Latest

  • The Maeshowe Chambered Cairn & Passage Grave: The Heart of Neolithic Orkney, part 5
    The Maeshowe chambered cairn and passage grave is a Neolithic monument that is located about 8 kms (5 miles) northeast of the town of Stromness on the Mainland of Orkney. From the outside, the site consists of a prominent, grassy mound that sits on a large, circular platform that is surrounded first by a ditch, and then an external bank. Concealed within the central mound is an impressive stone passageway and chamber, considered by many to be a masterpiece in Neolithic design and stonework construction.
  • The Ring of Brodgar: The Heart of Neolithic Orkney, part 4
    The Ring of Brodgar is a Neolithic henge and stone circle monument that is located on a thin peninsula known as the Ness of Brodgar. A bridge or causeway has been located in this area for at least the last 1,000 years. Brodgar comes from the name of a farm that is situated near the causeway, which is itself a combination of the Old Norse words for bridge (brúar) and farm (garðr).
  • The Barnhouse Settlement: The Heart of Neolithic Orkney, part 3
    The Barnhouse Settlement, a prehistoric village similar to Skara Brae, can be found a short distance north of the Stones of Stenness. Barnhouse was occupied for 300 years from around 3100-2800 BCE.
  • The Stones of Stenness: The Heart of Neolithic Orkney, part 2
    The Stones of Stenness are a Neolithic monument that contains both a henge, possibly the oldest in all of Britain and Ireland, and a stone circle. Stenness, pronounced “Stane-is” in the Orcadian dialect, comes from the Old Norse Stein-nes, which means “stone headland.”
  • The Heart of Neolithic Orkney: part 1
    Skara Brae is only one of a remarkable collection of Neolithic sites that can be seen while touring the Orkney Islands of Scotland. During our brief visit to the Mainland of Orkney, we had the opportunity to visit four other incredible prehistoric monuments: the Stones of Stenness; the Barnhouse Settlement; the Ring of Brodgar; as well as the Maeshowe chambered cairn and passage grave.
  • Skara Brae: The Exciting Discovery of a Forgotten Neolithic Community
    For centuries, the western coastline of Mainland, Orkney held a secret. It had been enveloped first by layers of sand, and then covered by grass. The secret slept contentedly for a long time, resting a comfortable distance away from the rolling tides of the North Atlantic Ocean.
  • An Introduction to Orkney
    It was during my research for our 2016 trip to the U.K. that I first learned about and became fascinated with Orkney, an archipelago in the Northern Isles of Scotland that contains a group of more than 60 islands. The Orkney Islands have a long and rich history. Remarkably, this history is accompanied by an incredible collection of exceptionally preserved archaeological sites, some of which are more than 5,000 years old!
  • Exploring Västeräng, a Traditional 19th Century Swedish Farm Village
    The recent summer solstice had me thinking about the time two years ago when we were in Sweden with my family at Midsummer. I decided that I wanted to take a short break from the current blogging topic at hand and work instead on a post about one of the highlights of our June 2018 visit to Sweden: the night we stayed in the mid-19th century farm village of Västeräng.
  • Cawdor Castle
    Cawdor Castle is one of the most striking and well-preserved strongholds in Scotland, famed for its beautiful gardens as well as its supposed literary connection to the title character of William Shakespeare’s play, The Tragedy of Macbeth.
  • Touring the Battlefield of Culloden Moor
    After a long day of driving and exploring rural Scotland, Neil and I spent the night in the city of Inverness. Inverness is located on Scotland’s northeast coast where the River Ness meets a triangular inlet of the North Sea, known as the Moray Firth. Inverness is the largest city in the Scottish Highlands and […]
  • En Route to Inverness
    After spending some time in Balquhidder Neil and I continued our drive to Inverness from Edinburgh. We had gotten caught up in the charm of the rural Scottish countryside so we decided to make a few more quick stops in Kenmore, Fortingall, and Glen Lyon where we hoped to further our family history quest. The […]
  • A Walking Tour Through Paris
    Before I move on with writing about other destinations, I have one final post to share in which I’ll wrap up our 3 week exploration of Paris from June-July 2017. This post will include a miscellaneous collection of pictures that I have not yet shared in my other posts about Paris1. I’ll begin with some […]
  • Pictures of 2019
    Neil and I had a low-key 2019, at least in terms of photography. It might be fair to say that I was feeling a little photo-fatigued following our adventures of 2017-2018. However, I still found some subjects that I was really excited to photograph. Our big trip this year was a short stay in London, […]
  • Wrapping up Pictures of 2018
    A year ago, in 2019, I posted my top pictures of 2018. But there was a catch. I only included photos that I had taken up until the end of June 2018 because my computer hard drive was full and I didn’t have ready access to the rest of my 2018 photos. So I said […]
  • Books of 2019
    For the last few years, the only consistent New Year’s Resolution I make and try my best to keep is to read 52 books, 1 for each week, over the course of a year. Then, at the end, I recap my top 10. This year, I managed to surpass my goal by reading 54 books. […]