A Terrible Beauty: The Blasket Islands

Yesterday marked the 60th anniversary of the government-assisted evacuation of the Blasket Islands in southwest Ireland.

To this day, they remain the most gorgeous place I’ve ever seen. So why were they evacuated?

The 6 clustered islands are located off the coast of the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry, one of the most picturesque, breath-taking spots in Ireland.

Blasket Islands

Some Dingle coast.

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4 Dogs in France that Think They’re People

You already know that I have a problem. And this round, you asked for dogs in France. But there was something unique I noticed about the dogs I snapped while in Southern France:

More than any other dog population I’ve met, these French dogs think they’re people!

So. I promised Dogs: Round 2, the French edition. Voilà!

1. See Spot ride the bus.

Dogs in France

This guy was just ridin’ on a very crowded bus along the French Riviera.

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Visiting the Hogwarts of the First Harry Potter Movie

Alnwick Castle has long been famous in England. But it got a whole new life in Hollywood a little over a decade ago.

Yep, Alnwick Castle is none other than Hogwarts in the first Harry Potter movie.

See if you recognize any of these spots I tiptoed graciously upon in England!

If you haven’t already checked out the reality of Alnwick Castle, hope on over here to read up on the family that lives there. Not the Hogwarts one, the muggle one.

Harry Potter Alnwick Castle

She’s a beaut, there’s no doubt about it!

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The Real People Who Live in the Harry Potter Castle

The Harry Potter movies used locations all over Britain, as well as a big helping of green screens, to create those magical movies that I, personally, watch on repeat every once in a while. (Read: Every weekend.)

One very important location was Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, England. Do you think you’ll recognize it? Read on!

The experience of visiting Alnwick Castle is a strange mix of reality and magic. Let’s hit the reality part first:

Alnwick is an actual family castle, meaning, people actually live here! That’s right, the Duke of Northumberland lives here with his family.

Harry Potter Alnwick castle


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What Does Ireland Have to Do with Halloween?

Like I’ve already told you, I hate Halloween.

I’ve hated Halloween since I was a toddler and Mom had to take her beloved “Halloweenies” to Grandma and Grandpa’s house because they terrified me so much that I couldn’t be in the same house with them.

History of Halloween

Scary shit, right?

I hate it all. I hate the pressure of coming up with a creative, funny or impressive costume. And, if successful, I hate the attention a creative, funny or impressive costume garners. Halloween’s a lose-lose situation for me!

But I digress. My point is: this year, as my boyfriend spends this October 4,000 miles away in Galway, Ireland, my interest drifts to the birth of that very holiday I’ve always had a dodgy relationship with.

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