We always seem to think that the best places to visit are somewhere far away and not in our own home country. However, it can be very surprising and rewarding to visit some sights closer to home (and I just love castles). Therefore, one week ago my boyfriend and I got on a train to Utrecht, hopped on a bus and visited Castle de Haar. This castle is one of the most gorgeous castles in the Netherlands. The other people waiting for the bus to the castle were an American couple and three Spanish-speaking people (not sure where they were from), so I immediately had the feeling of a holiday and felt very excited.

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Glasgow was the last stop on my first (solo) trip to Scotland: from Edinburgh and Stirling, I travelled to Inverness, Loch Ness, and from there to Eilean Donan Castle. I visited the Isle of Skye and via Fort William and Loch Lomond, I ended up in Glasgow. I didn’t know a lot about Glasgow, so started my time in Glasgow by wandering around, vaguely knowing where I wanted to go.

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From the end of September till December 2017, I studied abroad in the UK at the University of Warwick. At the end of my stay, I knew there was one thing I still wanted to do very very much, namely to visit Wales. So, when I saw a Black Friday sale on the Virgin trains website, I bought a return train ticket to Banger for 11 (!!) pounds. Two weeks later I hopped on the train to the north of Wales. It was a little cold, but it didn’t rain, so I guess the weather was great!

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Many times, I have visited the Loire valley on holidays with my parents, for the first time in 2008. On these holidays, we obviously had to visit several of the famous castles that you can find in this area. Exploring these castles really fostered my love for history and architecture. In this blogpost, I will share with you some of my favourite castles situated in this valley (in no particular order).

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After visiting the Isle of Skye, I continued my first trip to Scotland by going to Mallaig and Fort William. After hesitating whether to head for Oban and skip Fort William or stay in Fort William one day longer and then heading to Loch Lomond by bus, I picked the latter. I would have had (too) little time for Oban. Moreover, some ’empty days’ in which you have not planned much, but in which you can just explore the area are great as well when travelling. I recently picked up the phrase slow travel, I guess I’ve applied the concept without knowing about it!

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Some 180 kilometers south of Barcelona and some 90 kilometers south of Tarragona lies Tortosa in the province of Catalonia, Spain. A city often overlooked, but certainly worth a visit. For the last couple of years, I have been to Spain at least once a year and I think it’s very important to not only visit highlights like Barcelona and Madrid, but also smaller and lesser known cities. I spent an afternoon in Tortosa on a sunny day in the summer. Yes, it was hot, but it was also an afternoon full of culture!

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Picture of the bridge over Skye

It may not be very original, but for my first trip to Scotland, I definitely wanted to spend a few days on the Isle of Skye. In earlier blogposts I talked about my time in Edinburgh and Stirling, and in Inverness and the Eilean Donan Castle, but to be fair, Skye was the highlight of my trip. I took way to many pictures, especially on the first day. Initially, I had planned to cover all my days on Skye in one blogpost, but there was just too much to talk about. In the end, I have decided to split everything into two posts.

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