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January 30, 2016

Spain: Caceres


 

Plaza Mayor de Cáceres

Plaza Mayor de Cáceres

The Romans founded Cáceres Spain in 25 BC. Following the Romans, the Barbarians, the Visigoths, the Moors, and the Christians occupied Cáceres. Through it all Cáceres’ medieval quarter has remained remarkably intact. Today UNESCO recognizes historic Cáceres for its blend of Roman, Moorish, Northern Gothic and Italian Renaissance architecture. (more…)

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Portugal: Elvas


The aqueduct in Elvas

The aqueduct in Elvas

About 12 kilometers to the east of the Spanish border is the fortified Portuguese town of Elvas. Elvas was Portugal’s chief frontier fortress south of the Tagus during the Portuguese Restoration War. From the 17th to the 19th Centuries the area was heavily fortified to protect against Spanish invasion. When construction was completed, two forts and several fortified hilltops formed a defensive perimeter around the walled town. (more…)

January 27, 2016

France: Châtillon-sur-Loire


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The Briare Aqueduct carries the Canal lateral à la Loire over the Loire River. On the southwestern side of the river, the canal turns to the southeast and about five kilometers later arrives in Châtillon-sur-Loire. (more…)

Château de La Bussière


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On a patch of water 15 km from Briare is Château de La Bussière, otherwise known as the Château des Pêcheurs, the château of the fishermen. The château gets its nickname from its avid fisherman former owner. Today the structure houses a collection of objects on the theme of freshwater fishing. It is an interesting and different side trip for those visiting the Centre-Val de Loire Region. (more…)

January 19, 2016

France: Shopping for Food

Filed under: Architecture, Europe, Food, France, Photography, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , — anotherheader @ 5:13 am

Inside a covered market

Inside a covered market

When it comes to buying food in France, there are choices. The smallest villages, if they have any shopping, might only have a mini-market or two, the last resort of a desperate shopper. Larger communes have supermarchés or the even larger hypermarchés, superstores that combine a supermarket with a department store. Supermarchés and hypermarchés are becoming increasingly popular with the French and are pushing the traditional options, the local butchers, bakers and weekly markets out of business. (more…)

January 18, 2016

Portugal: Lisbon, Trams and Elevators

Filed under: Architecture, Europe, Photography, Portugal, Travel, Travel, Writing — anotherheader @ 1:02 am

Elevador da Bica, a funicular in Lisbon

Elevador da Bica, a funicular in Lisbon

Lisbon lives up to its nickname, the City of Seven Hills. It is hilly. It seems that everywhere you want to go is directly up a steep hill. Fortunately there are ways that those on foot can avoid the endless climbing. (more…)

Portugal: Lisbon, Tricana


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It is said that Portugal has a love affair with canned fish. It is true. Canned fish is an art form in Lisbon. Numerous shops offer colorful tins of conserved seafood. We found canned fish at the Conserveira de Lisboa stall located at the excellent food court, Time Out Mercardo de Ribeira. (more…)

January 12, 2016

France: Moret-sur-Loing

Filed under: Architecture, Europe, France, Photography, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , — anotherheader @ 5:24 am

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Describing Moret-sur-Loing as picturesque may seem like a cliché. But in reality, Moret has proven to be “suitable for a painting” as the definition of picturesque specifies. The Impressionist painters Monet, Renoir and particularly Sisley have found inspiration in the village. Looking back at Sisley’s paintings of Moret, it appears that not much has changed in the village since his death there in 1899. It is picturesque today much as was in the 19th Century.

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January 11, 2016

Portugal: Lisbon’s Street Art

Filed under: Europe, Photography, Portugal, Street Art, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , — anotherheader @ 5:35 am

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Street art thrives at the edges of modern society. Generally poorer areas get more their share of volunteer art. Undoubtedly some of this is inadvertent editing; the richer areas can afford the cost of cleaning every mark off of a wall as soon as they appear. There’s also the motivation of a larger pool of the young and disenfranchised that use the walls of a city to express themselves. Portugal is and has been one of the poorest countries in Western Europe for decades. Not surprisingly, its capitol Lisbon is a hot bed of street art. (more…)

Portugal: Lisbon, Praça do Comércio


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At the edge of Lisbon’s Baixa district is Praça do Comércio. The expansive plaza is bordered to the south by Tagus estuary. Praça do Comércio was the location of a significant moment in Portuguese history. On 1 February 1908, the square was the scene of the assassination of Carlos I, the penultimate King of Portugal, and his heir Luís Filipe. The assassins were members of the Republican Party that two years later overthrew the Portuguese monarchy. (more…)

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