No rest for the weary. Not on my watch.

London Redux – 1 week in the capital – An assortment of things, part 2 One afternoon, I dragged Mum and my sister from Westminster Station to the Southbank to walk along the Thames and take pictures of iconic sites. We got to the Waterloo Bridge, not quite getting to St. Paul’s as I had planned,…

What to do if you think you’ve seen it all (in London)

London Redux – 1 week in the capital – Things to do that are not the Tower, Big Ben, or a museum With my family off to see the Tower of London, I embarked on a mystery photography tour of London’s old city conducted by Hairy Goat Photography Tours and Adventure. As a budding digital…

Imparting a love of the dreaming spires

London Redux – 1 week in the capital – A train trip to Oxford If anything, I had to help my family understand why I loved Oxford. We took a train from Paddington Station out to the City of Dreaming Spires, and I started our tour with a walk through Cornmarket Street to St. Aldate’s and…

How to approach the electric kettle: A guide for Americans

London Redux – 1 week in the capital – An assortment of things, part 1 My sister and I have been convinced for awhile that we must be part British. I’ve known for awhile that I must be – or, at the very least, I should be. I’ve had this feeling since I was about thirteen….

The heights of Montjuïc and an aborted landing at Heathrow

Un viaje en España – Day 11 – Adios, Barcelona A final day in Spain brought us to the gorgeous heights of Montjuïc, the tallest peak around Barcelona. It was an easy trek there – taking the Metro to the funicular rail up to the Montjuïc station. From there, it’s an extra charge to take the…

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…