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Spain & Portugal Travel Articles

Travel notes and articles for Spain and Portugal. Articles posted must be approved by the Admin before they are published.
Over the last six years, my husband and I have had several extended stays in Barcelona. During the winters of 2017 and 2018, we rented an apartment for six weeks or more during the period of January through early March. There are many well-known sites in Barcelona and I will not focus on them, instead, I will try to share a few of my favorite restaurants, shops, resources for finding lesser-known fun and interesting things to do, and other tips on “living” in Barcelona. We have always stayed...
 
Imagine staying in the oldest hotel in the world, an ancient castle, a Moorish fortress, a sixteenth century palace, or even an old jail. Then, imagine staying inside one of these historical sites for a very affordable price, so affordable that it is easy to indulge in a fine dinner of local specialties and an after-dinner snifter or three of good Spanish brandy. Paradores de Turismo de Espana In Spain, imagination can become reality. The Paradores de Turismo de Espana are a network of...
 
If you are going to be visiting Spain, and if you love to eat and drink, you are going to be very happy. Spain is one of the top food and wine destinations in the world, and for good reason. You can start eating early in the day and continue to eat into the wee hours of the morning. You can eat and drink in all price ranges, from practically free in some tapas bars to a small fortune in Michelin starred restaurants. When to Eat The Spanish start their day with desayuno (breakfast) of...
 
El Capricho de Gaudi, Comillas, Cantabria - An early example of Gaudi's architechural vision. Antoni Gaudi is best known for his architectural wonders in Catalonia. However, he did accept and complete commissions in other parts of Spain. Some are the Bishop's Palace in Astorga, the Casa de los Botines in Leon and El Capricho in Comillas. The house and grounds are an early work. It was built between 1883 and 1885 as a summer home for Maximo Diaz de Quijano, a merchant and music lover. Gaudi...
 
Albarracin, Teruel Province, Aragon - one of Spain's most beautiful villages. Location: about 40 kms. West of the City of Teruel Albarracin is always included in travel columns' “top 10” lists. Its designation stems from its location, harmonious architecture and historical significance. We visited in Spring and the cherry blossoms in the plazas around town enhanced the beauty of the place. Also it was early enough in the season that there were no crowds during the weekdays. Also early...
 
Belchite Viejo, Aragon - the ruins a a town ravaged by the Spanish Civil War. Location: about 50 Kms south from Zaragoza in Aragon; 41o18'04.74''N 0o44'55.24''W While traveling from Cardona to Albarracin we stopped at Belchite, near Zaragoza. Belchite is a sleepy rural town. However, we came to visit Belchite Viejo, a town left in ruins by the Spanish Civil War. In an effort to halt Nationalist force's advance Republican forces attacked and occupied Belchite in 1937. Members of the...
 
Explore an important trading centre of ancient Rome. Location: The entrance to the ruins is approximately 100 Kms south from Cadiz; 200 Kms west of Malaga and 75 Kms west of Gibraltar. The nearest town Is Bolonia. 36o5'23.32''N 5o46'16.25''W. The Site Baelo Claudia was an important trading centre in the Roman Empire. Its chief exports were garum, a fermented fish sauce, and salted tuna. The city flourished between the 1st and 3rd centuries C.E. In the 3rd century earthquakes and pirate...
 
Conimbriga, Portugal's best preserved Roman Ruins. Location: Conimbriga is located approximately 15 Kms south of Coimbra at 40o05'54.32''N 8o29'25.90''W. It is in the municipality of Condeixa-a-Nova. If one is interested in Roman ruins then a stop at Conimbriga is a must. On a road trip between Porto and Lisbon it is only a short detour off the A1. The modest museum exhibits artifacts unearthed at the site and tells the story of life in a Roman colonial city. The site itself was...
 
Tomar, a small town in Central Portugal that hosts 2 remarkable festivals and a Templar building. Location: Tomar is located about 150 kms north of Lisbon; 30 kms south east of Fatima at 39o36'13.21''N 8o25'03.08''W. In an otherwise unremarkable country town, there is a remarkable massive fortified convent/monastery the Convento do Cristo. Each Spring (usually in April) the town hosts the Templar Tuna Festival. University musical societies compete serenading their “loved” ones. Free...

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