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December 25, 2018

Spain: San Millán Yuso and Suso Monasteries

The San Millán de Yuso monastery

Leaving San Lorenzo de El Escorial we headed to San Millán de la Cogolla. It was a journey from monastery to monasteries, from the Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial to the Yuso and Suso Monasteries in San Millán. Though both destinations are know for their monasteries and are UNESCO World Heritage sites, they are very different. (more…)

December 23, 2018

Spain: The Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial

The Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial

The Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial is an expansive complex of religious buildings about 26 miles to the northwest of Madrid. El Escorial’s buildings have served many functions. They were used as a monastery, basilica, royal palace, pantheon, library, museum, university, school, hospital, and rotting room. Today the Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial is a popular site for day trip for tourists visiting from Madrid. El Escorial receives over 500,000 visits each year. (more…)

Spain: Toledo

Toledo Spain

A long time ago, twenty-five or thirty years earlier, I had the opportunity to visit Toledo Spain on a day trip. It was an interesting visit though too short. I realized then that there wasn’t enough time to take in this historic city in one day. I vowed I would return and spend at least a night. At the least I assumed it would be quieter and more atmospheric to see Toledo after the day-tripping tourist crowds have departed. (more…)

December 22, 2018

Spain: Madrid, Almudena Cathedral


Inside the Almudena Cathedral

Madrid’s Almudena Cathedral is located across the Plaza de la Armería from the Palacio Real de Madrid, Madrid’s royal palace. It seems the perfect location for a cathedral. It is easy to assume this old church has been at this spot for as long or longer than the palace. But that assumption is incorrect. (more…)

Spain: Madrid, Palacio Real

Palacio Real de Madrid

Built at the site of a 9th-century Moorish fortress, an Alcázar, the Royal Palace of Madrid or Palacio Real de Madrid is said to be the largest functioning royal palace in Europe by floor area. The palace has 1,450,000 sq ft of floor space and 3,418 rooms. It makes Versailles’s mere 721,182 sq ft and 700 rooms seem like an economy château by comparison. (more…)

Spain: Madrid, Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza

“My Young Friend” (Andrew Wyeth)

Madrid is known for its art museums; they rank as some of the very best in the world. When we visited Madrid in November of 2017 we visited the Museo del Prado and the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza. As much as we would have liked, we never managed to fit Madrid’s third major art museum, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, into our schedule, even after we extended our stay to nine nights. We will have to see the Reina Sofia on a return visit to Madrid. (more…)

December 21, 2018

Spain: Madrid, Palacio de Cristal del Retiro

Madrid’s Crystal Palace from the outside

The Palacio de Cristal (“Crystal Palace”) is a garden conservatory located centrally in Madrid’s Buen Retiro Park. It was built in 1887. Astute tourists undoubtedly research all of the places to see in Madrid and head to the Crystal Palace as part of their tour plan. (more…)

December 20, 2018

Spain: Madrid and La Venencia

Filed under: Architecture, Europe, Photography, Spain, Travel, Travel, Wine, Writing — Tags: , , , , , , , — anotherheader @ 7:46 pm

Madrid has some characters on the streets.

In November of 2017 we escaped the cold and wet weather of Burgundy France and headed to warmer and drier Spain. The trip was impromptu with the upcoming destinations planned as we proceeded. After popping around with short stays we decided to stay a little longer in Madrid. Initially we booked the room in the center for six nights. In the end the hotel was comfortable we extended our stay to nine nights. (more…)

Spain: Cuenca

Cuenca’s lower town

Roughly two hours by car to the east of Madrid Spain, the historic fortified city of Cuenca sits on a rocky spine above the Jucar and Huécar rivers. Spanish countryside is not always attractive, but this area of the country, particularly with the changing fall colors, is appealing. It’s a relaxing drive from Zaragoza, save the last section of twisty, difficult to navigate roads climbing up into the old town. Hill towns are generally not easy to drive in. (more…)

Spain: Zaragoza, Art

Filed under: Europe, Photography, Spain, Street Art, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , , , — anotherheader @ 2:23 am

An exhibition of Ignacio Fortún’s work including “Quieres peras o melocotón” was ongoing at Sala de Exposiciones La Lonja when we visited Zaragoza.

Zaragoza isn’t at the very top of the list of cities for museum art lovers. But there are good things to see. (more…)

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