House Sitting in the Highlands with Hamish

House Sitting in the Highlands with Hamish

Castles in the sky, or at least close – my house sit in Fort William, in the Highlands of Scotland, came in the form of a Victorian manse, complete with a lively companion… The Highlands have long been high on my list, and I had two weeks to enjoy the fall, with free accommodations in exchange for keeping an eye on this lovely home and entertaining my new furry friend, Hamish. Little did I know that he had 100 times my energy, and...

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The Beautiful Barren Burren

The Beautiful Barren Burren

What in the world is the Burren? I’d read an article about it on my flight, but it looked pretty rugged and stark so I wasn’t sure I’d like it. Turns out it’s a magical place (a description I use a lot in Ireland). The Burren is a region in County Clare, and means “great rock.” It covers about 250 square kilometers, and the criss-crossing cracks in the limestone are called “grikes.” I headed first...

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Climbing the Cliffs of Moher

Climbing the Cliffs of Moher

The famous Cliffs of Moher are one of the most visited tourist sites in Ireland, with almost a million visitors a year. After taking the car ferry over the channel from Troger, I headed for Loophead first, to check out the lighthouse and walk the loop around the peninsula head, with breathtaking cliffside views, before driving to the Cliffs of Moher. The drive on the peninsula is on some of those quintessential Irish roads – two-way...

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Cinque Terre, Italy’s String of Gems

Cinque Terre, Italy’s String of Gems

Cinque Terre (translated The Five Lands), a Unesco World Heritage Site, is a necklace of 5 seaside villages strung along the Italian Riviera. It’s some of the most beautiful and dramatic coastal scenery anywhere in the world (my opinion, but also that of countless others). The colorful villages are linked by hiking trails that wind along the coast, up high through olive groves and vineyards, and down low along the water. The whole trail...

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Fairytale Bled, Slovenia

Fairytale Bled, Slovenia

A fairytale town in a picture-perfect location, Bled, Slovenia is comprised of 3 jewels – Lake Bled, Bled Castle, and a tiny island with the beautiful church of St. Mary. The walk around Lake Bled is a highlight. It is only 6.5 km (4 miles), and mostly flat, with scenic views the whole way, and plenty of places to stop for refreshments. (They are known for their cream cakes!) I was fortunate to spend 6 days here, and walked around Lake...

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