Weekly Photo Challenge: 2017 Favorite

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The highlight of 2017 for me was our trip to Scotland and Ireland in the Spring of this year. This is my favorite photo from that trip. It was just a brief photo stop at Eilean Donan Castle – we didn’t even go inside – but the setting was just so beautiful that I took dozens of photos here and I love them all!

Wishing you all a peaceful and healthy New Year – plus an abundance of creative photo opportunities!

Weekly Photo Challenge: 2017 Favorite

Is it a Castle or a Palace?

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Eilean Donan Castle – my favorite!

Across the globe, castles and palaces are viewed as some of the most beautiful and historic structures in the world; which, as I recently discovered, is certainly the case in Scotland and Ireland. But what makes one a castle and the other a palace? Much like the difference between a house and a home, a lot depends on why it was built, how it is used, and who lives there. In general, castles are built for defense and protection, while palaces are meant to radiate luxury and elegance.

A castle is a fortified structure; a base from which an attack can be planned and carried out. Castles have certain architectural features that only other castles have; like moats, gatehouses, round towers, battlements and exterior slits for archers to fire arrows through. They are built with thick walls, usually of stone and bricks. According to history, castles were first constructed in the ninth century and are found mostly in Europe and the Middle East.

A palace is built to show off wealth and power. It is really nothing more than a beautiful place to live! Constructed with spacious halls and lovely rooms, the purpose of a palace is for the ease, enjoyment and diversion of the people who live inside it, usually royalty or other nobility. Palaces have been around longer than castles and are found all over the world.

Like a house, a castle is meant to provide shelter. Like a home, a palace is meant to provide warmth, comfort and space for a family to live together in harmony and love. With that in mind, I suppose the ultimate goal would be for a castle to feel like a palace; and a house to feel like a home.

Here are some castles that feel like a palace to me:

Inveraray Castle, Scotland

Glamis Castle, Scotland

The following castles, while still beautiful, are not quite as elegant inside:

Kilkenny Castle, Ireland

Blair Castle, Scotland

Blarney Castle in Ireland is a good example of strength and ease of armament:

In Edinburgh, Scotland, a castle sits at the top of a hill ready to defend the palace down at the bottom.  Impressive Edinburgh Castle dominates the skyline while the Palace of Holyrood House, the Queen’s official residence in Scotland, is the anchor at the other end of the Royal Mile. Attached to the palace are the remains of Holyrood Abbey.

Edinburgh Castle:

Holyrood Palace:

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Ruins of Holyrood Abbey:

My response to today’s one-word prompt: Radiate

All photos were taken on a 2017 trip to Scotland and Ireland.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Danger!

I just returned from 16 days in Scotland and Ireland. What beauty and history there! At the Cliffs of Moher there is also danger. Many people have died, intentionally and accidentally, because the cliffs are high and the edges are so fragile. It is particularly dangerous when the wind is fierce – which is most of time! A memorial has been erected for those who have lost their lives here.

The trip was one I had looked forward to for quite some time. It will be the source of many pictures and stories to come. But for now, it’s just great to be back home. I missed my Word Press friends!

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Memorial at The Cliffs

Weekly Photo Challenge: Danger!