Page 5 of ridgydidge46 Travel Blog Posts

Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid June 16th 2009

The weather in Madrid has been hot and humid, not making it great for sightseeing. There seem to be a lot of art museums, and so we have not had a lot to see. Two places that we found interesting were the Cathedral, particularly the the crypt, and the tour of the Palacio Reale. From here, we went to Plaza Mayor. It was the main centre of commerce for the city, but now it is a major tourist sight with many restaurants. We also found our way to Chueca, which was the gay area. It is legal for gay men to get married here. ... read more
The Royal Palace.
Plaza Mayor

Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid June 15th 2009

We left the apartment in Granada to catch to noon bus to the airport for our 2 pm flight. The bus didn't arrive at 12 noon. We waited until 12.10 pm and decided a taxi might be our best bet in order to catch our flight, the only one from Granada to Madrid, via Barcelona with Spanair. The plane left Granada late, but we knew we had a 2 hour stop over at Barcelona for our connecting flight to Madrid. This flight actually left Barcelona airport at 6.15 pm instead of 5 pm as scheduled. What made things worse was that there were no explanations forthcoming. By this time, we (and most of the other passengers) were getting pissed off! We spend the whole day travelling from Granada to Madrid, which should have taken approximately 4 ... read more

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Granada June 13th 2009

We arrived in Granada to find out that the studio apartment we had booked was no longer available because of repairs. Fortunately, the manager offered us another apartment. She led us on a bit of a wild goose chase, directing us to the new apartment on the mobile. One thing about Granada, there are stairs, and more stairs, along the streets. We eventually arrived at our new apartment and we were gobsmacked! The new apartment was a 'luxury' apartment (their words). It was a three storey marble joint with Arabic influences, with a view of the Alhambra to die for. So we settled in very nicely. In the afternoon, we visisted the Cathedral and the Chapel Royal, where there were the tombs of Ferdinand III and Isabella la Catolica, anlong with either his or her parents. ... read more
Granada Cathedral
The Alhambra
The Alhambra

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Seville June 11th 2009

Today was the festival of Corpus Christi. The main street was set up for the procession of the various guilds in the Seville area dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament. There were hundreds of people in the procession, as well as several floats. The floats were of various statues of saints important to the city, as well as some marching bands and the procession of the Blessed Sacrament along with a huge cast of deacons, priests and archbishops. The procession went for about two hours. The afternoon was quiet because of the stifling heat and the fact that it was a public holiday. We went to the church of the Macarena. Not the dance, but of the Madonna of the Macarena. We are still unclear about what makes her so special to the people of Seville. In ... read more
The Monstrance.
The infant Jesus.
A senorita

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Seville June 10th 2009

We started today with a tour of Reales Alcazar, the royal palaces. It is plural because it is a collection of palaces, from Moorish times, that were added to when it became the palace for King Ferdinand and Isabella the Catholic. The palace is vast, and there were few places that were not accessible. It was a beautiful blend of Mudejar - like Moorish - and Renaissance architecture. There were also beautiful gardens to explore. From here, we went to Plaza de Espanya, a huge building and square that houses government building amongst other things. The building was semicircular in shape and easily occupied the space of a football field. In the evening, we walked around to find a number of small shrines being set up for the festival of Corpus Christi. As mentioned earlier, the ... read more
Inside the Alcazar
Plaza de Espana

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Seville June 9th 2009

Despite some minor hiccups accessing the apartment, Seville is stupendous. We started the afternoon exploring the Cathedral and La Giralda. Spanish Catholicism in this area is like nothing else. They like dressing up the statues like dollies. However, it does little to detract from the churches. The Cathedral is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and the 3rd largest church in the world. It houses the tombs of Christopher Colombus and King Ferdinand III. The reredos (altar pieces) are beyond description. We also climbed la Giralda. Fortunately it does not have stairs, but 35 ramps to the get to the top. Apparently, when the tower was a minaret, it allowed the either the sultan or the person who calls Muslims to prayer to ride up it on his horse. It is now the bell tower ... read more
The main altar
La Giralda

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona June 8th 2009

Day Five in Barcelona. Today was our last day in Barcelona. We spent the day at Montjuic. The area originally contained a castle, which was then converted to a fortress in the previous century. As a fortress, it was the site of a jail, court and execution area following the revolutionary activities in Spain in the early 20th century. Now, the fortress and surrounding gardens have been returned to the people of Barcelona to enjoy. The area is also the home of the Olympics at Barcelona. We decided, however, not to go there. There are no pictures to post this time. We mainly took video.... read more

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona June 7th 2009

Day Four in Barcelona. Today was a quiet day. In the morning, we visited the Cathedral of St Eulalia and its Cloister. The Cathedral was nice, but the cloister was beautiful. One oddity of the cloister was a number of resident geese. In the afternoon, we went back to the Sagrada Familia. This time we were able to climb the steeples. We had to go up by lift, which took us to a height of 65 m. From up there the view was wonderful.... read more
Holy duck!
The cloisters of the Cathedral.

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona June 6th 2009

Day Three in Barcelona. Today was dedicated to the Antoni Gaudi. We started at the Sagrada Familia. What an amazing space. The work that they are doing is astounding and apparently, it will be another 22 years before it is fully completed. There are only 8 towers completed so far. Unfortunately we were not able to climb them today. We then went to Park Guell and 2 of his famous apartment blocks, Casa Mila and Casa Batllo. ... read more
Casa Mila
Casa Batllo

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona June 5th 2009

Day Two in Barcelona. Today we went to the Montserrat, the home of the Benedictine monks and a famous Madonna. We took the cable car up to the monastery, and a funicular up to one of the many hermitages. We also walked to the chapel of Santa Cova, where allegedly, they found the ancient statue of the Madonna, after it had been lost. It had been hidden for many years to protect it from the wars, but people had forgotten where it was located. ... read more
Our Lady of Montserrat
Hermitage of St John

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