Devin Castle - An Unforgettable Bratislava Day Trip

Clinging to the cliff top on the confluence of the Danube river and the Morava river, Devin Castle is one hugely impressive historical marker of the country lines between Slovakia and Austria.

Devin Castle has seen a huge swathe of human history, holding its commanding position as a settlement since Neolithic times, fortified throughout the ages and eventually ruined on the orders of Napolean 1809.

The monumental ruins now make for a superb day out for all, as long as you don't mind hills!

Getting to Devin Castle

It is easy to use public transport to reach Devin Castle, given it is situated only 12km outside of Bratislava.

The most direct route is Bus 29, running twice an hour, which can be boarded underneath the "UFO Bridge". The journey takes around 25 minutes and tickets can be purchased from the machines for the bargain price of 90cents per adult.

The bus then takes you out of Bratislava through the surprisingly green and vibrant suburbs until you reach Devin. Be s…

Edinburgh Ghost Tours: Enjoying Scotland's Haunted Capital

Edinburgh is one of Scotlands most haunted locations. From the grey and gothic medieval Old Town to the Georgian New Town, Edinburgh is crammed to the rafters with stories and legends of all things ghoulish.

Edinburgh has a long and often grisly history.

Edinburgh Castle has balanced precariously on the edge of a cliff for over 2,000 years. It has been the site of many battles, sieges and murders. It is unsurprising that there have been reports of a ghostly piper moving around the Castle and the Royal Mile, appearing to be lost.

In 1645 Edinburgh's population was dealt a horrific blow by the Great Plague of Edinburgh. Conditions were cramped and unsanitary allowing the bubonic plague (later known as the Black Death) to run rife, killing approximately half of the population of Edinburgh. Some of the unorthodox ways of dealing with the Great Plague of Edinburgh were particularly gruesome- it is believed that over 300 residents were sealed into their homes in Mary Kings Close and a…

Top Tips for Climbing Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh

Jutting proudly into the skyline a short distance from Edinburgh Old Town is the monolithic set of hills crowned by Arthur's Seat. A hugely popular hill walking destination this extinct volcano offers breath taking panoramic views of Edinburgh and beyond.

The hike is easily accessible and possible for anyone with a moderate level of fitness, but what else do you need to know?

How to get to Arthur's Seat 

If you are starting in the Old Town of Edinburgh, Arthur's Seat is at the end of the Royal Mile very close to Holyrood and approximately a mile away from Edinburgh Castle. You can catch a bus to Arthur's Seat but we chose to walk from Edinburgh Castle straight down the Royal Mile and then, when we reached Holyrood, turn right and find the hulking hills directly in front of us.
What should I pack for climbing Arthur's Seat?
The trick for this hill walk is to be prepared for the British weather which can be largely undecided about what it wants to do. Think carefully …

Top things to do in Edinburgh, Scotland

Originally a medieval city balanced precariously on a rock and overlooked by an inactive volcano, Edinburgh is now the incredibly diverse capital of Scotland. Grey, imposing and thoroughly beautiful, it has so much to offer even if your time in the city is limited.

In order to make the most of your time, especially if you are time poor, then we've put together our favourite things from Edinburgh.

Edinburgh Castle

At the very top of the Royal Mile is possibly one of the most iconic buildings on Edinburgh's skyline- Edinburgh Castle.

Originally built in 1130 Edinburgh Castle is a World Heritage Site and encompasses over 800 years of Edinburgh's history, following the lives of numerous royal residents and the social and economic growth of Edinburgh itself.

Within the Castle walls are different buildings to explore, memorials to those lost at war, museums of the multiple uses of the Castle and the Crown Jewels. Some might argue that the real jewel in the crown though is getting…

Unmissable things to do in Oslo, Norway

Perched on a semicircle of fjords, Oslo is the picturesque and vibrant capital of Norway.

Oslo is known for its Viking history, modern architecture and outdoor activities it is hardly surprising that Oslo was consistently voted one of the highest ranked large European cities for quality of life of its residents.

If you're planning a trip to Oslo, then the following tips will make sure it is especially memorable for you.

Akershus fortress and castle 

With a commanding position on a cliff in the harbour, the Akershus castle has stood in place since the 1300's, later becoming fortified in 1592.

Open between 6am and 9pm each day, entrance is free to the fortress to walk around the grounds and admire the views. If you are so inclined you can sit with your legs over the edge of the fortress and admire the view across the fjords. My Travelling Buddy was happy to do this but my cowardice for heights is well documented (among our other travel fails!) so I chose to stick to the lower, le…

The Viking Ship Museum, Oslo

It could be argued that Norway's most infamous exports are the Vikings. These ferocious warriors made their way across the seas to Europe and further afield, initially to trade and later to raid and conquer between 793AD and 1066AD.

There is evidence that the Vikings used many different types of ships - from long ship war vessels to small rowing boats for transporting live stock. The most incredible thing about this is, the evidence still exists- you can visit the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo and see three preserved Viking Ships!

How to get to the Viking Ship Museum

The Viking Ship Museum commands pride of place on Bygdoy, also known as the Museum Islands, in the Oslo fjords.

There are three options for making your way to the Viking Ship Museum:

1. Driving: parking is available behind the museum although you should expect to pay in the Summer months.

2. Public Bus: bus 30 can be taken from outside Oslo Central Station towards Bygdoy, a journey of approximately 20 minutes.

3. Ferry…

Travel Fails and What We Learnt From Them

At some point, everyone has experienced a travel fail, whether it's a missed flight or a foreign language faux pas. We found that we were experiencing so many fails (luckily of the minor variety) that we started to keep a note of the things we learnt from them.

Here is a small selection of the cleaner stories for you, to show that travel is not all glamour and Instagram shots!

The time we tried to photograph parrots at Kennett River, Australia

"Go to Kennett River" they said, "it'll be fun" they said, "the parrots are really friendly and you'll get great photos" they said......

The unfortunate thing about wildlife, as anyone who has tried to photograph it well knows, is that it does not work well under direction. We learnt quite quickly that parrots will happily have a row with each other whilst scrabbling all over you, and will bite your ears if they think you might be hiding something worth eating!

Despite taking a parrot directly to the fa…

Ethical Dog Sledding Tours in Riga, Latvia

Riga is a gem of a destination and Latvia is entirely ready to show you an amazing winter wonderland break. As part of that, dog sledding is on offer. That leads to an uncomfortable question- how can you tell if your dog sledding tour is ethical and responsible?

The key here is research. Take your time to find out whether the animal attraction you want to give your money too is ethical. There are boundless resources online, but if you are still in doubt, ask questions. Contact the tour providers, the sled dogs kennels, check previous reviews from other travellers. If you are still unsure at that point, take your money elsewhere- better not to undertake the activity at all than to fund something harmful to animals, because we all know we are suckers for animals!

Some things to consider when deciding on a tour operator for dog sledding are:
How are the dogs kept? Dogs need to be kept in clean, dry and warm conditions. Avoid paying money to any attraction that has dirty kennels or has d…