Category Archives: Europe

What to Expect on Your First Trip to Ireland: A First Time Visitor’s Guide

As I was leaving for my first trip to Ireland, I felt more relaxed than I usually do before visiting a new country. The excited anxiety that I normally experience was replaced by confident anticipation. Since I was going to be travelling solo for my first trip to Ireland, I made sure to do plenty…

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  • Alouise - I’ve been living in Ireland for a year and a half now, and I agree it’s a great place for solo travel. I was surprised when I got here that there weren’t any paid toilets like you see elsewhere in Europe. I think I saw one at a beach outside Dublin, but that was it. Usually if you’re by a pub (and in Ireland you probably are) you can pop in to use the toilet if you need it.January 8, 2018 – 2:00 pmReplyCancel

Hiking in Burren National Park- An Unexpected Landscape in Ireland

Standing at the trailhead into Burren National Park, fascination sets in as I gaze off into the remote, rocky landscape. This is not what I expected to see in Ireland. The land here is harsh, grey. The Burren most certainly is not the rolling green fields I’d come to associate with Ireland. Instead, I find…

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Photo of the Week: Long Room of the Old Library at Trinity College, Dublin

Not too many places in Dublin stood out for me, but one that did was the Long Room of the Old Library at Trinity College. The 65 metre long, 2-storey main chamber is lined on both sides with stalls of books- 200,000 of the oldest in the library’s collection. In between each stall on the…

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Day Trip to Inishmore- The Largest of Ireland’s Aran Islands

On my solo trip to Ireland I was looking to visit places that combined my two favourite travel activities- exploring nature and visiting archaeological sites. Inishmore (Inis Mór) fit the bill perfectly! As one of the Aran Islands, Inishmore was a place that I could feel far away from everything while still being connected to…

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Solo Travel in Ireland- 7 Reasons Ireland is a Great Place to Travel Alone

When I decided to do a solo trip to Ireland it had been 11 years since I last travelled alone. I was itching to do it again! I hadn’t done much research about travelling alone in Ireland, but instinctually felt that Ireland would be the perfect place for a solo trip. For one, I’d never…

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  • Valarie - At thiis time I am going away to do my breakfast, after having my breakfast coming over again to read
    other news.November 27, 2017 – 2:47 pmReplyCancel

Photo of the Week: Poulnabrone Dolmen, Ireland

One of the highlights of visiting the Burren region of Ireland is seeing Poulnabrone dolmen, an outstanding Neolithic tomb and National Monument of Ireland. Over 5000 years old, this portal tomb is one of the best preserved in the country. The dolmen’s classic construction consists of a large capstone resting on top of two sets…

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2 Weeks in Ireland- My Road Trip Itinerary

I’ve never met anyone who’s done a road trip in Ireland and not loved it. After spending 2 weeks in Ireland, I am now one of those people. My 2 week road trip in Ireland had it all: postcard-worthy landscapes, fascinating ancient sites, evocative ruins, gratifying outdoor adventures, colourful small towns, delicious food, lively music, fun…

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  • Anja - Hi Rhonda!

    I just found your post via LP pathfinders monthly roundup. :) Oh my, you did quite a nice round around the island!To me everything looks travelworthy, just to soak in that Irish atmosphere. I’ve been thinking of visiting either Ireland or Scotland next year, and like you said more for the nature and small villages, than for the big cities. Have you ever been to Scotland?

    AnjaNovember 23, 2017 – 3:04 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - No I haven’t been to Scotland, but it is very tempting from the photos I’ve seen!November 24, 2017 – 1:12 pmReplyCancel

  • Alexi Laishley - Hi Rhonda,

    I am planning on going to Ireland this summer, but am hesitant to rent a car due to the cost. I wanted to know how much it cost you to rent your car for 2 weeks? Also were there any restrictions on it? ie being 25 or a specific type of license?

    Thanks, I loved this post so much. I am using much of it as inspiration!December 3, 2017 – 11:23 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Hi Alexi!

      The car rental was just over $700 CAD for an automatic. It’s way cheaper to rent a standard. I hadn’t driven stick shift in many years so I didn’t want that stress on top of driving on the opposite side of the road that I’m used to.

      As a Canadian, I didn’t need an International Driver’s license but had to have my Canadian driver’s license for a minimum of 2 years. Not sure about the requirements for other countries and if there are any age restrictions. You should be able to find all that info on the car rental company’s website.

