Category Archives: Travel Destinations

North Coast 500 Hotels Guide: Where to Stay along the NC500

Torridon Hotel North Coast 500 hotels where to stay along NC500 Scotland

The North Coast 500 is a 516-mile scenic route along Scotland’s northern coast, offering drivers rugged landscapes, sandy benches, wildlife, museums, castles, whisky distilleries, and so much more! If you are planning to road trip around this scenic area of the Scottish Highlands, you may be wanting to spend the night at some special North Coast 500 hotels. Castle hotels. Historic Georgian and Victorian mansions. Luxury guest houses. Old crofts and farmhouses. Romantic B&B’s. Sea and lochside cottages. All of these and more are possible, but it can be time-consuming to search and choose from the hundreds of properties along the route. So we’ve done it for you, providing a list of 25 personally recommended North Coast 500 hotels that are well-rated, well-located, and/or offer something unique or special. Our list includes everything from 5-star luxury castles to cozy family-run B&Bs, with information, a review, and tips provided for each Read the Rest…

A Guide to Glasgow Attractions: 25+ Things to do in Glasgow Scotland

Duke of Wellington statue top things to do in Glasgow Scotland attractions

Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and there are so many things to do in Glasgow! The city is home to fantastic art galleries, historical National Trust properties, leafy green spaces, amazing street art, and a plethora of live music venues. Glasgow is perhaps not as well-known as Edinburgh to international travelers, but the reward of visiting here is a less crowded city where experiences seem less rushed and more authentic. Glasgow is an easy city to love with its friendly and welcoming residents, dozens of free museums and attractions, burgeoning focus on craft food and drink, thriving live music scene, large number of Charles Rennie Mackintosh buildings, and beautiful country homes and parks. There is something in the city for everyone from those who love art and architecture to those who prefer breweries and music. We’ll share our guide to Glasgow attractions, highlighting all the top things to do Read the Rest…

Barcelona Discount Passes: Barcelona Card vs. Barcelona Pass vs. Barcelona Museum Pass

Barcelona Card versus Barcelona Pass vs. Articket Museum Pass Barcelona discount cards comparison

There are several discount Barcelona cards and passes that can help you save money in Barcelona Spain. However, it can be difficult to decide which one, if any, may help you save money and time on your trip. We’ll provide information about and compare three of the most popular Barcelona passes: the Barcelona Card, the Barcelona Pass, and the Articket Barcelona Museum Pass to help you determine which may be a good fit for you. We’ll also provide a handy comparison chart so you can check which features the Barcelona Card has versus the Barcelona Pass and Articket Museum Pass. We’ll also provide some additional resources about a few other Barcelona cards and transport passes that you might consider in order to help you save the most money on your trip to Barcelona Most of the sites and attractions that charge an admission fee in Barcelona are covered by at Read the Rest…

The Belmond British Pullman Train: Info, Tips, & Lots of Photos

British Pullman train Vera carriage car

The Belmond British Pullman is the sister train of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express and is made up of a collection of historic Pullman carriages. Based at Victoria Station in London, the train makes regular luxury day trips and short journeys within England. A journey aboard the gleaming umber and cream carriages of the British Pullman is designed to take you back in time to the glamorous age of luxury train travel. The historical carriages date from the 1920’s to 1950’s and include wonderful art deco marquetry, art nouveau lamps, polished brass fittings, mosaic floors, and plush upholstery. Journeys aboard the train may include brunch, afternoon tea, a murder mystery lunch, and/or musical entertainment. Guests enjoy a meal while they watch the scenery pass by and some journeys include stops at historic cities such as Bath or Canterbury. Although many of the guests are British people celebrating a special day out, it is Read the Rest…

Tips on Using & Buying the Barcelona Pass: Is it Worth It?

buying The Barcelona Pass tips advice worth it

If you are planning a trip to Barcelona and want to admire Gaudí’s architecture, take sightseeing tours, and visit some of Barcelona’s top attractions, you may be able to save money and time by purchasing the Barcelona Pass. The Barcelona Pass not only provides free admission to over 20 of the top attractions in Barcelona (i.e., Casa Batlló, Casa Milá, FC Barcelona Stadium Tour, walking tours), but it also allows you to skip the long entrance lines at several of these attractions and includes a 1-day free Hop on Hop Off Bus Tour ticket. In many cases, the Barcelona Pass is a good value and can save you money; however, in other cases, the Barcelona Pass may not be a good deal for you, depending on what you plan to see in the city. We’ll help provide all the information you need to know to decide if the Barcelona Pass Read the Rest…

