Etosha National Park

Etosha National Park

We had some time to kill before our safari in Kruger, so we were trying to figure out what we were going to do with this extra time we had in Africa. I had heard a lot of great things about Namibia and started looking into it, only to discover that it is the home of the self-drive safari – very safe and very accommodating to visitors who wanted to drive themselves. If we had a few days, we could…

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Cape Town

Cape Town

Holy hippopotamus, we’re in Africa! After nearly 8 months of world travel, we’re finally on the home stretch, and both visiting the African continent for the first time. Our plans over the 3 weeks we’re here include some time in Cape Town, a self-drive safari in Namibia to Etosha, a few days in Joburg, a 1-week private safari in the Kruger, followed (finally) by our flight home to Seattle via Dubai! We decided to stay in Cape Town at the…

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Visiting the Cook-Cashin Clan

Visiting the Cook-Cashin Clan

When one of your very best friends has a baby, you must go visit, right? So, as planned from the start of our journey, we would arrive in England about three weeks after our dear friends Sarah and Charley welcomed their first bundle of joy. Because you can’t really plan for a baby’s arrival, we ended up arriving one week after baby arrived. Probably not the most ideal time to arrive, but we couldn’t really change our plans – Jacob…

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Cairngorms National Park

Cairngorms National Park

After 3 excellent days of hiking in Skye, we stayed the night in Inverness (“the capitol of the Scottish Highlands”) before heading further afield to more adventures. We had the chance to check out nearby Culloden Battlefield, the site of the last battle of the Jacobite Rising. This was especially interesting for Amanda since it has become familiar from the Outlander books, but I also got something out of it. From there, we were off to Cairngorms National Park, the largest park…

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Isle of Skye

Isle of Skye

Our time in Scotland was full of great hikes, and this was especially true on Isle of Skye. We spent 3 nights at a B&B close to Portree, which gave us plenty of time to explore the island’s most interesting spots. Everyone had told us Skye was really nice, and it lived up to all the hype. Amanda found a bunch of nice hikes on the very useful and detailed site, Walk Highlands. Our first hike was to the Neist…

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Entering the Scottish Highlands

Entering the Scottish Highlands

I have been wanting to visit Scotland for what feels like forever, but once I got hooked on the Outlander book series, I was exceptionally eager to go. So when we finally arrived, I was like a kid in a candy shop, though a bit worried that I had lofty expectations. Scotland didn’t let us down. Thinking back on our travels thus far, it was one of my favorite places we’ve been. The only thing I would change is to spend more…

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Donegal to Belfast

Donegal to Belfast

After saying goodbye to half of the #Shamphonny crew (Steph and Johnny) in Westport, Amanda and I had 4 more nights in Ireland and Northern Ireland to explore. We first made our way to Donegal city, with a quick stop in Gortarowey Forest along the way for a hike. The hike had great views of Benbulbin mountain, as well as a centuries-old ring of rocks thought to be a family’s home. Coincidentally, our hike was on Arbor Day, which made the presence…

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Cork to Westport

Cork to Westport

We woke up in Cork, checked out of our hotel, and headed to Blarney Castle to try our luck at getting the “gift of gab”. Blarney Castle is not just the Blarney Stone, but also beautiful gardens. We headed straight for the Stone because we had heard there could be really long lines, but luckily we didn’t have to wait too long. We each had a turn to kiss the Blarney Stone, which is located on the very top of…

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Dublin to Cork

Dublin to Cork

We started our Irish journey in Dublin, arriving on a Friday afternoon. We were able to get some errands done (laundry, haircut, etc) and check out some of the sights in town. Dublin is super adorable and while it’s a larger city, still feels very Irish. I was still recovering from my migraine, so we took it easy and had a light dinner at a local Mexican restaurant called Tolteca. We had low expectations, but it was almost identical to…

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Ich Bin Ein Berliner

Ich Bin Ein Berliner

After what felt like far too short a visit to Prague, we traveled to Berlin for a 4 day and 5 night stay. Once again, the bus was the way to go, being cheap and fast, with wifi and coffee included in the price. We chose to stay at the Leonardo Hotel in Mitte, which is close to the former Jewish quarter, U-Bahn train system, and plenty of good restaurants. Berlin has a totally different feel than the previous ten-or-so…

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