originated as a source of medicinal herbs, populated over the centuries by rare plants brought home from Indonesia and other islands by the East India Company.Read the full post »
Arrival in Amsterdam
We’ve arrived in Amsterdam, where we’ll be staying for about a week as we explore the city and some surrounding towns.
Our hotel is in the Amsterdam Zuid (South) area, a little ways out of the city core, and it feels much more sane than the overcrowded areas near Dam Square. The immediate surroundings are a mix of upscale residential and modern office parks.Read the full post »
Jardines del Real & Museu de Belles Arts
On our last Sunday in Valencia we took the subway to the neighbourhood of Benimaclet, then walked down through the Jardines del Real to the Museu de Belles Arts (Museum of Fine Arts).Read the full post »
On Saturday we took a day trip to visit the town of Sagunto, located about 30 km north of Valencia. The town is known for its sprawling castle ruin, restored Roman theatre, and historic town centre.Read the full post »
Jardines del Turia
Valencia sat on the banks of the Rio Turia until 1957, when the city had the river diverted after a series of devastating floods. The former river bed was turned into the Jardines del Turia, a 9 km-long park that now curves across the top of the city centre.Read the full post »
On a warm and sunny Sunday we decided it was time to figure out the Valencian bus system and head to the El Cabanyal area of the city, about 20 minutes from the core. There we explored the beautiful Platja del Cabanyal beach and the historic fisherman’s quarter tucked in behind it.Read the full post »
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.
Climbing Arthur’s Seat
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.
Rest and Be Thankful
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.