I. They say the 3rd time is a charm and after cancelling our trip to Spain twice due to covid, we finally realized it. The skies of Madrid were uncharacteristically grey for three days. Plaza Mayor, usually so full of life, looked deserted with wet cobblestones and rain pouring down on the equestrian statue of Philip II. The beautiful facades glistened with raindrops and just a few hardy souls huddled under umbrellas next to the outdoor heaters in the cafes and restaurants. The 17th century Plaza has quite a history; over the years it was used as a market area, an outdoor theater, a bullfighting ring, as well as being the infamous site of auto-da-fes of the Inquisition, when those charged were paraded around the square with billboards identifying their crimes before being executed.
This particular weekend Madrid participated in an international festival of light at various venues in the city. In Plaza Mayor a giant art installation in the square had the title “Between Blank Pages Life Goes On” and was lit when the skies were just a drizzle.
In the Puerta del Sol, center of the city, giant rabbits and ducks were all lit up, joining the bear, that is the symbol of Madrid – bears used to live in the royal hunting grounds outside the city.…
Because it was the night before Halloween, we saw a number of Draculas, witches and skeletons on their way to bars or even toga parties (!) Halloween has some significance in Spain because of the association with the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead (and All Saints Day, a holiday on Nov 1st.) This store window on a Madrid street was rather inventive!
The rain stopped long enough on Sunday morning for the traditional paseo or walk, along with many other madrileños, in El Retiro, or its descriptive official title, Parque del Buen Retiro, the “Park of the Pleasant Retreat.” The royals gave the park over to “commoners” to walk in (much as the National Gardens in Athens) in the late 19th century. The trees were in brilliant autumn colors (how I’ve missed that)
We stopped at the Crystal or Glass palace, made of iron and glass in the late 19th century. Once used as a greenhouse, it now belongs to the Reina Sofia museum, as does the Velasquez Palace, and both buildings feature contemporary art pieces. There was a wonderful exhibit in the Crystal Palace of creative wooden structures.
At El Estanque, the artificial lake, boats had gone out, but a sudden downpour sent them all rowing quickly to shore. (The statue is of Alfonso XII)
There’s also royal botanical gardens near Atocha station, and the station itself has a botanical park, which if you look at the photo, is populated with tiny turtles.
Along the Paseo del Prado, the walls with green always attract a lot of photos.
Strewn with autumn leaves was the Paseo del Prado itself.
There’s never enough time in the Prado Museum — just to give you an idea, you need an hour alone to study the details in Bosch’s triptych “The Garden of Earthly Delights.” Surely one of the most interesting and versatile artists featured is Goya, who had several distinct styles of painting in his lifetime. First we have his portraits on commission for the court, then his studies for tapestries also for the court, known as “cartoons” with charming everyday scenes like children playing. Then there’s his powerful social commentary and anti war paintings like the “3rd of May 1808.” Finally most fascinating but disturbing are his “black paintings” that explore themes of violence, aging and death that he did in the last few years of his life when he had gone deaf and was suffering a lot of mental distress. Apparently he painted them on the walls of his house outside Madrid. He never showed them to anyone, never dated, signed or titled them but they were discovered after his death. They were actually hacked off the wallpapered walls and put on canvas, and eventually donated to the Prado. If you go, be sure not to miss these downstairs: here’s one, the Witches Sabbath, or The Great He-Goat, which has echoes of the witch trials of the Inquisition.
On the Paseo del Prado is also the Naval museum. If you like intricate models of great ships, this is the place for you. There’s a lot about Spain’s colonial years in the New World, a model of Columbus’ Santa Maria, a map from 1500 that was done by one of his sailors on his 1st voyage, supposed to be one of 1st maps of new world (but where is it on the map?) Note Europe and Asia next to each other.
Actually, October 12th is a big holiday in Spain – a work holiday and a military parade. In the states, the name “Columbus Day” has given way to the “day of indigenous races” but in Spain the ‘conquista’ is taken very seriously – after all Columbus started here. He made his request to Queen Isabella actually in Granada, which we’ll describe in a little bit. Here’s one more ship, actually this beautiful model of a 17th century ship won first prize in a pan European contest. They don’t make ships like that any more.
This trip we made it to the Thyssen-Bournemizas museum. Baron Thyssen (pronounced “tee son”) donated his magnificent art collection which takes in the whole sweep of European art from the 13th century to the end of the 20th century. It’s a must visit along with the 3rd museum of the so-called Madrid Art Walk, the Reina Sofia, which has Picasso’s “Guernica,” that we saw in an earlier visit.
