Lion's Arch - the long way
So I made it to Lions arch without following the missions. It wasn't too tough after all. Apart from a detour (see below) the hardest mobs I had to beat were some lvl 17 skale in Northern Kryta. By the time I got there I was level 14 with 5 lvl 10 henchmen and we breezed through. Mind you it took a long time - it would probably have been quicker to do the missions.
I have to say I am seriously impressed by the new smarter henchmen. The healer (Aleysia) seems to be 10 times better at staying alive and is pretty on the ball when it comes to healing. At one stage we accidentally wandered into a high level area called Lornar's Pass. Me (lvl 13) and my 5 henchmen (lvl 10) were immediately confronted with four mobs ranging from lvl 22 to lvl 24!!!. Amazingly we survived and beat them. Mind you I got over confident then and was soon eaten alive by some terrifying monster worms which literally exploded out of the ground under our feet. It was all worth it though - I managed to snag a golden sword from a chest which I think I'll be able to sell for 20,000G. I'm rich!!!,
Lion's Arch is all decked out for the return of the Mad King on the 31st of October. Many of his followers seem to have turned into animals or monsters. Its all very jolly. Mind you there is serious money to be made selling the collectable items which can be traded for novelty Halloween gifts.