Random thoughts, rants, raves and photo opportunities

2016 - Castro de Coaña, Asturias, Spain

Dating prior to the fourth century, very little is known about Castro de Coaña or the people that inhabited this site. We had the pleasure of visiting these historic ruins during our tour of Spain.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

2016 - San Miguel de Lillo, Oviedo, Spain

Passing through the northern province of Asturias, we pulled into the town of Oviedo, Spain, to visit the San Miguel de Lillo. Consecrated in the early year of 848, this Roman Catholic church had early aspirations of being a basilica. Unfortunately, the larger original structure collapsed sometime in the 12th or 13th century and the project was never completed. One feature of this church that remains intact is the magnificent lattice work above each window. If you look closely, you will observe that the lattice work is sculpted from a single piece of stone. The lattice above the window on the southern wall is the most stunning.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

2016 - Picos de Europa, Asturias, Spain

As we made our way through the Asturian countryside, our itinerary had a scheduled stop to hike Los Pico de Europa. Though we did not plan to hike the entire 24Km from Puente Poncebos to Cain and back, we did have the idea we'd attempt to hike at least 3 to 4Km to the high point at Los Collaos. Unfortunately, less than 1Km from the parking lot, a storm rolled in packing horizontal rains and wind gusts of up to 30mph. We thought it wise to turn back and save this National Park adventure for some future trip to Spain. During our short hike we did manage to take a few photographs of the spectacular views and we found a geocache.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

2016 - A View From Atop Monte Igueldo, San Sebastián, Spain

On the first day following our separation from the school sponsored tour, we spent the night at a hotel atop Monte Igueldo. Monte Iguelo overlooks the Basque town of San Sebastián, Spain. The views from atop the summit are spectacular and offer a panorama of the Bahía de la Concha and the surrounding coastline and mountains. During our stay we also managed to visit Faro del Monte Igueldo, the lighthouse located on the northern slope of the mountain.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

2016 - Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, Barcelona, Spain

You are probably catching on to the theme at this point in our Spanish adventure that ancient Roman Catholic cathedrals are what we love to visit. There is no place within the United States where you can capture the essence of the history and the architecture like you can in Europe. To wander beneath the arches and buttresses, knowing those from the middle ages many centuries past walked these very stones, is a feeling like no other.

The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia is actually one of the newer cathedrals of Spain. Consecrated in 1448, the Gothic style cathedral took 150 years to construct and is actually built over the top of the foundations from at least two prior churches.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

2016 - Valencia Cathedral, Valencia, Spain

During our stay in Valencia, Spain, it goes without saying that the historic cathedral was on the top of our list of must-see destinations. The cathedral, formally known as the Metropolitan Cathedral-Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady of Valencia, is primarily Valencian Gothic in style. But since its consecration in 1238, this awesome example of historic architecture has taken other styles over the centuries during additions, remodels and restorations such as Romanesque, French Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and even Neo-Classical. The cathedral is home to a chalice claimed to be the actual Holy Grail. Unfortunately, the chalice is not open for public view.

During our tour of the cathedral, we were lucky enough to climb to the top of the Micalet, the octagonal shaped belfy. Atop the 51 meter (167 feet) high tower, a panoramic view of the entire city can be found including the mountains to the west and the sea to the east.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

2016 - Mercado Central, Valencia, Spain

When exploring the world, whether it's in the great northwest, or in this case, Valencia, Spain, we always seek out the food markets to learn about what the locals eat and how they cook. After a short visit to Mercado Central, it didn't take long to observe the components of the Mediterranean diet; sea critters, fruits and vegetables, spices, very few red meats.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

2016 - Exploring the Old Town, Valencia, Spain

Following our stay in Madrid, our tour took us on a two day stay in Valencia. The third largest city in Spain and the fifth busiest port in all of Europe, Valencia was founded as a Roman colony in the year 138 BC. While much of the city is now very cosmopolitan, the old town in the area around the cathedral and the Torres de Serranos, still has its historical look and feel in tact. The old town in Valencia is one of our favorite destinations on our entire epic journey.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

2016 - Cathedral of St. Mary, Toledo, Spain

During our visit to Toledo, Spain, we had the pleasure of visiting the Cathedral of St. Mary. The 13th century Roman Catholic cathedral is of style High Gothic and is a magnificent structure. Not only is the architecture of the cathedral amazing, but it is also home to many famous works of art by many world renowned artists, including El Greco and the unbelievable fresco by Luca Giordano on the high ceiling of the sacristy.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..