Madrid is a delight to walk in. It has a very youthful population (we’re always struck that there are so few walking around our age!) and a liveliness. I liked these “Zorro” guitarists that were entertaining near the Opera. Was their costume for Halloween, I wondered, or did they always dress like this when they performed.
Walking around and going to museums is fine but the eating experience is something unique. Our son Ted who lives in Madrid, took us to Calle Amor de Dios (what a great name, Love of God street) on this rainy Friday, first to sample a vermouth del grifo, one of the drink specialities people have before dinner, sort of like a vermouth on tap. Here’s a beautifully ornamented grifo.
Then we tried a Peruvian restaurant down the street where you sit under posters of Macchu Picchu and have their menu del dia – these are really good eating deals at lunchtime mostly, where you get a first and second course, a dessert and it usually includes wine (or another drink) The food was quite delicious.
On the same street, the Sannabresa restaurant which usually has a line, has a huge menu so whatever your heart (and stomach) desires, you can find here. Each time we visit Madrid we eat here.
No doubt that Madrid can be a little heavy on meat – a specialty is the jamon Iberico (Iberian ham) There are stores known as “Museo de Jamon” where you can eat and buy some as well to take home (to last six months or so…)
As a complete change from meat, we had a craving for Japanese food one night. In the Aston Martin market near Calle de Atocha, tucked away in the basement is a very popular Japanese restaurant: we had ramen, various kinds of sushi – salmon, tuna, eel, butterfish, vegan and others, with sake, all the colors and textures displayed so artistically.
And not to forget the tapas experience in the Lavapies neighborhood where you sit on tiny benches at tables and sample Basque region tapas known as pinchos. Since the custom is to eat a big lunch, the evening is the time for drinks and nibbles. You can’t be ravenously hungry. Here we are, wondering, how do we actually eat the tapas, when there are five of us and no plates…
And speaking of food, no visit to Madrid would be complete without going inside the Mercado (Market) de San Miguel right outside the Plaza Mayor….It’s like a culinary temple. Another iron and glass structure like the crystal palace in El Retiro, it was built in 1916 at the site of an earlier market and it was closed for 7 months during the pandemic.
You wander from stall to stall — around 30 — and you can sample “gourmet” tapas, even full meals: Iberian ham, fresh fish, shellfish, cheeses, glasses of wine … we got a heavenly salmon tapa to taste. The problem is the crowds and almost no space inside to eat, you’ve got to take it outside and find a place to sample your goodies.
When we returned to Madrid at the end of the trip, we stayed in Barrio de las Letras, my favorite area, on Calle Cervantes, near the house where Cervantes was born and died. On the street you find yourself stepping on raised bronze letters of various books.
The weather had changed – it was much cooler and more pleasant. Another favorite Sunday pastime is visiting El Rastro, famous Sunday flea market, which now they were making people wait in line to enter, not to have too much crowding. Here we met up with Ted.
II. Of course Madrid has so much more — fascinating neighborhoods as well as the majestic Royal Palace, but it’s time now to leave the European royals and enter a different mindset, of Andalucia, southern Spain. The train from Madrid to Cordoba took us there in less than two hours. Cordoba, today a small city, was an important one both in Roman times and during the Arab conquest . In fact, in the 10th century Cordoba was once the largest city of the world (!) and one of the rare places where Muslims, Christians and Jews lived in a fragile but peaceful coexistence. The main attraction in the old town is the Mezquita, the Great Mosque from medieval times, built near the Guadalquivir River.
As it was All Saints Day (November 1st) a religious procession from one of the central churches went around the street reminiscent of Easter time. This evening we found the Mezquita open because it was All Saints Day and a mass was going on in the cathedral with an organ and choir. Yes, right in the middle of the mosque is the cathedral!
The next morning we returned. Just the organ was playing in slow somber notes that added to the atmosphere. In the mosque it’s like you’re in a forest of arches that spread into infinity. There are 800 of them, striped double arches of painted red and white stone. The lamps — thousands of them — at one time were filled with perfumed oil.
