I wrote before about Lesotho – the African Kingdom I visited last October. Now, I’d like to put faces to the name. Here are some children at an orphanage in Maseru, the capital. There are also pictures of children I met while on my way to a school in the Maluti Mountains. The culture and history of Lesotho are so rich, it’s impossible not to fall in love with the people and the kingdom. Stay tuned for a piece on a spiritual cave nearby…. where a prophetess used to give healings and prophecies in the 1800s about the future of this kingdom. Have you ever considered going to South Africa? I’d love to know your thoughts + questions!
Next in my travel series of throwback trips from last year is Lesotho. I’m writing about Lesotho – a Kingdom within the borders of South Africa – because it meant so much to me when I was there. I was very lucky to get the opportunity to visit as part of a Rotary trip; more specifically, a club visit by my mother District Governor Gianna Doubell. Needless to say, I loved it so much that if I could go back tomorrow I would. Unfortunately, I visited such a remote area that chances of that are highly unlikely!
The history of people living in the area now known as Lesotho goes back as many as 40,000 years.
The present Lesotho (then called Basutoland) emerged as a single polity under paramount chief Moshoeshoe I in 1822.
Under Moshoeshoe I, Basutoland joined other tribes in their struggle against the Lifaqane associated with the reign of Shaka Zulu from 1818 to 1828.
Read on for more photos + facts about this fascinating Kingdom in Africa! (more…)
Lake Austin Spa is an oasis on Lake Austin in gorgeous Austin, Texas! Catch it on a warm Spring or Summer day and you’ll have an almost tropical experience you won’t soon forget.
With crystal blue waters, the lake looks positively enticing as you sit and relax by the pool or on the patio in what can be the blistering heat of the Spring and Summer months.
I personally think this is a fabulous photo shoot location for aspiring models and actresses who are needing new headshots in an uplifting environment. I love the interior design, and the background of the water is just fabulous!
Lake Austin Spa Resort is tucked away in the beautiful Texas Hill Country. It has been ranked the #1 Resort in Texas & the Southwest by Condé Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Awards.
Tucked away in the beautiful Texas Hill Country, our all-inclusive luxury spa resort offers a truly unique experience, where we cater to your well-being and provide a sanctuary for rest and renewal. – website
+ They often host expert guest speakers who come to discuss a variety of topics. Conference scheduling can be viewed here.
+ They offer various health & fitness classes, including yoga and cooking demonstrations. View their calendar here.
+ They have delicious resort dining which offers guests various healthy options to enjoy in between treatments. I had the grilled atlantic salmon with fingerling potatoes, fava beans, lemon salsa and the satureja herb cream. See the entire menu here.
I’m still doing my travel throwbacks blog series, and today’s post is about a charming town in the heart of South Africa that’s causing quite a stir on the culture map, for its chain of new pop-up boutiques, small business and trendy outdoor events.
Clarens is a small town situated in the foothills of The Maluti Mountains in the Free State province of South Africa and nicknamed the “Jewel of the Eastern Free State“. It was established in 1912 and named after the town of Clarens in Switzerland where exiled Paul Kruger spent his last days.
This post is for the foodies! I rarely blog about food… but every time I find a hidden gem in South Africa, I feel compelled to write about it on The Starlit Path. Seeing as I’m into the second week of my travel series doing throwbacks to awesome travels last year, I figured I would include this.
Highlight on The Saxon Hotel Brunch, South Africa
At the heart of the City of Gold, beneath the warm sunshine in the opulent, tree-lined suburb of Sandhurst, lies the enchanting Saxon Hotel.
A uniquely perfect blend of rich cultural history and contemporary five-star service, the Saxon is situated on ten acres of magnificent indigenous gardens, providing a private and peaceful retreat like no other.
One of the leading hotels of the world, The Saxon Hotel offers a Sunday brunch in its opulent “Qunu” room or on its Fig Terrace every Sunday from 11:30am-2:30pm.
They have a unique Springbok, Egg + Parma Ham main dish – with South African Springbok meat a popular choice for tourists!
I like to do a ghost walk in every city I visit. I’ve done so many + I expect I’ll do more… which is why I’m starting a ghost series on this blog for suggestions + tips for the spookiest activities I find – perhaps in a city near you! My most memorable ghost walks have been in Charleston, Denver, Washington, San Antonio, Boulder, New York and York (arguably the bloodiest history of them all!). Above, a photo as I began my walk on a warm summer evening last year.
I also find it fascinating visiting cemeteries and graveyards in different cities – the most memorable being where Margaret Mitchell (author of Gone With The Wind) is buried in Atlanta. See pictures here of her tombstone.
I can say I have only been haunted once (extremely scary) in Leadville, Colorado. It was at The Delaware Hotel ($130 a night). I also had a creepy experience at The Stanley Hotel in Boulder (where The Shining was written – linked above).
The architecture of its 38 colleges in the city’s medieval center led poet Matthew Arnold to nickname it the ‘City of Dreaming Spires’.
On Your To-Do List
+ Where the famous “Oxford Martyrs” were hanged in Oxford in 1555 + 1556. The three martyrs were the Anglican bishops Hugh Latimer, Nicholas Ridley and Thomas Cranmer (the Archbishop of Canterbury). They were tried for heresy in 1555 and burnt at the stake for their religious beliefs and teachings. Latimer and Ridley were burnt on 16 October 1555. Cranmer was burnt five months later on 21 March 1556
+ The “Great Hall” from Harry Potter at Christ Church College
+ Christ Church Meadow, beside Christ Church Cathedral. Uniquely in the Church of England, it serves as both College Chapel and Mother Church for the Diocese of Oxford.
*Check out quirky photos from Oxford in my other post here
Amazing Facts About Oxford
Oxford has more published writers per square mile than anywhere else in the world!
Best selling authors with links to Oxford include:
+ Lewis Carroll, 1832-1898 – author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass as well as the poems The Hunting of the Snark and Jabberwocky.
+ JRR Tolkein, 1892-1973 – author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
+ CS Lewis, 1898-1963 – author of The Chronicles of Narnia. CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien were close friends and both were Dons at Oxford University. They were also part of the Oxford literary group known as the ‘Inklings’ who could commonly be found discussing literature in the Eagle and Child and Lamb and Flag pubs on St Giles during their time in Oxford.
Step through 2,000 years of history with one visit to this house of dreams, where rooms are set up and furnished to mirror the grand styles from medieval times to the early 1900’s.
Opposite the spectacular York Minster Cathedral, and nearby the iconic Shambles in the city center of York, lies “The Treasurer’s House”. Named after the treasurer of York Minster and built over a Roman road. It dates back to 1091. The gardens are absolutely thriving in summer and access to the York City Wall is nearby.
This week I’m running a series of throwback travel adventures from trips I took in 2018. I’ve written about my time at Middlethorpe Hall – an elegant country house in York – as well as trips I took to York + Oxford in England. Coming up are adventures I had in Lesotho – a self-enclosed Kingdom within the borders of South Africa – as well as New York and Newport, Rhode Island.
Today is all about an outstanding castle in York – a Norman castle with a bloody past built by William the Conqueror. I hope you enjoy this article + please give requests or feedback – any specific travel destinations you want me to write about? Through the last 10 years I’ve give you photos and travel tips + info on over 52 cities – you can browse them by clicking the tab along the top labeled “Blog”. (more…)