Tag - history

The Dark Past of the Eastern State Penitentiary

The Eastern State Penitentiary takes you back over 50 years to Philly’s darker times. We’ve been to plenty of prison destinations on our travels. Auschwitz, Dachau, Sachsenhausen, Colditz, Kilmainham and the old Melbourne Gaol to name a few, but the Eastern State is one of the best preserved and impressive for both its scale and innovative use of the space...

St. Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny

St. Canice’s round tower rises above downtown Kilkenny. St. Canice’s Cathedral is the birthplace of modern Kilkenny. St. Canice’s cathedral, also known as Kilkenny Cathedral dates back to the 13th century on the site of a monastery dedicated to St. Canice that stood in the 6th century. The English gothic architecture is from around the 16th century though...

A Kells experience worth writing home about

Ancient water mills, castles and abbeys are part of the magic of an Irish road trip – especially when you get the whole experience in one town. We had always wanted to make it to Kells but it was one of those places that was “almost close enough to Kilkenny to make it” and “no way, that’s going to take us an hour in the wrong direction”. Luckily the casting vote was...

Past and present collide at Bunratty Castle and Folk Village

An open-air museum and a medieval castle and banquet unite to create one of Ireland’s top three attractions at Bunratty. There are few places where the past and present come together as abruptly as at Bunratty (translated to mean the castle at the mouth of the Ratty River). Since 1425, this township has been watched over by the six-story ancient stone tower house...

Going back 500 years at the Old Town Museum, Aarhus

Aarhus’ Old Town Museum is Denmark’s largest and most impressive open-air museum, with over 75 buildings dating back to the 1550s. It’s like stepping back into a Danish renaissance The collection brings together old barns and half-timbered mansions, bakeries to breweries from 20 different towns, brought to life with period furnishings and actors in...

Seeking asylum on Roosevelt Island

For those seeking a little solace in the city that never sleeps, you can’t look past Roosevelt Island. Not Quite an Island Getaway For the last 150 years, Roosevelt Island has been a dumping ground for the sick, the mentally ill, and the criminally minded. From the 1830s, it was the home of the New York City Lunatic Asylum, a prison that housed notable historic...

The search for Monty Python’s Holy Grail locations

Ok, I am first to admit I have an addiction – to Monty Python. It’s not as strong as it was in my teens, nor is it the type that elicits constant quotations, references to lumberjacks, dead parrots or the Spanish Inquisition. No this is a deep seated habit that involves collecting rarities, meeting members and traveling across the seas to see their legendary...

In the off season, Fenway Park still delivers the chills

If you want a taste of what going to a baseball game was like one hundred years ago, step up to the plate and step back in time at Fenway Park. Old bars ooze the stench of stale beer but at America’s oldest stadium, it’s the freshly popped kernels of corn that permeate the air. As you enter the stadium below its ancient brick and timber stands, you can feel the...

The Spirit of Elvis and Johnny Cash is alive at Sun Studios, Memphis

Have you ever been to a place where you feel like you could be right beside those who made it so special? That’s a sensation you will feel at Sun Studios on Memphis’ Union Street.   Sun Studios’ humble exterior and interior belies its rich backstory, breaking rock and roll’s pioneers like Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Ike Turner, Johnny Cash and a little-known...