History is so multilayered, this site was evidently always hallowed ground. There was a Roman temple to the god Janus and a few centuries later a Visigothic church to St Vincent, then a kind of primitive mosque in the 8th c. constructed soon after the Muslim conquest in 711 AD, and then the Mezquita was built on top of the smaller mosque in the 10th c., made much more ornate with its double arches. Then the cathedral was built in the 13th century, and so it goes with one addition on top of another, as in Greece churches were built on top of pagan temples.
The Arab rule of “Al-Andalus” which included the Iberian peninsula and some parts of southern France, lasted about 700 years, but the Cordoba Caliphate, the Golden Age, was from 929 AD to 1031; after that, rule became more fractured and it was easy for the Christian forces to defeat the Muslims in Cordoba in 1236 during the “Reconquista.”
Immediately afterwards, the cathedral began to be built, but inside the mosque to preserve the Mezquita, fortunately not destroying it!
There were changes and conversions: the minaret became a bell tower and more changes made during the Renaissance. For example, the low carved wooden ceiling of the Mosque was extended upward. We all walked around in silent awe – there were no loud tour groups fortunately at this early hour. Outside you can enjoy the Patio de las Naranjas which has had fruit trees for many centuries.
Many people were milling around, including school groups
The outside of the mosque is beautiful as well
You can walk back out the main gate to the touristy part
or cross the Roman bridge over the river to get a good view of the Mezquita and Cathedral.
Just a few statistics to give you an idea of how amazing it was in 10th century Cordoba, making it the most splendid city in Europe: there were 70 libraries, 700 mosques, 3,000 public baths, paved and illuminated streets, “indoor plumbing in luxurious homes and many villas along the river, 5,000 looms weaving silk and brocades, rich patios with fountains and waters and 28 suburbs with markets.” (source: Jane Gerber, The Jews of Spain, a History of the Sephardic Experience)
In addition to being a center of Islamic culture, Cordoba was also a center of Jewish learning and no one embodied this learning more than the philosopher Maimonides, born in Cordoba in the 12th century and considered the greatest Jewish thinker of the Middle Ages. Besides his involvement with Jewish law and ethics, he was also an astronomer and an important physician whose skills were much sought over. His statue adorns the front of the synagogue.
The small Cordoba synagogue, in the nearby Jewish quarter to the Mezquita, was built in 1315, and is one of the three best medieval synagogues preserved in the country (the others I believe are in Toledo) and was used until 1492 when the Jews were expelled from Spain. It was used as a hospital for centuries and according to a guide (that I overheard) it had long been forgotten that it had been a synagogue – the plaster was all covered up, until the late 19th century when the roof had to be repaired. Uncovering the plaster, the workmen found Hebrew writing! It’s really quite beautiful – an example of Mudejar art (the mudejars were Muslims who stayed in Spain after the Reconquista)
Nearly across the street from the synagogue, the Jewish cultural center, Casa Sepharad (Sepharad is the Hebrew word for Spain) unfortunately was closed. It’s also known as the house of memory and has this inscription) “Donde hay atencion no hay olvido” (Where there’s attention, there’s no forgetting or oblivion)
The narrow winding streets near the Mezquita, known as the “Juderia” or Jewish quarter, have many jewelry stores – Cordoba today is known for its silversmiths (I bought a pendant from one) and leather manufacturers. We make a coffee stop at the park – notice in the back the statue of Seneca, Roman philosopher, who was born here.
Cordoba has just a few ruins from its Roman past – besides the bridge the Romans built, there’s a Roman temple (but actually the columns are not original, it’s just the wall) and a mausoleum.
Without Ted around to guide us in eating, we were a little lost! The 1st night, I was trying to recognize in my low intermediate level of Spanish something familiar on the small chalkboard menu of “El Puerto” – this was a place purely for locals near the central Plaza de las Tendillas — and trying to ask the waiter to explain, but that was hopeless because he didn’t know any English, and seemed very annoyed that I was bothering him (and he was right). This situation reminded me of a Spanish learning video where the instructor says – tongue in cheek—never talk to a waiter in your basic Spanish, they’re too busy, if you do, they’re going to say a silent prayer that you should choke on your “patatas bravas” (!) This waiter was probably wishing the same for me. In any case, we ate fine and after a little “study,” returned the next night. The waiter was all broad smiles and we knew exactly what to order. Three “medias” or media raciones (half portions). Shellfish seemed to be the specialty and the mussels were particularly tasty.
Besides its tiny streets, Cordoba is full of patios or courtyards like this one outside the Bellas Artes (fine arts museum). In May in fact there is a festival of patios and flowers.
