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Wine Region

27 May

We spent last weekend in Oporto, Portugal.  Oporto was beautiful–the city itself was so different from any I’ve ever visited, I kept thinking that it felt as if we had been transported to another century.

And of course we crossed the river to visit the famous bodegas and sample port wines.  My favorite tasting paired four varieties of port with chocolate, I could have spent the rest of the afternoon at Ramos Pinto with my wine and chocolates.

Train station (1)--1Cloisters--5Lello--6 Bodegas--7Majestic--8Majestic interior--9City view--10Ramos Pinto--11Wine and chocolate--12Offley--13Sandeman--14Breakfast--15Dinner--16

Beach Love

10 May

I love, love, love Nerja with all my heart.  So when we put of booking flights to Italy for our break last week and my plans to ride a Vespa through Florence fell through I didn’t mind at all because it meant a trip to Nerja.  We spent hours and hours at the beach and ate all my favorite foods, paella, crepes, and we even made homemade pizza.

A visit to the castle in Salobreña and the festivities for the Fiesta de las Cruces were special vacation highlights!

Balcony

Beach and flowers--1Playing at the beach--2Beach rocks--3Fishermen--4Rock--5Julie and Ayo--6Me and Ayo--7Green street--8Street--9Castle walls--10Santi posing--11In jail--12SeñorasCrepePizzaCalamarSangria

Beach Trip

6 May

We just got home from a long weekend in Nerja, the drive back to the capital from the coast was a little heartbreaking yesterday.

My first priority for the vacation was spending lots of time down at the beach–it’s a luxury to just read a novel or listen to the sound of the waves and nap.

And on Saturday night Santi talked me into a walk to a strawberry patch just outside of town to pick up some fresh berries.  They are, hands down, the best strawberries I’ve ever eaten!

WaterEl salónBoat on beachDusk LunchBox of strawberriesStrawberries

Best Beach

14 Apr

It feels like it’s been ages since Spring Break but we were in Nerja at the beach just a few weeks ago.  Looking through photos of our plates paella makes my mouth water…

Parents, NerjaPaellaParents and paellaBeach viewMe and mom

Out and About in Sevilla

7 Apr

Our time in Sevilla was marked by processions, processions, and then more processions.  We must have witnessed more than half a dozen processions and we also fit in a walk along the river and a morning visit of the Plaza de España.

And I lived a glorious 35 minutes in the Plaza de España after I talked our group into a row boating excursion around the square.  Yes, we were tourists to the max but it was the best time!

Penitents

CruzCruz (2)Palio (1)Palio (2)RiverParkPlaza de España (1)Plaza de España (2)Plaza de España (3)Plaza de España (4)Plaza de España (5)Plaza de España (6)MadridMadrid (Santi)FamilyMe and SantiFamily (2)Palio (1) Rowing (1)Rowing (2)

Cathedral

5 Apr

Our first stop in Sevilla was the Cathedral, the world’s largest according to our trusty guidebook.

We waited in line to enter the church but the visit was worth the wait.  I loved the views of the city from the Giralda and I chalked the climb up the bell tower was as my exercise for the vacation.

Cathedral and palmCathedral exterior-1Ceiling-3Dad-4Stained glass-2TombLa Giralda-4Bells-5City view (1)-6City view (2)-7La MaestranzaCity view (3)-8

Córdoba

2 Apr

We spent less than 24 hours in Córdoba but managed to fit in my two must-dos in the city: a trip to the Mosque-Cathedral and a lunch of salmorejo and rabo de toro.

The Mezquita was the highlight of our day, I loved the sunny patio filled with orange trees.  I would have liked to usher all the tourists out and to have sat down in the shade to read for an hour or two.

And we also witnessed our first procession of Holy Week in front of the church of San Pablo.

Mezquita interior (1)Mezquita interior (2)MeAltarWindowDark windowPatioStreet, CórdobaProcessionProcession entering churchPenitiente