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Mary's Tavern

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Long and Short Reviews Weekly Blog Challenge | Best Traveling Places

Welcome back to a new year of the Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge hosted by the lovely people at Long and Short Reviews. This week's topic: 5 best places I've visited.

Goodness! This was difficult. I've been fortunate to have many travel adventures. Some of these beautiful places/countries resonated deeply within me. The ones listed below are among my favorites. Here they are...

Cairngorm Mountains, Scotland. This is where my first book and series began. We were staying in a lovely small hotel in the Highlands. Before dinner, my hubby and I went for a walk in the hills. I wandered alone and sat down on a boulder. Between the mists hugging the surrounding hills, sounds of sheep in the far distance, I felt alone with the ghosts of the past. The Order of the Dragon Knights wove their way into me that night.

The Long Room ~ The Library of Trinity College. Inside is housed the Book of Kells - a 9th-century gospel manuscript famous throughout the world. We walked a path of cobbled stones to several areas. Stepping into the library, I paused. So many ancient tomes. I whispered to my hubby, "There are so many. Do you think they would miss one of these books?" An epic experience that day for me. In addition, I took my experience and wove it into my third book, Dragon Knight's Axe. The heroine, Fiona O'Quinlan, worked at Trinity College. And no, I did not take any books from the library.

Library of Congress. My husband was doing research for his book and got permission to visit. Imagine my surprise when we both received official library cards. The halls are stunning with murals and sculptures. Can you guess by this post how much I love books? ;)

Orkney Islands. The entire experience continues to haunt me--in a good way. Let's just say, I'm still processing the adventure from a few years ago. This was a research trip for my new series, The Wolves of Clan Sutherland. An entirely different landscape--more ancient and mystical. Photo below is the Standing Stones of Stenness on mainland Orkney.

Urquhart Castle, Scotland. The most memorable experience ever! A day I will never forget! Urquhart became the home of my fictional Dragon Knights. I wandered throughout the ruins for almost four hours. One my top favorite places to visit. These ruins truly inspired my books. For years, I used Google Earth to stare virtually at the landscape and ruins. So to actually visit them in person was an emotional day for me.

Trust me, the doors to traveling will open again, and I'm already planning more trips. Any special or best places you've visited? Do share! Then hop on over HERE to see what the others are saying.

See you next week! xo


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