On a recent rip to the Canary Islands, we took a tour of the island of Lanzarote. The island is about 80 miles off the coast of Africa and is an autonomous province of Spain. The island has been inhabited by Europeans since the 14th century. It was devastated by a volcanic eruption in 1730, which lasted until 1736. Most of the island was covered by lava and ash, creating this landscape. A very interesting tour.
We last left off in Toledo in our Iberian adventure. Hard to believe this trip was a year ago. We left Toledo via train, heading back to Madrid to make another train to Seville. Arriving in Seville, we caught a cab to our home for the next few nights, the Hotel Amadeus. Situated right in the heart of the old city, it is quite stunning. We spent 3 wonderful days and nights here, with a few side trips. We tend to do B&B’s when we travel, but they seemed to be in short supply here, ergo a hotel. No regrets on this one.
Not surprisingly, Seville has both a major cathedral and a Moorish Alcazar. First the cathedral, an awe-inspiring structure that is known for the tomb of Christopher Columbus. The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See, constructed in the years between 1402 and 1506, is a recommended spot. Not the oldest cathedral we’ve been in, but one of the most impressive. It is the 3rd largest cathedral in the world and a UNESCO world heritage site (stroke this one off the list). Let’s let the pictures do the talking from here.
The size and majesty of this building can be understood just a bit by this perspective shot. This is only a small section of the cathedral.
We climbed to the top of the tower, which gives some spectacular views of a great city.
Close by, and making up part of a magnificent monument centred old part of the city is the Alcazar. Of Moorish construction dating back to the 10th century, it consists of a former residence and some beautiful gardens and grounds.
The city is filled with excellent restaurants and Tapas places. A few recommendations? Really just one, La Taberna Poncio is our favourite. If we had discovered this place on the first night, we never would have tried anywhere else. The food was great, the service spectacular. A thoroughly enjoyable experience. After this, every else was just good and kind of touristy. Poncio was basically locals and very Spanish. There was a bit of a language issue, which again spoke to the atmosphere. Highly recommended by Lori and I. A few photos from places we sat down at. Hard to find a place without a great setting.
We decided to stay an extra day here, but could not stay at the Amadeus, meaning we had to find alternative lodging. This leads to a bit of advice. DO NOT STAY at the Hotel Alcazar. Supposedly a 3 star, more like a 2 star. Not as advertised, but any port in a storm.
We leave you with a video that I posted once before. I call it the Skaters of Seville. Canadians have an interest in skating, a genetic thing, and love to do and watch it, on wheels or blades. We had some fun watching these people. Maybe there is hope for Spanish Ice Hockey??
Today I try the newest challenge from WordPress. The Weekly Photo Challenge : From Lines To Pattern. I took this photo at St Pancras Station in London, UK. This is where the Eurostar arrives and departs in London. A great mixture of old and new. It is also the station that Harry Potter uses to go to Hogwarts.
This week’s challenge – Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual POV. I chose this photo taken from a canal boat in Amsterdam. The city has about 1200 bridges, most similar to these. This makes for some stunning views as you traverse these routes, especially where they join, as in this shot.
This weeks photo challenge is simply titled, Weekly Photo Challenge: Sea. Those who follow me know that I have an affinity for the ocean, and may expect a shot of us sailing the Caribbean or something. Not happening. The shot I have chosen was taken in Eastbourne, UK in 2008. Eastbourne is on the English Channel. We were along the beach, when I noticed Lori’s young cousin standing on a pylon staring off into the sea. I always liked this picture and am happy to have had this opportunity to post it here. She captures almost exactly what I feel like when I am on or beside the sea. The sheer power of the ocean, and the peace it usually has is awe-inspiring and at the same time, contemplative.
The task this week from WordPress is “Weekly Photo Challenge: Carefree”. This was especially hard to come up with something. I mean. 9 bajillion pictures and finding one that epitomizes carefree, a toughie. Then I ran across this beauty from our trip into Barcelona in October 2012. We were at a restaurant with some friends from the UK, when, quite suddenly, a pretty good thunderstorm rolled in. We were seated outdoors, under a bit of a covered part of the sidewalk. Wasn’t helping a lot, so we backed off closer to the walls of the building. John decided to stick it out, showing not a care as he downed his tea in the driving rain. Check the pounding rain on the pavement on the street, and a few very wet people. Classic.
I took these pictures while the cruise ship we were on was departing Funchal in the Madeiras. No idea what ship it was, but it was clearly a replica of some significance. An amazing sight on the open Atlantic.
I chose these pictures for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Masterpiece as I love scenery and consider it both man’s masterpieces of creation complimenting the natural beauty of many vistas. The first is photo taken in Ravello, Italy. It shows the creativity of man, building homes and agriculture in nearly impossible locations.
This next photo wass taken in Montserrat, Spain. Absolutely stunning scenery. If you are in Barcelona, you MUST go to Montserrat.
We all love castles. Waaaay back in 2008, we did a road trip through a bit of southwest England with Lori’s cousins from the UK. As we tend to move through places based on the book “1000 Places To See Before You Die”, and it has yet to steer us wrong, we decided to squeeze in a side trip to Warwick Castle. We had spent the night in Stratford-On-Avon and were heading to Milton Keynes to meet some friends of Lori’s mother. Warwick was a bit off path and we did not have a lot of time.
Now I have to make a bit of an admission. By the time we got there and knowing how much time we needed, we figured out that we could not tour the castle. We barely had time to get there. So time to come clean. We did a drive-by. Hanging out the window of the car, straining for a glimpse between buildings and trees, we managed to take a couple of quick pictures. We then decided, good enough, had a major laugh and stroked it off the list. Not really, as we will be back there someday, but we can at least pretend. Crazy Canuck tourists.