Miss Muckenfuss, famous author and spymaster with the RCMPee, is sending her younger sister Heather Matthews on a three month investigation of major crime in Spain and Portugal. It appears there is too much high quality cheese and wine in those countries. Heather Matthews will do her best to investigate the situation.

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto November 11th 2018

Carl’s concert at Coimbra university went really well. He delivered an hour lecture speaking as a musician to the audience of musicians in terms they fully understood. But he also spoke about the zen of shakuhachi. The students learnt that there is more to music than the Western tradition and some were deeply inspired and wanted to purchase a shakuhachi and pursue studies in Japan. Our love for Portuguese Fado brings us again to Coimbra. Fado is medieval and was/is a serenade song. The spirit of Fado is a deep yearning and in that respect it is similar to Japanese Enka. It is in the tiny taverns that you hear the most soulful Fado. Oliveira Salazar, the cruel dictator of Portugal knew that the Fado singers were a danger to his regime. He sent many of ... read more
Carl concert Coimbre
Questions 01 smaller
audience 04

Europe » Portugal » Sintra » Cabo da Roca November 4th 2018

A few more pictures of Evora. Evora was originally Celtic and brutally conquered by the Romans, then the Moors. Évora was wrested from the Moors through a surprise attack by Gerald the Fearless(Geraldo Sem Pavor) in September 1165. The attractive town square was the site of some rather gruesome episodes thanks the the enthusiasm of the Inquisition. The weather turned cold, windy and somewhat wet, still the Cathedrals dripping in stolen gold did not hold a lot of pleasure. But there was an exhibition of thousands of nativity scenes from around the world that ranged from glorious to absurd. In a little workshop, hidden in a far corner, down a winding cobbled alley we found the workshop of a very talented clay sculpture Sericaia pudding is a baked custard with a crunchy top and smothered in ... read more
sintra magic well 06
sintra tower 03
Evora Holy Family 01

Europe » Portugal » Algarve October 18th 2018

This is quite a long post, more than 600 words and 40 pictures, so if you are too busy to read it or look at all the pictures, I totally understand. In Seville we suffered from monument fatigue so we didn't go to any. Religious shops sold naked baby Jesus, which you can dress yourself. The saints and Mary came with elegantly detailed extremities but a wire frame torso and an extensive and expensive wardrobe. But the real magic and the reason we returned to Seville was the Flamenco. It is passionate and powerful. When the gypsies arrived in Andalusia from India round 1425, they brought the precursor of flamenco. There are musicians, singers, dancers and 'hell raisers'. Hell raisers stamp their feet, clap and shout encouragement at the dancers who fling themselves with potent passion ... read more
Jann's Boat 07
seville naked baby Jesus
Servilla recycle dumpster

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Salou October 13th 2018

There are some rather nice photos of the Sierra Nevada, they may have made it onto a second page. Please look for them Salou on the Mediterranean Sea. The town thronged with happy holiday makers, mostly Brits. They walked around town in their swimsuits, smiling, contended and happy. It is easy for us to take our sun and sand for granted. It was good to see people so relaxed and happy. Catalan activists on Monday marked the first anniversary of their disputed independence referendum by blocking train tracks and roads across Spain’s restive northeastern region and trying to break into the Catalan Parliament, underlining how charged the conflict over separatism remains. We saw demonstrations and heavily armed police and military. There are yellow ribbons everywhere. I hope they work it out. Interestingly Catalan language is very ... read more
Summit 02
Carl is just a shadow of himself
potato salad

Europe » Spain » Region of Murcia October 8th 2018

Carl and I are now in the Sierra Nevada mountains. We have passed the Mediterranean Beach town of Salou, visited Gaudi’s (Gaudi- not Gandhi) home town and visited the cheese heaven of Murcia but that will all have to wait for another post as the connection up here in the mountains is slower than a truant child with his report card in his back pocket. Vielha is a large town with lots of good restaurants. We went to a Michelin Mentioned restaurant. Their speciality is the local mushroom called Ceps. The pasty lady advertising the ceps is a carboard cut-out. There is good food, wine, cheese and craft beer everywhere. By chance we arrived at a small mountain village and had one of the best meals of the trip, local rabbit and duck, with local vegetables, ... read more
Ceps 01
Ceps 02
Ceps 03

Europe » Spain » Basque Country » San Sebastián September 27th 2018

Even 'though it is off season San Sebastian is a party town. Imagine South Bank, New years eve, with a surf beach and thousands of merry tourists. It was good fun, the sun shone a warm welcome, the surf wasn't the best and it was crowded but Carl rented a wet suit and enjoyed himself. The food was the best part. All day and most of the night hundreds of bars and restaurants offered Pintxos or Tapas. Sea Urchin was delicious. I felt I left no more personal foot prints on the lives of the people of San Sebastian than I left on the sands of its beaches. But it was fun. We went to the Guggenheim. What a fantastic building, such imagination and creativity shame most of the exhibits inside were a bit disappointing. MONA ... read more
Carl Surf
tapas 01
tapas 02

Europe » Spain » Basque Country » San Sebastián September 18th 2018

I really enjoyed my week at the Spanish school and I learned a lot. The entire week was spent on one of the four past tenses, the past perfect. That is an action is finished but the time period continues. e.g. This morning I ate breakfast, because the day is continuing it is a different past form. There is a picture of me with my graduation certificate. The AirBnB we stayed in for two weeks was a challenge. The room wasn't much larger than a good sized en suite bathroom. There was a closet, bookcase and display case but they were all chockers with the families stuff. We had no choice but to live out of our suitcases. If we wanted something from the suitcase, one of us had to sit on the bed or stand ... read more
manuel's family2
Bacchus and Ariadne Sebastiano Ricci

Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid September 9th 2018

Guernica came into my life in Toronto, June 1973. It was in a large art book. I cried for the horrors of war, the brutality. Picasso showed me the degradation of the Spanish Civil War. But at the time I marched in the streets protesting the horrors of the Vietnam war. I shouted into a megaphone, "Hey! Hey! LBJ, how many kids have you killed today." Guernica the original is monumental in it size and power. Then came the first September 11th, 1973. Salvador Allende, recently elected president of Chile was assassinated, apparently by the CIA. A small print of Guernica was taped to my wall. Over the last few days we have spent about 30 hours in gallerias, Prado etc. We have feasted on the great works of art. Images we've seen in book and ... read more
green thumb
toledo 1
toledo 2

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Brisbane » Graceville September 1st 2018

I am setting up a blog post. I will send it to those who I think may be interested. Please ignore it or ask to get taken off the list if you don't want to receive the posts. I promise not to blog too often . Miss Muckenfuss is my nom de plume for my novel "Operation Kill the Cad'. I'm Muckenfuss. Corinne drew my portrait.... read more

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