      I would definitely rent a car if you can afford it. It’s by far the most convenient and flexible way to see Ireland!December 3, 2017 – 2:08 pmReplyCancel

  • Tracey - Wow! Ireland looks amazing. It is on my trip to-do list. Thank you for these gorgeous pictures and helpful post. Love that pic of Hore Abbey – I have to go there now!December 8, 2017 – 6:59 pmReplyCancel

  • mark & lyndon - Great trip info, you have given us a great deal to consider and your photo’s were excellent! Thanks!!January 11, 2018 – 8:34 amReplyCancel

  • Jennie Mauger - Hi there! This has been EXTREMELY helpful. I am wondering what type of camera you used during your trip? Your photos are excellent! My boyfriend and I will be travelling to Ireland to visit my cousin for 2 weeks in July. We are also not big on the touristy part and are looking for some amazing hikes. I’m really looking forward to the Cliffs of Moher coastal walk. I’m afraid because we will be going in July, there will no doubt be lots and lots of people! We are definitely thinking of doing this exact itinerary but we will have to stay and visit Dublin for an extra two days. Is it possible to still do this itinerary but in 14 days? Anything you would fast track? We will be renting a car, manual, did you know how much cheaper it was? Gas efficiency? Thank you for this blog post!! Jennie :) February 15, 2018 – 10:21 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Hi Jennie. Glad you like my photos! I use a Canon 6D with L-series lenses. July will definitely be busier than Sept/Oct when I was there, but I’d suspect the majority of people still don’t do the full coastal walk. I would have liked to do more (and longer) hikes but the weather was not on my side during this trip!

      I did this itinerary in 13 full days. It sounds like a lot but was manageable. Getting an early start meant that I could linger at sites longer and make more photo stops. Perhaps I could have done more of the Ring of Kerry and Skellig Ring in one day had I not needed to spend the night in Portmagee for the Skellig Michael trip that never happened. I’d skip Inch Beach if I was short on time. I also really took my time doing the Slea Head Drive. But if I needed to cut something out, it would be Northern Ireland because I wasn’t a fan of how “touristy” it felt.

      I don’t remember exactly how much cheaper it was to rent a manual, but I seem to recall it was around half the price of an automatic. I was shocked at how much gas I went through! Maybe a diesel would get better mileage?

      Hope you have an awesome trip to Ireland!February 16, 2018 – 2:08 pmReplyCancel

Where to Stay in Paris- A Guide to the Best Paris Neighbourhoods for Travellers

A common question I get from my readers is “Where Should I Stay in Paris?” There are so many wonderful neighbourhoods in Paris, each with a distinctive atmosphere, that deciding where to stay in Paris can be a dilemma. While budget is often a deciding factor, I try not to let that limit me too…

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Photo of the Week: Strasbourg’s Astronomical Clock

The astronomical clock in Strasbourg Cathedral is a fine example of what can be achieved when art and science come together. Statuettes and paintings embellish a case housing clock dials and mechanisms, working together to measure time and astronomical indications. When Strasbourg’s astronomical clock was completed in 1574, it was considered to be one of…

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Photo of the Week: Cologne Cathedral’s North Portal

Cologne Cathedral is a fine example of German Gothic architecture, famous for its extravagant architectural details. The exterior of Cologne Cathedral is heavily decorated with stone statues and delicate tracery. Every steep gable, flying buttress and lofty spire has some sort of artistic element competing for your attention. What caught my eye the most though…

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A Walk Around Munich- Photo Series

Of all the cities we visited during our 5 weeks in Europe, Munich had some of the most fascinating stories. We took part in two different themed walking tours- one was a general tour of the Old Town and the other was all about Hitler and the Third Reich. It was incredibly interesting to learn…

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  • Frank - Great photos! You actually got inside the Hofbrauhaus? I’ve wanted to get in there twice and both times there were huge lines and we just kind of said “screw it”. Looks like a good time.

    Frank (bbqboy)April 19, 2016 – 2:28 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - There was no line to get in, odd considering it was Oktoberfest. We must have been there early in the day. It’s not really my scene so we just walked in, used the washroom and walked out.April 19, 2016 – 4:08 pmReplyCancel

Photo of the Week: Upper Belvedere Palace, Vienna

The Belvedere was built in Vienna in the early 18th century as a summer residence for Prince Eugene of Savoy. Designed by one of Europe’s greatest Baroque architects, Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt, the complex consists of two Baroque Palaces known as the Lower and Upper Belevedere. The Upper Belvedere Palace (seen here) was completed in…

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Visiting the Würzburg Residence

Nearing the end of our European honeymoon, we decided to make a stop in Würzburg, Germany specifically to see the city’s World Heritage-listed palace. The Würzburg Residence is widely considered to be one of the most important Baroque palaces in Europe. As the former residence of the Würzburg prince-bishops, its design is over-the-top luxurious, exactly…

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  • Nilima Khan - grateful to you for this information. hope we will get more excellent work form you later.
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  • Frank - Beautiful photos, especially love the last one.
    We were in Wurzburg just a week ago and unfortunately all we saw was the front of the palace – we had been walking all day and were tired…and honestly a lot less wonderful seeing gardens in the winter.
    But we were so impressed by Wurzburg that we’ll be back this summer and will make sure to see the residence.
    Frank (bbqboy)March 5, 2016 – 1:13 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Thanks so much, Frank! Yeah, I bet the gardens are nothing special in the winter, unfortunately. The residence is worth visiting just to see how over-the-top some of the rooms are!March 7, 2016 – 5:20 pmReplyCancel

