The New Florida

Florida’s West Coast is Hoppin’

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It’s no secret that the Tampa Bay area is seeing a revival these days. It’s becoming a hub for young people in particular. Tampa and Clearwater are growing, but there’s still a lot of Americana in Florida that hasn’t yet fallen prey to overdevelopment, including a sleepy little town called Dunedin.

Known for its Scottish roots, Dunedin is a quiet slice of relaxation in an ever-changing state. It’s Main Street shops and boutiques are far from the busy world of South Florida. Beautiful harbor, too.

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There be Romans Here

Old Frontiers Die Hard

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Once upon a time, there was an empire that stretched from northern Africa to the British Isles. It stopped close to what is now Scotland because, as Emperor Hadrian decided, the Scots–or Celtic tribes–were too “uncivilized” and barbaric to be conquered. Go Scotland? So he threw up a wall along the jagged landscape to ensure the continuity of his empire. Rome was never the same again.

Today, most of the wall has withered down to the stubs. But there are parts of the once mighty 70-mile barrier that still exist throughout the English countryside, so the good news is that you can find it without looking too hard. A good place to start would be England’s Newcastle upon Tyne area, where you can also find the ruins of a Roman fort (see map point above and links below).

Think your job is tough? Imagine being a sandals-wearing Roman soldier guarding the harsh terrain of Britannia, with howling gales and bone-chilling winter cold being daily reminders that you’re far from home. Happy times.

More about Hadrian’s Wall
Housesteads Roman Fort ruins

Oldest “Inn” England

It’s Old

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To the pub enthusiasts, Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem is famous for being “England’s oldest inn”, dating back to the year 1189. It’s actually built into the hill behind it. Great place to see, and really good food (and beer). And, since it’s in Nottingham, you’ll find it’s close to a statue commemorating a famous local resident. *Hint*–he took from the rich and gave to the poor:

Robin Hood Statue

Official website

Plenty of Castles in Ireland, but This One’s a Keeper

Castle on the Hill

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We all love visiting Ireland, especially Americans, since half of us come from there. Dublin’s great, and the Cliffs of Moher are getting more popular with international tourists, but castles seem forgotten sometimes.

Well, maybe not forgotten, just pushed to the bottom of the itinerary. But since they dot the Irish countryside, they’re too often taken for granted. So we decided to stop and see one that’s been around for a few centuries. Welcome to Rock of Cashel.

Official website

A Town Called No Place

Bizarre Sense of Humor

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“What shall we call this town?”

“How about…No Place.”

“I like it.  People can get their picture taken there.”

No Place, England