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Granada: Albaicin and The Alhambra

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Granada: Albaicin and The Alhambra In the south of Spain, perched high amidst a town built between mountain peaks lies a quaint Spanish town home to sprawling castle that is the jewel in the crown of Spanish-Moorish influenced architecture. The Alhambra. Granada, in and of itself, is a complete jewel of a city. It sprawls over the tops of the nearby hills and the gypsy caves beneath the Albaicin neighborhood are rumored to be the real source of passionate Flamenco. I stayed in the Albaicin while in Granada, in the heart of the old town, a stone's throw from a square famous for it's free (with drink purchase) Tapas and impromptu Flamenco dance, guitar and vocal performances. As my host said: You come to E-spain. You want Flamenco. You want Tapas. Do not pay for it. You come here, to the Albaicin. Right here you sit. You have a drink. You eat Tapas free. You hear the music free. Why pay?" Why indeed? After you've spent an evening not paying for food or entertainment, take a stroll down the hill (okay, so it's not really as much a stroll as a hike) and up another and spend a day exploring The Alhambra palaces and the Generalife. Portions of this palace rival the beauty and intricacy of Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. If you visit in the summer, be sure to head back up into Albaicin by nine or ten pm, and get to one of the many overlooks to watch the colors change over the castle at sunset. If you visit in spring or fall, when the days are short, take the evening tour of the grounds and gardens for a beautifully-lit visual feast. … continue reading

Seville: Flamenco

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Seville: Flamenco There are a few things you must do during a visit to Seville: Visit the Cathedral (where Christopher Columbus is buried). See La Giralda and perhaps climb to the top. Tour the Alcazar royal residence. And finally, you must see a live Flamenco performance. There are many, many places in the city that offer … continue reading

Sleepless in Seville

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Sleepless in Seville I rolled into Seville in my silver Skoda in the early evening. It was June, the temperatures were blazing and the days so long that night might as well have not bothered showing up at all. At first glance, Seville was absolutely nothing like what I'd imagined it would be. There were no quaint, picturesque … continue reading

Driving Spain

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Driving Spain I had really convinced myself that I would take a train around Spain. Well, first, a long time ago, I convinced myself I would walk from Southern France to the Western coast of Spain. In fact, the reason I purchased the suitcases I did was with this in mind. But plans change. Especially when you really don't bother … continue reading

On to Madrid

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On to Madrid After spending a month in Florence I was ready for someplace new. I'd thought all along, that once I reached Italy I'd stay a while. You know, go south to Rome, visit Capri and Pompeii and eat pizza in Napoli. But something happened. I just knew I needed to go and spend some time serving in an LDS temple. The nearest … continue reading

One Year

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One Year I've been such a slacker about updating this blog lately. For that you have my apologies, and my promise that I'll *try* to do better. I've got a ton to tell you all about. Firstly, tomorrow is the ONE YEAR Anniversary of my departure from my home in Northern California. I flew to Orange County, where I spent a few days … continue reading