Category Archives: All Suzanne’s travel essays

Another eclectic trek around Europe – Part One

The older I get, the harder it is to put together a trip to Europe when there is no big-deal (to me) event which self-selects a range of dates as a starting point. A couple of years ago, I was … Continue reading

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Monday night jazz in Hartford, CT

Only one photo here but this is a definite highlight of summertime in central CT, USA. For six Mondays between mid-July and mid-August, the rolling lawn of Bushnell Park, behind the State House becomes the perfect amphitheatre for this series … Continue reading

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Falkirk, Scotland beyond the Kelpies

As I described in a (very) old post, I went to Falkirk specifically to see Andy Scott’s Kelpies sculptures and perhaps some of his other works which can be found in a variety of locations around the town. In the … Continue reading

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Duke and Baron – Scotland’s Kelpies

A few years ago, a TV news item introduced me to Andy Scott, a Scottish sculptor working in metal who has created more than a dozen gorgeous works, most of which are installed in various outdoor locations in and around … Continue reading

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Xmas rats on my dashboard

I know, this barely counts as blog-worthy but hey, it’s timely, no? These two critters came from IKEA many years ago. They started life sitting on the top of my office cubicle and, somehow, somewhy, they began getting dressed up … Continue reading

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A day trip to Mostar

I’ve been working on this post on and off for a couple of years and could have sworn that I’d posted it already. Oops! I also confess that it’s longer than more recent posts; in any event, here it is. … Continue reading

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Best day on planet earth

What follows is my submission to the Rough Guides travel writing contest. The bolded title is one of three themes we could choose to write about. The piece itself is 492 words. The max allowed is 500 words, the min, … Continue reading

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Visiting Richard III in Leicester

If you are an Anglophile and/or history buff (both of which I am) and you haven’t read The King’s Grave, by Philippa Langley and Michael Jones, put it on your reading list. Ever since Richard III – or what was left … Continue reading

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Strahov Monastery libraries

Taking baby steps to get back into blogging… Fans of BBC Musketeers should recognize these places. In that series, these two rooms play parts of King Louis’s palace. In reality, both are libraries or ‘halls’ at Strahov Monastery in Prague, … Continue reading

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The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Tattoo – a corruption of a Dutch phrase commanding a pub to close for the night so the soldiers can be sent back to barracks. The word also was used to allude to military music practice and now refers to elaborate … Continue reading

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Schlepping around Europe October 2015

Sorry, Folks! Once again, I was too cheap to replace my crummy tablet with something more useful so I’m having to rely on hotel wi-fi, which is sometimes excellent (last week in Zurich… gotta love that Swiss precision and efficiency!) … Continue reading

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Some online resources on gardens in the south of France

In response to a reader request for recommendations on gardens in the south of France, my only home resource, Secret Gardens of France, listed mostly private properties, almost all of which were near Lyon or farther north, so I did some … Continue reading

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Euro news from Prague Post – drink more cava

Not only did Prague Post publish photos of their tree lighting in Old Town Square – making me pine for the trip I took to see their Xmas markets a couple of years ago (see Facebook page) – they also … Continue reading

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Rolling along with London’s Bond exhibit

I came to the James Bond films a little late in life. Much as I loved Roger Moore as The Saint back in the 60s, I didn’t really latch onto Bond until Pierce Brosnan took over. That said, I sought … Continue reading

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A surprise at US Passport Control

To some extent I expect – or at least look for – what’s different when I revisit foreign destinations, especially London. I try to spend at least a few days there very year and, at the very least, make time … Continue reading

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Thoughts on Europe from a departure lounge

Nothing too deep or complicated; just remembering where my head was at while waiting to board my flight from Edinburgh to Berlin last month. The overhead flight board displayed a list of departing planes. Oh, the places you can go … Continue reading

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Three and a half nights of London theatre – Part 2

So now we come to the whole reason why I crossed the pond in the first place… I was more than ready for Wolf Hall when Monday night rolled around, probably one of the most anticipated nights of theatre I’ve … Continue reading

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Three and a half nights of London theatre – Part 1

London is my favorite place on the planet, not least because it’s where I can OD on theater. This time, I had to book way in advance to be sure of tickets to the two plays the RSC has mounted adapting … Continue reading

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Magpie update – August / September 2014

In many ways, summer is possibly my least favorite season. Sure, there is no snow to shovel and late sunsets mean more time to be out and about. But, especially in terms of travel, summer is when I’m most likely … Continue reading

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Reflections on D-Day and Dad

Here in the USA, we remember our veterans, especially on particular American holidays. There is Memorial Day at the end of May and Veterans’ Day on November 11th. The first of these started life as Decoration Day after the American … Continue reading

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Celebrating Queen’s/King’s Day/Night in the Netherlands

In 2013, the annual celebration of Queen Beatrix’s birthday at the end of April became a joint Queen’s/King’s Day all over the Netherlands. It was to be the last Queen’s Day (Koninginnedag) and the first of many King’s Days (Koningsdag), … Continue reading

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Keflavik’s Rainbow and an egg

There are two large outdoor sculptures at Keflavik airport in Iceland. They stand next to the terminal building, so are unmissable whether coming to the airport or heading out towards Reykjavik. The Rainbow is the work of Rúrí, an Icelandic artist and was … Continue reading

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WWI unexploded shell goes off near Ypres, Belgium

From several sources a couple of weeks ago. Unexploded munitions from both World Wars lurk, barely buried, particularly in northern regions of Europe. Sadly, this is not a rare occurrence even a century after that first conflict. The reason I … Continue reading

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Secret streets near Paddington

There are tons of cozy little streets all over London known as “mews”. On my daily stroll to Paddington station from my hotel last year, I passed a couple of these and decided I would looove to live on one … Continue reading

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This is silly! Magpie blog sets new record

For the almost three year life of this blog, daily hits to the site have numbered in the single and low double digits most of the time. Statistics automatically generated by WordPress include the daily numbers of hits and showed … Continue reading

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More to Iceland than Northern Lights

I admit that the first two reasons for my trip to Iceland were to see the Aurora Borealis in a fantastic setting. As it’s turned out, the Lights have been disappointing. Solar activity that generates the phenomenon takes two to … Continue reading

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Higgins Armory Museum closes and an old memory reawakens

The Higgins Armory Museum, in Worcester, Massachusetts, has been in existence for more than eighty years. It is basically one man’s collection of armor, weapons, clothing, stained glass and banners in a reproduction Gothic setting spread across several floors in … Continue reading

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Souvenirs from King’s / Queen’s Day in Amsterdam 2013

King’s Day / Queen’s Day in Amsterdam in 2013 was a once-in-a-lifetime combination affair – the reigning queen stepped down and her son became king. Two for the price of one. Despite having no vested interest in the ceremonies, I … Continue reading

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Plitvice Lakes, Croatia – a slide show

I love cities, but there is a wealth of natural beauty in northern Croatia at Plitvice Lakes National Park. Waterfalls, gorges, rock faces and caves, lakes and ponds of all sizes in vistas large and small make for an exhilarating trek. … Continue reading

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Perking up pictures with Photoshop

I’m spending more time on the blog and playing around a little bit with Photoshop. It’s one of those skills that requires a lot of repetition and it’s easier for me to learn how to use this software by concentrating … Continue reading

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