Zocherpark

Zocherpark

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.

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Hortus Botanicus

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.

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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.

Zuider Amstelkanaal

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.

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Sagunto

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.

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El Cabanyal

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.

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Stockbridge

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.

Stockbridge — Circus Lane
Stockbridge — Circus Lane

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Rest and Be Thankful

Another stop on our Highland tour was the Rest and Be Thankful pass, which  provides beautiful views of Glen Croe.

Rest and Be ThankfulThe 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.

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Highland Castles

On our day tour of the Western Highlands we stopped at numerous lochs and castles.

Doune Castle Exterior
Doune Castle

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.

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