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AFAR Explorer′s Wishlist
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Domkloster 4, 50667 Köln, Germany
August 6th, 2004 As a non-religious person, I am still a big fan of church architecture. Its hard to get more iconic than the Cologne Cathedral. If you visit and arrive from the train station, you are dumped out directly beside it. Climb the...
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Neuschwansteinstraße 20, 87645 Schwangau, Germany
Few sights encapsulate the magical feel of the Bavarian Alps like Neuschwanstein Castle. The impressive towers, vast halls, and mountain-top setting bring out your inner child, transporting you back to a time of bedtime stories and...
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Ashford Castle Estate, Leaf Island, Cong, Co. Mayo, F31 CA48, Ireland
What trip to Ireland is complete without a stay in a castle hotel? Ashford fulfills even the wildest castle fantasies with its crenellated towers, medieval-looking canopy beds, and esteemed falconry program that lets guests explore its 350...
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Dromoland Castle Hotel, Dromoland, Newmarket-on-Fergus, Co. Clare, V95 ATD3, Ireland
Dromoland, with its towers, turrets, and suits of armor, dates back to 1014. Your room is appointed with ornate furniture, vibrant fabrics, and fairy-tale garden views. While you’re there, try your hand at the regal art of falconry. Dromoland...
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Adare, Co. Limerick, V94 W8WR, Ireland
If you've ever dreamed of living in your own Gothic romance novel, consider staying at the Adare Manor Hotel in picturesque Adare, Ireland. This sumptuous hotel and golf resort is located in Ireland's 'Prettiest Village.' It is home to a...
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Shanagarry, Midleton, Co. Cork, Ireland
Myrtle Allen is Ireland’s answer to Alice Waters: The centenarian chef has lobbied the Irish parliament for better food policies, earned some Michelin stars, and, 50 years ago, opened a restaurant called the Yeats Room in the town of...
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Carton Demesne, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, W23 PE02, Ireland
If you find yourself in Dublin and want to venture to the countryside, try the Carton House Hotel. Carton House, a 17th-century mansion in Maynooth, Ireland, was formerly the home of the Earl of Kildare. The estate includes the original stone...
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Sint-Veerleplein 11, 9000 Gent, Belgium
Going here and seeing all the instruments of torture really sent shivers down my spine. Very cool to see but in a really creepy way, like the Human Body Exhibit :). From the top you get very nice views of Gent. Worth a visit if you are in Gent.
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Kasteelstraat 40, 1750 Lennik, Belgium
A short train or car ride from central Brussels will get you to the village of Gaasbeek, home of the beautiful Gaasbeek Castle (Kasteel Van Gaasbeek in Flemish). This 16th-century chateau looks like something out of your favourite fairy tale. But...
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Freyr 12, 5540 Hastière, Belgium
With hundreds of castles and chateaux in Belgium, open to the public, it's hard to know which ones to visit. The castle of Freÿr, in Wallonia, is a great place to start. This grand building has remained in the same family for 20 generations and...
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Rue du Château 11, 7970 Beloeil, Belgium
Although everyone heads to France to see its chateaux, there are more than 3000 castles in Belgium and many are open to the public. A good place to start is the Chateau de Beloeil near Hainaut, in Wallonia. It has been in the hands of the same...
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Groot-Bijgaarden, 1702 Dilbeek, Belgium
Most garden-lovers have heard of the Dutch tulip garden, Keukenhof, a few hours north of Belgium. Few, however, have heard of Belgium's own wonderful spring tulip garden at Groot-Bijgaarden Castle. Also called Grand Bigard (in French), the castle...
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Rue du Parc 2, 4577 Modave, Belgium
The Château de Modave sits, perched on a rock, 60 metres (200 feet) above the Hoyoux river in the province of Liège, Belgium. While it is open to the public all summer long, my favourite time to visit this pretty castle is during the Christmas...