During the years between 2000 and 2005 I started researching European castles on the web starting with Austria, then Great Britain and France. I also thoroughly researched Germany and Ireland. For years prior to 2000, I pored over books on castles, starting as teenager. When I began to formulate the idea for the Castle Lover's Guides in 2002, after I took a grand tour of a sampling of the best known European castles in 2001 http://www.ilovecastles.com/ , I felt I took on a project that I loved so much that the only help I needed was more books, more research and more information. I'm still making discoveries in these primary five countries I started with- plus I have moved on with my research to Spain, Italy, the Scandinavian countries, The Holy Land and so on...
I know this will be a lifetime project now. I didn't realize that when I started out. I need to find out if I might have a team out there (come on kids, you can do it!) ready to commit their lives to this project like I have. The reason why I say this now, is because I have come to realize what this undertaking is in full scope. I can say, unequivocally, that most likely someone will have to take up this cause like I have, eventually, and carry it to the completion I envisioned five years ago.
The countries I set my mind to are: Austria, Belgium, England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Holland, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway. In all, twenty one countries and because some of these guides will combine countries, there will be approximately seventeen Castle Lover's Guide Books when I am finished. Videos may be a part of the series as well. It is the next logical step so that people can really get a feel for the magnificence of these marvelous structures we call castles!
I haven't included Eurasia or Asian castles yet. This isn't to say I didn't have the intention of doing so. As a matter of fact, I have a wonderful and beautiful post card collection of Chinese temples and palaces. I'm sure they would be an absolute delight to visit, photograph and write about and bring to American homes. I don't know if I could live long enough to do all this. I'm certain that just the countries I've slated will take up my whole life. In essence, it already did and I'm waiting for someone to "see what I see".
Very recently I typed the word castles into a new search engine on the web (http://www.quintura.com/) and saw that there are now 14,200,000 pages on castles alone! It may possibly be one of the top subjects on the internet so I know that the interest must be there. Here's the question: Is it a mild interest, or a passing one or do you people love castles as much as I do? Talk to me!
I am convinced that the only way that someone can understand my passion is to go visit a few European or Asian castles. On your next vacation please check out some castles- the real McCoys please!- and then tell me how you feel. I think you're never going to be the same. I'm banking on it!
The Castle Lady, with enthusiastic kisses and best wishes!