Category Archives: Spain

Weekly Photo Challenge: Grand


Weekly Photo Challenge: Grand

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.

The Moon on Earth.  Lanzarote Island, part of the Canary islands

The Moon on Earth. Lanzarote Island, part of the Canary islands

 

I Missed Seeing The Barbers In Seville


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.

The Carpet Leads to the Amadeus

The Carpet Leads to the Amadeus

Hotel Amadeus

Hotel Amadeus (Photo credit: amycgx)

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.

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Seville Cathedral

The Tomb of Christopher Columbus

The Tomb of Christopher Columbus

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.

The Interior

The Interior

We climbed to the top of the tower, which gives some spectacular views of a great city.

The View From The Tower

The View From The Tower

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 Residence Area of The Alcazar

The Residence Area of The Alcazar

The Grounds at the Alcazar

The Grounds at the Alcazar

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.

The View From the Rooftop Bar at Hotel Amadeus

The View From the Rooftop Bar at Hotel Amadeus

Ambience in Seville

Ambience in Seville

Dining With A View

Dining With A View

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??

Weekly Photo Challenge: Carefree


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.

Carefree

Carefree

Weekly Photo Challenge: Masterpiece


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.

The Hills Around Ravello

The Hills Around Ravello

This next photo wass taken in Montserrat, Spain.  Absolutely stunning scenery.  If you are in Barcelona, you MUST go to Montserrat.

Montserrat From The Townsite

Montserrat From The Town-site

And from above

Looking Down On Montserrat

Looking Down On Montserrat

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Pattern


This week we have The Weekly Photo Challenge: Pattern.  We have seen a lot of patterns in our travels, clouds, lights, architecture, but, to date, we have seen nothing more interesting than the Mezquita de Córdoba in Cordoba, Spain.  A unique structure that melds a mosque, converted to a cathedral.  Originally started as a church, it was converted to a mosque after the Moors conquered this part of Spain.  It was largely rebuilt and then, when the area was retaken by the Spanish, it was again converted to a church.    A very interesting background and a stunning combination of various architecture.

Mezquita de Córdoba

Mezquita de Córdoba

Mezquita de Córdoba

Mezquita de Córdoba

Weekly Photo Challenge: Lost in the Details


For this challenge I have to return to La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain.  The façade is amazing, to the point that it is almost impossible to do it justice in a photo.  I sat, staring for the better part of an hour trying to take it in, without success.  Very inspiring, very beautiful and hard to imagine the thought, time and effort that was utilized to create it.

Sagrada Familia Facade

Sagrada Familia

Full Facade

 

The Skaters Of Seville


 

Seville Spain

Seville Spain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As Canadians, we love all things skating.  We were wandering the streets of Seville,when we came upon this scene.  Quite interesting.  As we watched, the crowd got bigger, the skating got better and the busking part came out.  All in all, easy stuff on ice, not so easy on wheels.  Author’s note: first time playing with Movie Maker, forgive me as I learn.

It’s Tolaydo, Not Toleeedo, That’s In Ohio


After Lisbon, we headed for Toledo. We flew Lisbon to Madrid, caught a cab at the airport to head to the train station and then a high-speed train to Toledo.  A trains, planes and automobile kind of day.

The highlights, the longest (and easiest) walk up a mountain, the greatest Sangria ever and an introduction to Spanish cathedrals.

They do train stations right here.

Toledo Train Station
Toledo Train Station

It seems they know how to do hotels as well. Hostal Del Cardenal

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We had lunch at a little place called La Boveda and experienced the best sangria ever.  The recipe includes, Gin, Cognac, Martini & Rossi, sugar, red wine, lemon juice, portion to taste,  wow.  Lunch was good to, but it tasted better after each pull on the sangria.

Lunch in Toledo
Lunch in Toledo

To reach the town from the hotel, we had to scale a mighty mountain.  It was tough as we had to walk from the top of one escalator to the bottom of the next one.  Exhausting.

Toledo Escalator

And of course, the cathedral.

The Cathedral
The Cathedral

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Illumination


The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is a beautiful example of what well thought out lighting can do.

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Our Memoriam to Dale Rempel


On our arrival in Lisbon. Portugal, we were saddened to be informed that my cousin Lynn’s husband Dale had succumbed to cancer.

Keeping in mind that we are not Catholic, and neither are Dale and Lynn, we decided on a proper tribute (we think) in that we were in Spain and Portugal, both of which have a multitude of beautiful cathedrals.  We decided we would light a candle in remembrance in each cathedral we visited.

Out travels now took us to Montserrat, Barcelona and Funchal in the Madeira Islands.

Our first candle on this part of the trip was lit in Funchal, the capital of the Madeira Islands.  The church is The Church Of our Lady of Monte.

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The interior of Church of our Lady of Monte in Funchal.

Our next opportunity was in Barcelona.  We actually visited 2 churches here and lit a candle in each. The first was the iconic Sagrada Familia.  This first shot is of the interior.

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This is one of the exterior.

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Our next stop was Cathedral of Santa Eulalia, or the Barcelona Cathedral.  Another amazing structure.

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A candle for Dale

Our next visit was Montserrat, a hillside monastery.  We visited 2 churches here.  the first was a chapel that we had to first take a cable car and then walk a couple of miles along the mountain to get to.  The Capella de la Santa cova.

Capella de la Santa cova
Capella de la Santa cova

People left articles here in remembrance as well as candles.  We left these seashells on a bench.  Please look for them if you are ever there.

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Our last stop was the Santa Maria de Montserrat, the main basilica.

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This was the last candle that we lit.  We will miss you Dale.

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