Photo of the Week: Karlskirche (St. Charles Church), Vienna

Vienna’s Karlskirche, or St. Charles Church, was built from 1716-1737 after being commissioned by Emperor Charles VI. The emperor had promised to build a church after his namesake, St. Charles Borromeo, if the Black Plague that was infecting Vienna in 1713 left the city. Borromeo was an archbishop of Milan in the 16th century who was known…

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  • Stephen Garone - I was here many years ago, but I still remember it as one of my favorite buildings in Vienna. Thanks for sharing!September 20, 2015 – 2:03 pmReplyCancel

Photo of the Week: Dôme des Invalides

An unmissable monument in Paris’ cityscape is the glittering gold dome of the royal chapel at Les Invalides. Dôme des Invalides was first inspired by the dome at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Designed by Jules Hardouin Mansart, the dome is considered one of the finest examples of French Baroque architecture. The dome was finished…

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  • Frank - Beautiful photo Rhonda. I didn’t know Napoleon’s tomb is buried here. We just came back from Croatia and we were surprised to hear that he made it to those parts as well. Fascinating history, that’s why we love Europe.
    Frank (bbqboy)July 21, 2015 – 7:22 amReplyCancel

Photo of the Week: The Lion Gate at Mycenae, Greece

This week I’m featuring a photo taken at Mycenae during my 2007 trip to Greece. The aptly named Lion Gate is the main entrance to the citadel of Mycenae, an archaeological site in the north-eastern Peloponnese area of Greece. Mycenae was a major centre of Greek civilization and powerful kingdom way back in the second…

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Discovering Regensburg- A Walk Through the Old Town

When I was researching Regensburg as a possible destination for our European honeymoon, I kept seeing it referred to as “Germany’s best-preserved medieval town”. Hmm…now that’s a lot to live up to. Somewhat skeptical, but still intrigued, I added Regensburg onto our itinerary. I went to Regensburg expecting to be transported back to another time…

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  • Linda Bibb - We recently returned from a 15-day river cruise that included a stop in Regensburg. Your article brought back so many wonderful memories from our visit. It’s such a cool city!

    An interesting piece of history, those wrought iron signs. The design always showed what the shop was selling because long ago most citizens couldn’t read.July 5, 2015 – 10:32 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Thanks, Linda! I’m glad I could bring back some happy memories! Thanks for the info about the signs. Now I’m wondering what the shop with the creepy looking head on its sign was selling!July 8, 2015 – 12:16 amReplyCancel

  • Sara @ Simply Sara Travel - Wow, Regensburg is gorgeous! I especially loved some of your photos towards the end of the post with the river. I wanted to get there last December – I’d heard about the town, and that it has some lovely Christmas markets, but I didn’t make it there. Next time I’m in Bavaria I must go! That sausage kitchen sounds so interesting and incredible that it has been around for so long!July 7, 2015 – 3:05 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Thanks so much, Sara! It’s too bad you didn’t make it to Regensburg. I bet it would be lovely at Christmas time! I’ve never been to Europe in the winter but I would love to check out the Christmas markets one day.July 8, 2015 – 12:13 amReplyCancel

  • Frank - Love Regensburg! Went there a few years ago and have been meaning to go back.
    Frank (bbqboy)March 19, 2016 – 6:07 amReplyCancel

Photo of the Week: Johann Strauss Monument, Vienna

Vienna is known worldwide as a centre of culture and art, but is perhaps most famous for its roots in classical music. A long tradition of classical music attracted many notable musicians to the city. Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Ludwig van Beethoven all played music in Vienna. Not all musicians in Vienna moved…

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Bavaria’s Wieskirche- A Harmony of Landscape and Architecture

On our way from Füssen to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, we decided to take a short detour off Germany’s Romantic Road to visit the Wieskirche, an important pilgrimage church and UNESCO World Heritage Site. A pretty country lane led us to the small hamlet of Wies. As we walked from our car to the church,…

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  • Sara @ Simply Sara Travel - Wow, what a church! It reminds me a lot of the Ettal Abbey – I visited it last December and it’s a similar style (and seemingly nearby Wieskirche). I kind of love the dramatic, over-the-top design – it certainly makes an impression when you enter!June 15, 2015 – 8:11 amReplyCancel

Photo of the Week: An Old Town Square in Füssen, Germany

Füssen is the ending point (or starting point, in our case) for one of Germany’s most famous drives- the Romantic Road. It’s a picturesque town with colourful architecture, charming old town squares and even a hilltop castle. Füssen is not only beautiful, it has a lengthy history dating back to Roman times. Interestingly, it was…

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