‘Outlander’ Brings Surge of Tourists to Scotland

The popular television series "Outlander," which started in 2014 and can be streamed on Amazon Prime and the Starz network, has been renewed for a fifth and sixth season and is generating "phenomenal" international tourist growth in Scotland. The story of an English woman in 1945 who touches magic standing stones and "falls through time"... Continue Reading →

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The Myth of European Nation-States Still Sways Opinion

Those annoyed by the requirements of the European Union often express nostalgia for a past that did not exist: the nation-state -- sovereign jurisdictions whose relatively homogeneous citizens or subjects spoke a common language and descended from a shared ethnicity.  These nation-states never actually existed for more than a few decades, Yale University European History Professor... Continue Reading →

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What Does European Ancestry Mean?

My DNA profile says my pre-American ancestry was mostly Northern European. But what does that mean specifically? A large percentage of the men in Scotland, Wales, and Ireland share my genetic profile, meaning Celt. They were first identified as a distinct tribe in Austria, near Salzburg, from gravesites dating to 700 BC. About 2,500 years... Continue Reading →

Evocative Short Films on Turkey

Turkish Fantasia, a six-minute film from Brandon Li on Vimeo. "A twisted, surreal journey through Turkey." The filmmaker shot this on an impromptu trip to his friend's wedding in Ankara. "Featuring the lunar landscapes of Cappadocia, the mosques of Istanbul, streets of Ankara, wild dogs, whirling dervishes, flying kites, and of course a Turkish wedding."... Continue Reading →

Discovering Wales and Welsh Ancestry

Wales: Feisty and Poetic, by Rick Steves. From Bristol, England, my wife, son and I dashed -- by train -- over to Cardiff, Wales to add another country to our roster and to dine at a nice restaurant and try a little Welsh cuisine such as cawl, Welsh rarebit, laverbread, Welsh cakes, bara brith and Glamorgan sausage. We had little time... Continue Reading →

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