Friday, November 30, 2012

Valencia, Spain Sept 2012

photo left over from seville

as soon as we arrived we met up with Fran and Bill, they were in Valencia for the day with their cruise

pretty cathedral dome- valencia

more of the spanish manueline style

interesting gargoyle!

renaissance paintings in among the baroque and gothic style high altar in the cathedral

st Matthew  in one of the pendentives, cathedral

beautiful light and airy cupola, cathedral

cathedral backside

flowing town fountain

one of the local specialities which we were brave in trying but it wasn't a hit. Horchata and Fartons. Horchaya is a milky drink made from tiger nuts (an import from the Egyptian) grown in a few parts of Spain. Farton is an bun to dunk in the Farton, has an icing on it.
trying the local paella
st christopher

pretty gothic window in alabaster

another St Christopher, he was popular

I loved the angels in the cathedral dome and they are one of the only places where the Renaissance is shown in Valencia

angel detail

paella pans in any dimension

Mercado Central (market) in valencia

pretty parrot weather vane
The cathedral in Valencia, called the Assumption of Our Lady of Valencia, consecrated in 1238 was fun to tour in. It was built on a Visigoth cathedral which had been turned into a mosque when the Moors arrived.  Not much of that remains. They supposedly have The Holy Grail in one of their chapels. It is a gold cup (photos to follow) which dates to the 1st century. Was used by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006. The cathedral has a very well- done head set tour which takes you through the various chapels, it is about an hour but worth it. More on Valencia to follow 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Los Pueblos Blancos area Spain sept 2012

Arcos de la Frontera

pretty cobbled stone street in Arcos

Gothic-Mudejar church of Santa Maria de la Asuncion, Arcos

beautiful views on the road from arcos to Ronda, a large part of it was a national park

you can see road we drove on, great views

day was beautifully clear but quite warm

one of the towns

outside bullring in Ronda. statue of pedro romero probably Spain's most famous bullfighter. his claim to fame was that he killed over 6,000 bulls

great poster in town

ronda bullring, just outside entrance 

view of  precipitous drop in ronda. due to its position it was one of the last moorish towns to fall to the christians in 1485

the bullring, plaza de toros, one of the oldest in spain,  was inaugurated in 1785

it was very pretty really with stone, wood and tiling

they had a nice little museum so you could learn everything you ever wanted to know about bullfighting

they had a display of all of their different yearly posters. this was a pretty watercolor 

even though i can never imagine going to a bullfight I found the ring fascinating

the staircase had wonderful ceramic tile scenes of bulls

the detail was amazing

Donna and Greg imagining the bulls

the old and the new building in the town behind it

where the bulls are kept

door the bulls come through 

archway into the ring

 Puente Nuevo "new bridge" in ronda connecting the two parts of town,  bridge was built in 18th century

another view of the town

the old roman bridge in town

palacio Mondragon in Ronda with its moorish features and garden

bullring in Malaga we could see from our parador (hotel).

view of Malaga's ( our overnight stop)  port

thriving port of malaga, was a busy Roman trading port with the east

 Malaga's cathedral built on the old mosque in the 16th-18th centuries

our parador where we stayed in Malaga, was originally part of the moorish fort

view of malaga's bullring in the daylight taken from our parador

view of the Med from the parador

pretty outdoor area of parador where we enjoyed some great laughs the evening we spent there
 we left seville and drove to arcos de la Frontera (nice stop but not overwhelming), then onto Ronda which is definitely worth seeing. The ride through the mountains with the pretty, white, hilltop towns was really beautiful. We climbed to an altitude of about 1300 meters ( I believe that was correct) and then dropped down to sea level as we approached Malaga, our overnight stop. We arrived just in time for dinner which we had in the hotel and then we sat outside on a gorgeous evening and had some great laughs while taking in the pretty view of the Mediterranean.  Not bad!