With Season 6 of HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones almost here, it’s time to reacquaint yourself with Westeros, Winterfell, Essos, King’s Landing, The Seven Kingdoms, the Iron Throne, Tyrion, Cersei, the rest of the Lannisters, Daenerys and the Targaryens, the Baratheons, the Starks, Lord Baelish, the Greyjoys, the Wildlings, the White Walkers…and dozens of other characters, places, families, armies, kings and would-be kings, sadists, liars, spies, schemers, charlatans, lovers, knights, dragons and dungeons we don’t have room to mention.
You can be forgiven if occasionally you get confused about who’s who and what’s what. But GoT is just about the most popular TV show in the world right now, seen in 193 countries (we’re guessing North Korea is the outlier), and we’re big fans, too.
What better way to get ready for Season 6 than visiting some or… Continue reading
Europe is rich with natural wonders – from lakes and mountains to islands, river valleys and seaside vistas. You can even find them in the skies above.
Since any Top Ten list would be totally arbitrary, we’ll stick to a “Ten Top” list, with the understanding that more such lists could – and no doubt will – be on their way in the future.
Several of these natural wonders are familiar names; others may be new to you. But they’re all fully deserving of the title – and a visit.
Here are the first five of the ten; the remaining five will appear in my next post.
The Fjords of Norway
They go by differing names like the Sognefjord, Aurlandsfjord, Trollfjord, and the Hardangerfjord, but they all have one feature in common: these slivers of deep-blue water… Continue reading
I admit I was a little surprised several years ago when I toured the entire island of Ireland and discovered that St. Patrick — the patron saint of Ireland and largely credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland — actually did much of his missionary work and is reputedly buried in County Down, which is now part of Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom.
It was just 17 years ago (April 1998) that “The Troubles,” as they were called — an often violent class-related and sectarian three-decade conflict in Northern Ireland between those who wanted to remain in the UK (mostly Protestants) and those who wanted to break away and join the Republic of Ireland (mostly Catholics) — ended in the Good Friday Agreement to settle the issue peacefully.
Because my… Continue reading
Here’s a story I love.
As reported by eTurboNews, a travel industry news reporting service, the northern Ireland town of Bushmills is “faking prosperity” in an effort to draw more tourists.
Bushmills is best known as one of the temples of Irish whiskey, but it has fallen on hard times of late, resulting in a fair number of abandoned homes and shops and a drop-off in tourist visits. Besides its four-century-old tradition of whiskey making, Bushmills is a gateway to the Giants Causeway, a dramatic natural formation that resembles stepping stones leading into the sea.
So the town has called on “cosmetic enhancement,” as eTurboNews describes it, a facelift of sorts for a dozen or so boarded up buildings that had become a blight on Bushmills’ main street.
Known as the “Brighter Bushmills Project,” the enhancements… Continue reading