Page 2 of waysofthewades Travel Blog Posts


Europe » Spain » Galicia » Santiago de Compostela September 9th 2015

We have arrived in Santiago, Gary covering the full 100 kilometers and Madalyn about 25 kilometers shy. Both of us have experienced a new height in blisters on our feet. Our bodies feel good if tired but we walk funny. The Camino was forested a good part of the way, we love walking in the woods. Of course, Santiago is a city that we'll get to explore tomorrow. We just got back from a fabulous dinner at our five star hotel and a concert on the cathedral square. All is well and we feel a great sense of accomplishment. We'll write more in the next day or so when we have some "spare" time which we are looking forward to eagerly.... read more

Europe » Spain » Galicia » Lugo September 8th 2015

No, we didn't fall off the edge like Columbus, but we didn't have WiFi the last two nights. We are now 19 km from the end in Santiago. We've gone Portomarin to Palas de Rei to Arzua to O Pedrouza. The second and third days were each a rough 15 miles with lots of uphills and downhills. Today was easier at 12 miles, the last half of which was gently rolling. The countryside has continued very beautiful farmland, mostly, with occasional eucalyptus forests, some planted. Leaving at 9 am we see many pilgrims strung out along the route, and the first cafe is always very crowded. We are walking with many pilgrims throughout the day, and occasionally the pace is consistent enough to have a brief conversation, if they speak English. And occasionally we have a ... read more

Europe September 5th 2015

Today we finally hit the big trail - and we are both very tired for it. The walk was 15.5 miles from Sarria to Portomarin in Galicia We started late, 12:30, after the three hour bus ride from León. The group spread out very quickly and yes, we were towards the back. It was not long before we couldn't see others even though they were perhaps 5 to 10 minutes ahead or behind. We passed through mostly farm land plus some woods, walking wel, paved roads, gravel roads, dirt paths, and the occasional farmer's driveway. We often encountered dairy cattle and also passed crops of kale, sunflowers, and corn. Did you know kale can be harvested from the tops of 10 foot high "kale trees"? The route was very well marked as expected and we were ... read more
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Europe » Spain » Castile & León » León September 4th 2015

We were delighted to have two days in our hotel since neither of us is feeling 100%. Gary's cough has gotten worse, another phase in his healing. He slept in and decided to skip the morning events - postponing beakfast. Madalyn is having digestion issues but managed to go with the group on the walking tour of Leon. Our guide was named "Camino", she spoke excellent English and she was humorous as well. Three hours of walking around old town Leon, seeing the Cathedral of Santa Maria de Leon, several shopping streets and the Real Collegiate de San Isidro. The stained glass of the cathedral is in the process of being cleaned, a fifty year process before they start over again. Gorgeous Gothic windows show off beautifully on a sunny day. Going back to the room ... read more

Europe » Spain » Castile & León » Burgos September 2nd 2015

We are now fully on the schedule and direction of the workshop. Today's focus was on a tour of Burgos. Burgos is a city of about 200,000 people with a substantial history from ancient times through Ferdinand and Isabella to modern times. Yes, Columbus was here too, after his second voyage. He had to come here because the king and queen weren't going to travel to meet him! We began this morning meeting Pilar, a local guide, who explained various sights on a walking tour of the old city. We started with a Gothic city gate that leads into a large square by the Burgos Cathedral. This gate is on the modern Camino and has been such for centuries. It is almost across the street from the hotel and leads directly to the cathedral, identified as ... read more
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Europe » Spain » Castile & León » Burgos September 1st 2015

Today was an easy day of travel first by bus to Barcelona Airport, an Iberia flight to Madrid and then another bus to Burgos. We met most of the Productive Learning folks at Madrid Airport so now we are traveling with friends with Victor as our guide. He has been our guide in Jordan, Egypt, Thailand and Cambodia - he takes such good care of us and we just float along with all the logistics handled beautifully, we are so grateful. Our hotel in Burgos is in an old monastery building, very comfortable with confusing hallways. We just returned from dinner walking by the gorgeous Gothic cathedral. It is much cooler here, we need our jackets and it might even rain some. Tomorrow we get a tour of the city. We are open to new adventures ... read more

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona August 30th 2015

Wow, we really know our way around, we just follow our noses and are happy wherever we wind up. Today we slept in before going to the Picasso Museum in the El Born district, an easy walk from our hotel. Barcelona is a fantastic city for walking, the people watching is amazing and most sights are close. The Picasso Museum has works donated mostly by Picasso himself and shows his evolution from a student to a seasoned artist. We got the audioguide that was well worth it, essential information and background we would have missed. Some of his teenage works are surprising because of what came later. His father was an art teacher who recognized his talent and encouraged him from an early age. His portraits of his father are very sensitive and Picasso's self-portraits show ... read more
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Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona August 29th 2015

Today was devoted to tours of Barcelona’s most famous landmark, the Basilica de Sagrada Familia (Holy Family), designed by Antonio Gaudí. We had an English language tour, went up a tower, and covered more of it on our own. It was all quite amazing. Work began in 1888 as a traditional neo-gothic building, and Gaudi took over from the original architect early on. He completely changed the appearance and developed new techniques of building structure as he did so, focusing on parabaloids and hyperboloids, making a structure taller, lighter, and airier than other Gothic cathedral constructions. To visualize many of the shapes and to determine strengths necessary for many of the columns, he built an upside down model using string and small bags of sand proportionate to the weights. He could then see what shapes developed ... read more
Sagrada Familia, old and new parts
Sagrada Familia, detail of door
Sagrada Familia, interior

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona August 28th 2015

Our first full day in Barcelona and we now know how to get around on the Metro. We headed up to Park Guell, a fanciful garden that was started in1900 with a plan for lots of homes sprinkled around the property, didn't happen. What exists are magical, fairy tale like structures surrounded by lush gardens and two houses. Antonio Gaudio was the architect for his friend, Eusebi Guell and they worked on it until 1914. It is hard to describe what they created: enchanting cottages, a grand staircase, a colossal colonnade and more, most covered in brilliant tile shards that shimmered in the sun. There is a giant gecko in the middle of the double staircase that had lots of people posing and the guard saying not to sit on it. The patience it took to ... read more
Park Guell, Gaudí
Park Guell, Gaudí
Park Guell, Gaudí

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona August 27th 2015

Woke up this morning early to go to the airport for our flight to Barcelona. We seem to be constantly getting to bed after midnight after late dinners, then showering, researching the next day, etc. So early morning alarms are not so welcome. We needed to leave before the hotel's breakfast opned, so we grabbed a light snack at the airport. We flew Vueling, a low cost no frills Spanish airline "competing" with Iberia Air but owned by the same holding company (that also owns British Air.) It was only a 1-1/4 hour flight that went very easily. Retrieving our luggage in Barcelona we were invited to share a taxi with a Canadian woman living in Ecuador and traveling in Europe. As a brief Ecuadorian resident she learned enough Spanish to communicate well with the taxi ... read more




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