It’s a pleasure to walk around and take in the city.
III. From Cordoba to Granada, it’s less than an hour and a half with the train. (We left the other great Andalusian city Sevilla for another trip) I was struck by the landscape: thousands, maybe millions, of tiny olive trees planted on the dry hillsides. That explains why Spain is a major olive oil producer. I was wondering since it’s olive picking time, why we didn’t see any workers. Perhaps they’ve already been picked or perhaps they’re too tiny to have any fruit yet.
The Lonely Planet calls Granada a “gritty compelling city.” Not a bad description. Islamic architecture, Arab flavored street life, monumental churches, tapas bars, aging hippies walking around with guitars. And the Alhambra.
Granada was the last stronghold of the Spanish moors. In Cordoba as we’ve seen, in 1236, the Moors were driven out (around the same time in Sevilla) but in Granada, they kept on until 1492. (A note on the word “moors,” – this was the Western European term for Muslims: (remember the full title of Shakespeare’s tragedy, “Othello, the moor of Venice.”)
The name for the Alhambra comes from Arabic: peasants referred to the complex as al kalat al hamra the castle built of red earth, the color of the fortress and palaces. Built in the 13th and 14th century, it was used for less than 200 years.
As the Alhambra gets around 8000 visitors a day, the advice is to get your tickets early in advance online, especially if it’s around a holiday time. The way the system works, you choose your time of entry, written on your ticket, for the Nasrid Palace (name of the last dynasty) which is the “jewel” of the complex and then can wander around the other parts – Generalife Garden, Alcazaba (fortress) and the museums at your will. The outer buildings are a bit stark, as befits a foretress, but it’s the ceremonial and domestic buildings of the Nasrid palace that are so impressive.
The apartment where we were staying was at the foot of the Albaicin (old Moorish quarter) near Plaza Nueva (this name is ironic, for like the Pont Neuf in Paris, this is actually the oldest plaza in the city, about 500 years old). From here you can walk up to the hill of the Alhambra, up past a wooded area, fountains, past little waterfalls, and as the road gets steeper and steeper, you see the statue of Washington Irving (Rip Van Winkle and the Legend of Sleepy Hollow.)
What’s he doing here? you wonder. Well, in 1829, Irving was wandering around Spain and found himself in Granada. Like other Romantic travelers of the time, he was entranced with the city, and especially the Alhambra, where he was given permission to stay! (In the Palace one of the rooms bears his name) So from there he wrote Tales of the Alhambra….
Climbing up, up, you join the line to go into the Nasrid Palace. Along with your tickets, BE SURE YOU HAVE YOUR PASSPORTS WITH YOU. (Not even Rick Steves in his Spain guidebook tells you that) We had a photo of the passports on my phone, but no, it must be the authentic document. So what did they do? They sent us to the main ticket office (a good 10 to 15 minute walk uphill), to wait in line in order to get a special pass that identifies that you are indeed the ticket owners (and not someone who bought the tickets on the black market)! You feel incredible anxiety that you have to be back in your time slot or forget your visit — and the money you paid. (We made it.)
One of the first things you notice inside the Nasrid palace is that every clear surface is covered with ornamental and decorative geometric patterns on the walls and the arches, as well as the Arabic script (According to Steves, “Allah is victorious” is written 9000 times) But not only, the palace is like an open book of poetry as well. How did they do the writing? At first they did it by hand with a chisel while the plaster or stucco was damp, then they made a mold and did it this way.
The ceilings have a fine filigree that looks like stalactites.
You ooh and aah as you move through the complex with all the other visitors. But probably the feature you notice most is the water, felt to be an essential feature surrounding the palace, where it is harmonized with the architecture. Bubbling spouts, tanks, pools, it was everywhere, a delight for the eyes and ears. In the court of the lions, at the lion fountain it is written: “in appearance liquid (water) and solid(marble) seem to be fused so that we do not know which of the two is moving.” And this is the objective, the total harmony of the water and architecture. Water used to spray out from the 12 marble lions’ mouths and flowed along various channels. So the water also had a functional purpose.
Another important architectural harmony was the arches that framed inner palace gardens as well as distant visions of the city below.
There are probably two reasons that there are no explanations to read about what you’re seeing; first, they want you to move along and second, to buy the audioguide & listen. So another tip, if you don’t want to get the audioguide, you need some kind of guide with you, but you should also read it before you go.
