Archive for December, 2008

~why are these kids smiling~

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

He spent whole days and nights over his books; and thus with little sleeping and much reading his brains dried up to such a degree that he lost the use of his reason…he was spurred on by the conviction that the world needed his immediate presence. We hightailed it from the southern coast, through Andalusia […]

~cádiz & seville~

Monday, December 29th, 2008

Our hosts in Andalusia were an old friend of Alfonso and his wife, who is native to Cadiz, of the town Sanlucar de Barrameda. Upon our arrival we were thus treated to a party of adults and kids, a reunion of sorts for the high school girlfriends of our host and their menfolk and children. […]

~¡él me está volviendo loco!~

Sunday, December 28th, 2008

click on image to expand. As the kids at home may recall, the premise of this trip was to cover 6000 km within Spain and Portugal in sixteen days. This meant an extreme amount of driving, even for the cruise-happy Euro explorers we’ve become. Here are some photographs of the Cadiz Province, and the town […]

~ruta de los pueblos blanchos~

Sunday, December 28th, 2008

A friend who knows us well advised that we skip all on our itinerary and simply head to Andalucía and check out, among other things, the White Villages. The region is fat with olive, orange and cork groves, the landscape scrubby, the architecture and food a lovely blend of Spanish and Moroccan. In hindsight I […]

~tener duende~

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

Parque Natural de Alcornocales (Cork Oak Trees). Notice the numbers on the trees, which are stripped at the base. A five-man gang traveling the forest in a nine-year cycle carefully harvests the cork. Once loaded, a tap on the back sends their burros unaccompanied to the factory. We had been traveling in Portugal in what […]

~the laugh heard around the world~

Friday, December 26th, 2008

View of River Tejo from our hotel window. click on image to expand A few things I have learned on this trip: 1. When looking for budget accommodations over “the holidays” in Europe one can’t always be too choosy. 2. One should always be somewhat choosy because 3. Counting the hours left to endure in […]

~iberian treasure hunt~

Thursday, December 25th, 2008

I promised you Fado (the melancholy musical genere named after Fate), and Fado you shall have, or at least the town that is famous for it: Lisbon. Lisbon is also a city famously destroyed in an earthquake (suspected Richter 9) followed by a tsunami and fires spread by toppled cathedral candles on November 1, 1755. […]

~christmas eve at the barton fink hotel~

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

We began Christmas Eve day with breakfast at the Barton Fink Hotel (aka Grande Hotel de Paris), an incredible labyrinth ghostship with massive banister staircases, floor upon floor of guest rooms with libraries and sitting rooms decorated in a jumble of faintly dilapidated 1900s furniture. The view from our window showed abandoned buildings all around, […]

~porto: capital of suadade~

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

This pretty much sums it up. View from Dom Luís Bridge. Palacio da Bolsa (Stock Exchange Palace) in the distance. Perhaps we should begin by speaking of suadade, which translates from Portuguese “as an inexplicable sense of longing, an unnamed and enigmatic yearning of the soul…” (from Nick Cave’s Love Song lecture, Vienna, 1999.) What, […]

~galicia: a perfect day~

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

Some traveling experiences are simply perfect. This day was one of them, flowing from one lovely bit to the next, the sum even greater than the parts. Lacking the innocence of greenhorn travelers we thanked our lucky stars. We had hardly a notion how much we’d come to appreciate this day. (cue foreboding music here) […]

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