Visiting Iceland in Winter: A 7 Day Iceland Itinerary by Car

Diamond Beach 7 day Iceland itinerary by car one week road trip

If you are planning a trip to Iceland, our 7 day Iceland itinerary will help you plan the perfect Iceland road trip. If you have 7 days in Iceland you have time to explore the capital city of Reykjavík, the west coast, the famous Golden Circle, and the south coast of the country. Our itinerary includes cultural highlights, waterfalls, glaciers, national parks, Icelandic horses, fishing villages, black sand beaches, lava fields, and loads of scenic views. It covers some of the most famous and iconic places in Iceland as well as some lesser known spots. This itinerary is perfect any time of the year, including in winter where many places in Iceland become inaccessible or close for the winter. We visited all these places ourselves this last winter on a self-drive trip with Iceland Travel. Although you certainly can’t explore all the wonderful places Iceland has to offer, you can see a Read the Rest…

Finding Antoni Gaudí in Barcelona: Guide to Over 20 Gaudí Sites in Barcelona Spain

Sagrada Família ceiling guide to Gaudí sites in Barcelona Spain

Antoni Gaudí is the most famous architect of the Catalan Modernism movement, and there are a number of Gaudí sites in Barcelona Spain that you can visit. Although Gaudí is best known for his masterpiece Sagrada Família as well as Casa Batlló and Park Güell, there are many other Gaudí works that you can see and visit in Barcelona. Some are well-known, others are seldom visited. There are also a number of museums and exhibitions that focus on Gaudí and his work that can help provide a great overview and context before you set out to view his famous buildings. Although not widely appreciated during his lifetime,Gaudí’s works are now widely studied by architecture students worldwide, seven of his works have been declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, and Sagrada Família has become one of the most visited tourist attractions in Europe. This guide will assist you in deciding which attractions to visit, help you locate Read the Rest…

Globetrotting Challenge Travel Race: 10 Days, 10 Countries, 10 Challenges

Globetrotting Challenge 2017 travel race Turkey to Tuscany

Later this month is the start of the first annual Globetrotting Challenge, a travel race that will have two top travel blogging couples racing from Turkey to Tuscany. And Laurence and I are one of those two couples! The travel race will have us racing overland across 10 countries in 10 days while competing against another couple in 10 challenges along the way. All of this will be recorded live via social media so that followers will be able to follow along on all our travel adventures, struggles, triumphs, and embarrassing mishaps along the way. Want to find out more? Keep reading and we’ll give you the lowdown on the Globetrotting Challenge and even tell you how you can get involved! **UPDATE: Unfortunately the Globetrotting Challenge will not be taking place as planned. The other team (Dave & Deb) pulled out of the challenge the day it was set to Read the Rest…

A Guide to Visiting the Spanish Pyrenees of Catalonia: A Lesser Known Region of Spain

Sant Joan Les Fonts things to do in the Spanish Pyrenees in Catalonia Spain

A lot of people visit Barcelona and Costa Brava every year; however, many fewer people visit the Spanish Pyrenees of Catalonia. This lesser known region of Spain offers a perfect place to escape from the often crowded coast, whether you visit it in conjunction with the more popular spots or dedicate an entire trip to this region. Here in the Spanish Pyrenees you’ll find several ski resorts, a network of hiking trails and cycling paths, extinct volcanoes, hearty Catalan food, medieval towns, and rich cultural attractions. The Spanish Pyrenees of Catalonia is a great region for those wanting to get out and explore nature, enjoy the peaceful rural countryside, or hideout in the mountains. On the other hand it also offers a plethora of outdoor activities, museums, festivals, hot air balloon rides, and a seemingly infinite amount of quaint Romanesque churches. This guide will cover how to get to the Read the Rest…

Ski Holidays for Non-Skiers: 25 Things to Do at a Ski Resort if you Don’t Ski

Ski Holidays for Non-Skiers Things to Do at a Ski Resort if you Don't Ski

Ski holidays for non-skiers? Sure, there are lots of things to do at a ski resort if you don’t ski. I personally don’t ski but have spent time at a number of ski resorts and winter holiday destinations around the world. I know I am not alone, and wanted to share some tips on how to enjoy a ski holiday as a non-skier. Often there is at least one member of a family, couple, or group that doesn’t ski but that doesn’t mean they have to just sit in the hotel room when everyone else wants to ski. There are a lot of fun winter snow activities that don’t involve skiing or snowboarding such as sledding, snow tubing, ice fishing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and sleigh rides. There are also tons of other fun winter activities that non-skiers can seek out from exploring Christmas markets to relaxing in a thermal bath. One Read the Rest…

