Category Spain

Barcelona, Day 1 – Room and board

A few months ago, when Amanda and I were in the hotel-reservations phase of trip planning, Amanda’s mom, Susan, offered to set up reservations at a Renaissance hotel where she had stayed on a recent trip to Barcelona.  At the time we (or, at least, I) had felt some hesitation.  We were up to our […]

Valencia, Day 2 – Michelin stars with a view

To condole ourselves for having missed out on a Michelin-starred dinner the night before, we made lunch reservations at Vertical.  Not only did it have a Michelin star and rave reviews, it was also conveniently located at the top of a swank tower very near the City of Arts and Sciences.  By the time we had finished admiring the […]

Valencia, Day 2 – Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias

Just as the Alhambra motivated our visit to Granada, the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias motivated our trip to Valencia.  Built in the late 1990s in the former bed of the Turia river (which ran through downtown Valencia until the 1960s, when it was diverted after major flooding).  The uber-modern architecture is exciting […]

Valencia, Day 1 – Not quite Michelin

The drive from Granada to Valencia was long, SO LONG!!  We left shortly after 2pm and arrived around 8:30pm — by then I was more than ready to be done driving.  Not that it wasn’t a fun road trip, as road trips go:  We traveled through picturesque countryside, with mountains, valleys and little plaines.  Castles […]

Granada – More than just the Alhambra?

We came to Granada to see the Alhambra, and that’s what we did:  We got in first thing in the morning, visited until early afternoon, and then left after a quick lunch.  Our itinerary didn’t permit a longer stay (not unless we wanted to sacrifice beach time in Barcelona), but we regretted leaving the city […]

Granada – The Generalife

One thing I had read about the Generalife (a summer palace adjacent to the Alhambra) is that the gardens there are the closest thing on this earth to the Koran’s description of heaven.  After seeing those gardens, I must say that they make a very good case for converting to Islam.  Everything about them is exquisite — the fountains, […]

Granada – Palace of Charles V

As I mentioned in the Alhambra post, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V built a Renaissance palace on the grounds of the Alhambra.  The most remarkable feature is the giant circular courtyard (some people think it was meant to have a dome).  The Renaissance style is very different from the medieval Islamic architecture of the Alhambra […]