• Dark Hedges

    Explore: Game of Thrones Tour in Northern Ireland

    One Saturday in January, we boarded a Dublin Coach bus to Belfast for a weekend trip. The main reason for our journey? Game of Thrones. If you’re a fan of the TV series, then I don’t need to tell you that multiple scenes have been shot throughout NI. We booked an all-day bus tour with McComb’s for Saturday, and Sunday morning was to be spent in Belfast. (Spoiler alert: If you’re not past the first few seasons of GoT, you probably want to stop reading now.) Now I’ll preface my post with an admission: I hate (most) tours. We booked this one mainly because we didn’t want to bother with renting a car or…

  • Ludwigsburger Barock Weihnachtsmarkt

    Explore: Christmas Markets in Stuttgart, Ludwigsburg, and Esslingen, Germany

    Experiencing a real German Christmas market has been high on my bucket list for years. This past week, we got to visit three in the Baden-Württemburg region: Stuttgart, Ludwigsburg, and Esslingen. They all lived up to my lofty expectations. Lebkuchen hearts dangled from stall awnings, the smoky scent of grilled sausages wafted in the air, and red and white glühwein flowed freely. In a word, the markets were “magical” and I would love to somehow make a trip to Germany a Christmas tradition. Stuttgarter Weihnachtsmarkt The first market we experienced was in Stuttgart’s city center. It’s one of the largest in all of Germany and it’s renowned for the elaborate decorations…

  • Kilkenny Castle

    Explore: Kilkenny, Ireland

    The other night, I grabbed dinner at Bunsen and happened to sit next to a tourist from Chicago. He had been traveling all over Ireland the past week and was telling me how Kilkenny was one of his favorite spots. Intrigued, I did some research when I got home. Realizing how close it was to Dublin, it seemed like the perfect day trip destination. Kilkenny is a medieval town, set about 130 kilometers south of Dublin. Roughly 25,000 people live there, but with a castle dating back to 1195, Ireland’s oldest brewery, and one of Ireland’s two climbable round towers, Kilkenny has become a bonafide tourist destination. When we arrived in…