1314 Battle of Bannockburn

Visiting Robert the Bruce at the Battle of Bannockburn, Scotland

The fourteenth century archer's right hand pulls his bow string taut. Suddenly, his arrow is released, flying over my head. I turn to see another soldier, his heart pierced by the arrow, stumble and fall. The Interpretive Center at Bannockburn Read More

The entrance through the Passion facade (Ann Burnett)

Awe-struck at the Sagrada Familia Basilica, Barcelona, Spain

Our first view of the Sagrada Familia is from the top of Montjuic Hill at the end of the funicular ride up from the Ave Paral.lel. My eyes sweep over the panorama below Barcelona, and then, rising above it, the unmistakeable shape of Gaudi’s Read More

Abbotsford ( Ann Burnett )

Re-visiting Sir Walter Scott at Abbotsford in the Scottish Borders

I had to read Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe at school and vowed never to open one of his books again. So what am I doing visiting Abbotsford, his house in the Scottish Borders? It’s re-opened to the public after a refurbishment (the Queen did the honors Read More

Stirling Castle sits high above the plain (photo credit: Ann Burnett c 2013)

Paying Homage to King James V at Stirling Castle, Scotland

It’s the color that strikes us at first. How could sixteenth century Scotland be so full of color? Even on this dull, rainy day (dreich as the Scots call it) the outside of the Great Hall of Stirling Castle is a luminous cream. One of the many guides Read More

A prisoner's cell, Robben Island, Cape Town (Ann Burnett 2013)

Following the Footsteps of Prisoners, Robben Island, Cape Town, South Africa

The ferry to Robben Island from Cape Town takes only 30 minutes but at the end of it we were in a different world. A harsh landscape, bleak and  devoid of trees, greeted us at the quay where a tour bus took us to the prison in the center of the Read More

The Great Wall of China

Standing Sentinel on the Great Wall, Badaling, China

The last of the fall color was about to disappear from the trees growing in the shelter of the Great Wall. "A really awful place to be a sentry in winter," I said. My companion nodded. We were looking out from one of the many watch towers Read More