Broken fragments of ice hovered motionlessly over a dreadfully frigid Tagus. It was a somber sight all around; the cheerful Spanish glow I had grown so accustomed to was nowhere in sight. On the ground, brown tamarinds lay trampled and suspended between a state of decay and perpetuity under the morning frost. Suddenly, out from the dense fog, a lone jogger burst forward. Swishing silently past in Stygian polyester tights, he vanished as quickly as he emerged, disappearing down a smoky slope. Had I arrived in Toledo, or had I awakened in Homer’s Meadows of Asphodel? Continue reading “An Ode to Toledo”
A visit to Porto is a galvanizing experience. You’ll notice it as soon as you arrive. It’s the colors that hit you first. Under the rays of a glorious autumn afternoon, hues of cinnabar, tangerine, and lemon twist and twine—and speaking of citruses, does the orange juice here taste…tangier? The steady sound of chatter fills the air, and you feel yourself swelling up with a wave of joie de vivre, a jubilant exultation of simply being. This is a magical peninsula where happiness pursues you, and in the sanguine center of northern Portugal, delight and inspiration drip down every cobbled street. Bem-vindo ao Porto, there’s so much to discover. Continue reading “Porto: An Apéritif for the Senses”
For seekers of eternal sunshine or for those looking to escape the wrath of winter, the islands of Madeira are a balmy sanctuary, far from the grasp of the blistering cold.
Before reaching our final stop in Seville, we made a short detour to Cádiz by the sea. Originally founded by the Phoenicians more than three thousand years ago, Cádiz is one of the oldest European cities still currently inhabited, and the oldest one in Spain. But neither of us knew that when we were there. Sébastien wanted to see Cádiz because it was the setting of a French operetta, La belle de Cadix. And me, I was happy to get a whiff of the ocean breeze… Continue reading “Cádiz & Seville”
Once the capital of Islamic Iberia—or Al-Andalus, from which Andalusia inherits its name—Córdoba was a leading center of culture and science and a jewel of the medieval world. Today, it still beams with beauty. Even in the trough of winter, luscious-looking oranges ripen and release their sweet fragrance under the expanse of a spotless blue sky. Continue reading “New Year’s Eve in Córdoba”
If there’s one country that never ceases to delight and surprise me, it would have to be Spain. The people are warm and welcoming, the dishes—delectable, and there’s an abundance of culture and colors. From the sun-baked sandy stretches of Ibiza to the evergreen forests along the Bay of Biscay, Spain is an experience for every sense. Continue reading “Granada: The Pomegranate City”