After Nasrid, you have a choice, the Generalife (summer palace – sultan certainly had a long way to travel!) with its manicured hedges and gardens – here was planted not only flowers but fruits and vegetables — or the Alcazaba fortress. We opt for the Generalife. Generally because of all the hills, I have to say the Alhambra (and Granada itself) is very difficult for anyone with mobility issues.
The Alcazaba fortress is the oldest building in the complex, from the 13th c. The steep claustrophobic stairs lead you up to the top, where you get a great view of Granada below .
It was here in Alcazaba that legend says that the last Nasrid king Boabdil, who was fleeing, looked back and wept while his mother chided him: “You weep like a woman for what you couldn’t defend like a man.”
Centuries later, Napoleon stationed his troops at the Alhambra, and contributed very much to its ruin… Especially of the medina, the houses — around 2,000 people lived here.
We spent nearly 7 hours at the site including at the museum. After the experience of rushing to the ticket office for a special pass, we relaxed and savored the art and the experience of this late medieval architectural wonder.
Back down to relax our weary feet before we headed off to Calle Elvira, one of the most fascinating Granadan streets, to eat dinner. In the part of the street closest to Plaza Nueva are some Moroccan restaurants, decorated beautifully inside. Here’s the interior of the one we ate at. The food was delicious, tender with subtle flavors and spices.
As you walk further down Elvira toward the gate that once led into the city, the restaurants and shwarma places with brightly color photos get smaller and smaller to a few tables – and change from North African to Syrian and Lebanese. Elvira also leads up into the winding streets of the Albaicin, which is a UNESCO preserved area.
As you round a corner, suddenly you see “Aurora, queen and mother of the Albaicin” on the wall of a church.
The narrow streets have a number of teterias, small tea parlors. Tea is very popular; in the center are lovely shops with vats of different kinds of teas with colorful names. The name of the first one is “I love you tea.”
There are so many inviting restaurants, but off of Plaza del Carmen in the city center is a fun street to eat. Here’s a tapas assortment we had that looks like an antipasti plate. The wine from the region of La Rioja has a smooth velvety taste.
A bit too much meat! But we also found delicious vegetable lasagna and moussaka, as well as empanada stuffed with pumpkin.
Near the plaza del Carmen is the fountain and statue of Columbus unfurling his proposal to travel to Isabella, and asking for her patronage.
While in the center of the city, you might like to visit the royal chapel where the “reyes catolicos” or catholic kings as they’re called (Ferdinand and Isabella) were buried and around the corner is the impressive Cathedral, which took about 300 years to build and is the 2nd largest in Spain after the one in Sevilla. It was begun in the Renaisssance and finished in Baroque times. Here’s a photo of the back of the cathedral, from higher up.
Many of the cathedrals we went inside have this combination of mudejar, renaissance, baroque. We wandered into indoor and outdoor markets. I liked this “jungle” of hanging chili peppers.
The Alcaiceria market area at one time was filled with precious salt, silver, spices and silk. Silk was an important product in Moorish times.
Involved in the silk trade were many members of the Granadan Jewish community of the time. By 1492 when the Jews were expelled, the population of the Jewish community in Granada was over 20,000. As in Cordoba, the Jews, there since Roman times, contributed greatly to economy of the city. But not only to commerce, but also in literature and translation. Yehuda ibn Tibon, a poet and philosopher, was also a major translator of Hebrew, Arabic and Latin. (At the time, many works of Greek philosophers, especially Aristotle, were translated into these languages and also Castilian). Tibon’s statue, in the old Jewish area of Realejo, was donated by one of his descendants in 1905. It’s said that Tibon’s teachings and knowledge laid the foundation for the translation school at the University of Granada, one of the best in Europe.
Before the expulsion, a number of Jews converted to Christianity (there were many examples of forced conversions) or nominally converted but practiced Judaism secretly. The throne was threatened by the idea of false conversos and one way to deal with this “problem” was the ‘inquisition’ where heretics of any kind, considered a danger to the religious ‘purity,’ that the Crown wanted, were punished. The Muslims at first were left alone by the new Christian government but then gradually intolerance led to a policy of being ordered to convert or leave. As opposed to Cordoba, no remains of any synagogue are left here, though it’s conjectured where it might have been and there is a Casa Sefaradi but you need an appointment to go inside. The Realejo today is an area of beautiful churches, streets with mosaic and also an area of international guitar workshops.
