Greyfriars Kirkyard, or church graveyard, which is at the southern edge of Edinburgh Old Town, is a beautiful realm of contradictions. Filled with the dead and visited frequently by the living, we strolled through and admiring the fantastically ornate, weathered headstones and mausoleums that were covered in verdant, plush moss, creeping ivy, and gorgeous wild flowers growing in abundance. The motifs of the tombstones was eerie, covered in a blend of cherubs, skulls and cross bones, and worn statues of the interred, as was common the 1500s to 1800s. Allegedly one of the most haunted places in the world, this graveyard was the site of a rash of university sanctioned grave robbings, murders, and also served as inspiration for much of the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.
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Edinburgh Castle is one of Scotland’s most popular and celebrated castles. Set upon the remnants of an ancient volcano, the castle’s striking strategic significance made it a hotly contested stronghold all throughout its nearly 1,000 year history. The site of the birth of Mary Queen of Scots’ son, James the VI, as well as numerous historical battles as recent as WWII makes this castle one of the most fascinating and storied places in all of Europe. Learn more about its history, cultural significance, and the fascinating reason why this castle was fought for so passionately throughout the ages in this post.
Enjoy some of the finest fine dining in all of Edinburgh at Angels with Bagpipes, located on historic Royal Mile in Edinburgh’s Old Town. Rumored to soon be receiving a Michelin Star for culinary excellence, this delightful eatery has mastered flavor in a way few places around the world have.
Founded in 1670, the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, Scotland was my favorite place in all of Edinburgh, which is saying a lot because Edinburgh is one of my favorite places I’ve ever been. In fact, my husband and I both agree that we’d love to live here someday. Boasting more than 100,000 plants on 70 acres, some of are more than 350 years old, as well as 10 glasshouses, and 10 different climate zones, this garden is a work of art and an incredible feat of engineering. If ever you find yourself in the Scottish capital, you would be remiss to skip a visit to this gorgeous garden complex.
Arguably Scotland’s most famous castle, Eilean Donan is one of the world’s most photographed castles. It appears in numerous films and TV shows like Highlander, James Bond – The World is Not Enough, and many others, also making it one of the most filmed castles in Scotland. Built sometime in the early 1200s, the castle was destroyed in 1719, and rebuilt by 1932, and is now one of Scotland’s most iconic landmarks.
This guide to understanding how much and when to tip in the United States will help demystify the bizarre and antiquated tipping culture, help you calculate the appropriate gratuity amounts, and make sense of why the amount on your bill is different from listed prices in spas, hotels, restaurants, salons, cafés, cruise ships, and more. Whether you’re a US citizen trying to wrap your head around tipping, or you’re visiting for the first time and don’t want to offend anyone, this guide will go through practically every scenario where tipping is involved, or isn’t involved, and will help you ensure you’re giving the correct amount.
London is full of fun, fanciful cafés that are perfect for a light afternoon meal or the perfect instagram photo. Here are 5 of my favorite London Cafés, along with my recommendations on what to order at each. What’re your favorite London cafés?
Fushimi Inarir Taisha Shrine is perhaps Japan’s most famous and photographed shrine. This beautiful collection of thousands of red torii gates, which wind up and around Kyoto’s Mt. Inari, leads visitors through breathtaking views of the city of Kyoto, Japan’s ancient capital city, and offers incredible insight into Japanese culture and traditions. Read on to see how to reach the shrine, what to do at the shrine, where to eat near the shrine, and much more.
Hakone, Japan is only about an hour away from Tokyo by shinkansen, or bullet train, making it the perfect day trip from Japan’s capital. Famed for its proximity to Mount Fuji, and home to beautiful Lake Ashi and several sacred Shinto shrines historically popular with samurai, Hakone is a wonderful place to get away from the hustle and bustle of Japan’s big cities, explore the great outdoors, and learn more about Japanese culture and traditions. Explore where to stay, what to do, where to eat, and how to make the most of your Hakone adventure in this travel guide.
Regal Glengarry Castle Hotel in Invergarry, Scotland was the perfect place for us to base our adventures in the Scottish Highlands during our anniversary trip in our ancestral homeland. This enchanting former castle was near Loch Ness, Inverness, and not terribly far from the Isle of Skye, which made it the perfect place for us to get a taste of country life in Scotland, while still being within driving distance of many fascinating points of interest and nearby cities.
Tokyo DisneySea was our last stop during our tour of Japan, and I couldn’t think of a better way to end our time in the Land of the Rising Sun than by visiting Tokyo Disney’s water themed park before heading to Haneda Airport. Inspired by classic fairytales of the sea, like The Little Mermaid, Tokyo DisneySea is an incredible expression of storytelling taken to the next level. The park consists of 7 themed ports, Port Discovery, the American Waterfront, Mediterranean Harbor, Mysterious Island, Arabian Coast, Mermaid Lagoon, and the Lost River Delta. Read on to see how much there is to do at the park, from marveling at the incredibly ornate architecture and trying foods unique to the park, to riding rides, meeting characters, and experiencing your favorite films in a larger-than-life setting.