Royal Edinburgh Ticket: How to Save Money on Edinburgh’s Royal Attractions

Holyrood Palace Royal Edinburgh Ticket

The Royal Edinburgh Ticket is a great way to save money when visiting the top royal attractions in Edinburgh Scotland! The ticket covers all three of our favorite royal sites in Edinburgh: the mighty and historic Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace (official Scottish residence of the royal family), and Royal Yacht Britannia (royal yacht used by the royal family from 1954 to 1997). Not only are these the three most important royal attractions in Edinburgh, they are three of the most popular and visited attractions in the city. If you want to visit all three during your trip to Edinburgh, you can save up to 25% by using the Royal Edinburgh Ticket versus buying each entrance ticket separately. The ticket also includes unlimited hop-on hop-off bus transportation around the city for 48 hours! We’ll tell you how to purchase and collect the pass, what it covers, how to calculate your cost Read the Rest…

Finding Historic Route 66 in Albuquerque New Mexico

public mural Route 66 in Albuquerque New Mexico highlights

Finding historic Route 66 in Albuquerque New Mexico is easy if you know where to look. Route 66 officially ran through Albuquerque from 1926 to 1985, and today Albuquerque is home to the longest urban stretch of Route 66 in the country at 18 miles. Route 66 played an integral role in Albuquerque’s growth and development in the early to mid 1900’s and today you can still find Route 66 era businesses, diners, motels, architecture, signs, and vibes in New Mexico’s largest city. You can still sleep in a classic Route 66 era motor court motel, eat a burger at a Route 66 era diner, and see some of the neon signs that have been burning bright on Central Avenue for decades. Albuquerque is a great place to “get your kicks” and we’ll provide a brief history of Route 66 in Albuquerque, share information on how to find and drive Read the Rest…

Our Wedding in Venice: A Photo Essay

wedding in Venice wedding day Jessica Norah Laurence Norah

A photo essay of our wedding in Venice. Two years ago today, Laurence and I got engaged at Point Reyes National Seashore in California next to a giant elephant seal. At that time, I was working full-time as a clinical psychologist and living in the San Francisco Bay area. A lot has changed since that time. I don’t share a lot of personal posts but I’ve been asked several times to share some photos of our wedding in Venice on the blog, and have always meant to do so but never got around to doing it. So I thought I would do it today on our engagement anniversary. It also gave me a good excuse to go back through our wedding photos. If you don’t enjoy wedding photos, this is your time to escape, otherwise, enjoy! As some of you know, Laurence and I actually had our legal wedding at Read the Rest…

Comprehensive Guide to the Top Harry Potter Sites in Edinburgh Scotland

Royal Mile Harry Potter sites in Edinburgh Scotland J.K. Rowling

Edinburgh has a deep connection with the wizardly world of Harry Potter and there are several Harry Potter sites in Edinburgh that fans can visit. Most notably, it was the home of J.K. Rowling when she wrote the majority of the Harry Potter books. Rowling has acknowledged her connection to the city stating that “…Edinburgh is very much home for me and is the place where Harry evolved over seven books and many, many hours of writing in its cafés.” Want to sit and sip coffee in the same café that J.K. Rowling wrote the Harry Potter books? See turreted buildings that may have been the inspiration for Hogwarts? See graves and streets that may have influenced the names of Harry Potter characters? Drink a pint of butterbeer in a local pub? We’ll provide all you need to know to find these places on your own or visit them on a Read the Rest…

Visiting Wentworth Woodhouse: The Largest Private House in England

visit Wentworth Woodhouse tour Palladian east front

Wentworth Woodhouse is the largest private home in the United Kingdom and it has the longest façade of any country home in Europe; however, very few people have ever heard of this spectacular English house! Starting as a modest Jacobean house in the 17th century, it would be rebuilt and expanded to enormous proportions by a series of aristocratic families. The house would become the seat of the Earls Fitzwilliam who would rise to be one of the wealthiest families in England due to profits from the coal industry. At one time, over 1,000 staff members would be employed to run and look after the 300+ room house and the vast estate. However, a series of scandals, inheritance fights, untimely deaths, and the nationalization of coal would soon lead to both the end of the Earl Fitzwilliam line and the shuttering of this great house. This grand Yorkshire house was closed to Read the Rest…