Plaza Nueva (where we enjoyed some flamenco dancing in the square)
is dominated by the baroque style Palace of Justice, whose name I found a bit Orwellian (something like the Ministry of Love), as there was a large prison inside and of the 3 doors, one of them belonged to the executioner, since during the Inquisition, public executions were carried out here (along with bullfights)!
The years of the Spanish Inquisition are brought to life in the Palacio de los Olvidados – (Palace of the Forgotten) which features an exhibit on the inquisition –how it started, as well as, in case you’re wondering, methods of torture – oh what unbelievable ingenuity man has in this regard…
We decided to take a look. After reading about and seeing: the saw, the rack, the noose, the garotte, water torture and for women: chastity belts and masks of shame… your stomach gets a little queasy.
At the top of the museum you walk out onto a terrace with a wonderful view of the houses of Albaicin and Alhambra, to get your head back together… notice the bell tower in the right background, with the mudejar style glazed tiles — this is the Santa Ana church, on Plaza Nueva.
This church, as all of the 20 churches in the Albaicin, are built on top of former mosques, where minarets were converted to bell towers.
Our apartment was at the back of a Moorish style courtyard.
When we exited our apartment, we would smell the heavenly aroma of cookies baking next door at “Galletanas” — I recommend highly the platano, walnut and chocolate and the orange chocolate!
Our street, which goes along the river Darro, is also known as Paseo de las Tristes (walk of the sad) because traditionally funeral processions used to walk up here along the river to the cemetery).
We’re walking up to the church of San Nicholas. Along the way you pass what are known as “carmens,” residences with moorish architecture, with inner gardens. Some open as elegant restaurants in the summertime.
San Nicholas is known for its lookout point where you see the Alhambra at sunset when it is bathed in a reddish golden light.
The scene at San Nicholas reminded us of being on a Greek island with crowds of tourists waiting for the sunset, but here it’s not to see the sunset per se but to see its effect on the Alhambra. This Flamenco guitarist, even though he’s singing songs of great “pena,” of pain is doing it with such verve and joy. You can’t help but be drawn into the singing and happiness with him.
Alhambra Sunset from the Albaicin
From an open window a lacy curtain flutters.
Late afternoon. Saxophone notes drift into the air
so sad you shiver
as we climb the streets of the Albaicin.
Aurora, saint and mother of the area, smiles
From a church wall.
A tiny teteria with four wooden tables
Serves tea in delicate inlaid cups painted
In eggshell blue and white.
The “carmens,” their heavy locked wooden doors
hide lush gardens with tinkling fountains.
If we could peak inside
we’d see a 15th century mudejar world behind the door.
On our way, markets with pomegranates, torn posters
of flamenco shows.
As we keep climbing up to San Nicholas, the sun
drops lower in the winter sky. A guitarist of flamenco
with wrinkled smile
in beige beret sings to us of pain and sorrow,
Tourists, legs dangling over the ledge, clap in rhythm,
ready their phones,
poised to click their selfies and sunset photos
of the Alhambra, through the centuries glowing
in crimson and gold.
Cordoba and Granada give you a window into history, into the fascinating rise and fall of civilizations, where east meets west and one great religion clashes with another. The visit left us with a lot to think about …
And I know this blog post is very long (!) but there’s so much I wanted to share. We’re off to the States soon to visit family. Next blog in January — happy holidays to all!
When we got back to Athens, we went to the fruit and vegetable market to get a “few” items. Looking forward to our next trip but it’s so good to be back …
11 thoughts on “GREAT CITIES OF SPAIN: Exploring Madrid, Cordoba, Granada”
No hables con el camarero! Glad you could find something good to eat al final.
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I should have known that! But we ate well finally …
very impressive! congratulations Sherri
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Another wonderful blog. Your food pictures leave me with a sense that my own eating habits need a serious upgrade. So much to see and experience in Spain. You describe each town beautifully. Teddy must be very happy to live there. Diane
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Hi Diane! Loved your comment on the food pix … Teddy enjoys it there and not just for the food —
Congratulations on your blog. The pictures and descriptions are wonderful. You certainly covered a lot of territory.
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Thanks Sue! I might have gotten a bit carried away…
Sherri, this is so descriptive that I feel I walked through the streets of Spain and dined with you as well!
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De nada Stella! And glad you joined me on my Spanish tour. Bienvenidos!