Gaudí and the Gothic

Un viaje en España – Day 10 – Barcelona After a visit again to Parc Güell, this time to actually enter into the park and the monument, we spied the famous Gaudí salamander sculpture and the undulating, not god-less lines of the monument’s seating arrangement overlooking Parc Güell’s architecture. The rainbow-coloured broken ceramic tiles shunted sunlight around…

So Gaudí

Un viaje en España – Day 9 – Barcelona The first morning in Barcelona brought us to Parc Güell, further north of where we were staying near the Gran Via in the L’Eixample neighborhood. It was cool (relatively cool in the mid-80s F, which was a far cry from 115’F in Seville), overcast, and spitting…

Sunsets and Americana in Valencia

Un viaje en España – Days 7 & 8 – From Granada to Barcelona in two days Valencia We were heading toward Barcelona – the last and final stop on our road trip – but needed a place to stop over between Granada and Barcelona, as the drive was much too far for one day…

Tales of the Alhambra

Un viaje en España – Day 6 – Alhambra and El Albayzín, Granada  “Perhaps there never was a monument more characteristic of an age and people than the Alhambra; a rugged fortress without, a voluptuous palace within; war frowning from its battlements; poetry breathing throughout the fairy architecture of its halls.” Washington Irving, Tales of the Alhambra, 1832…

You spin me right Ronda, baby, right round

Un viaje en España – Day 5 – From Seville to Ronda to Granada  Ronda We left the heat of Seville and headed up into the mountains near Ronda, Spain, to see the beautiful El Tajo Gorge and the Puente Nuevo (New Bridge), which replaced Puente Viejo (Old Bridge) in 1793, when it was completed…

Seville and the ungodly heat

Un viaje de España – Days 3 & 4 – Onward to Seville We left Cordoba after visiting the Mezquita and the patios in the morning. It was after having lunch that we boarded our VW, squeezed out of Cordoba, and headed onward to where one can find Chicago winter drivers in Spain – Seville….

Cordoban patios and the Mezquita

Un viaje en España – Day 2 – Patios of Cordoba and the Mezquita After a glorious hotel breakfast, we started our short day in Cordoba with one of its considerable gems – the patios. Although these patios were part of private residences in the historical section of town, some patios were open year round to…

The narrow perils of driving in Spain

Un viaje en España – Day 1 – Arriving in Madrid Summer break. There are no two sweeter words to a teacher. I wasted no time. By the next morning after school was out, bright and so not cheerful at 4 AM, the taxi driver arrived to pick me and my friend/comrade-in-crime and take us to…

A voice in the darkness

Will travel for tulips – Day 8 – Anne Frank Huis I read The Diary of Anne Frank for the first time, like many people, as an eighth grade student. It was required for my social studies class. I encountered Anne Frank again as I became a language arts teacher, requiring it as a reading assignment for…

Legends, lore, and little hidden gems of Amsterdam

Will travel for tulips – All the days – Keeping Amsterdam Weird Like I said before, I used the I AMsterdam card like I was mad at it. I would recoup my Euros even if my legs gave out trying to get to yet another location where the card meant I could get in for free. Amsterdam…

Tiptoe through the tulips

Will travel for tulips – Day 5 – How to spend a day in the land of tulips I thought I’d only spend a half-day at the Keukenhof. It’s only tulips, I thought, and how can I spend an entire day just looking at tulips? Easily, it seems. It was the most relaxing, happy, contented, non stressful…

Then I paint my dreams

Will travel for tulips – Days 4 & 7 combined – SO. Much. Art. I dream of painting, and then I paint my dreams – Van Gogh The Rijksmuseum and Museumplein were so easily accessible by tram. In fact, you could stay most places in the city and be within reach of a tram line. Many…