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Random thoughts, rants, raves and photo opportunities

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 - The City of Three Cultures, Toledo, Spain

On day two of our epic adventure across the Iberian Peninsula, we visited the City of Three Cultures, better known as, Toledo, Spain. Toledo is a gorgeous walled city an hour south of Madrid. Named after the co-existence of the Christian, Jews and Muslims, the old town of Toledo has an amazing 9th century Moorish Gate, the Puerta Vieja de Bisagra. The walled city is surrounded by the Tagus River, and the preservation of of this exquisite city means we got to see it all! We visited a metalwork factory making their famous swords with damascene inlaids (a legacy of the Moors in Spain), checked out the marzipan candy shops and enjoyed the adopted home of El Greco, the famous Greek artist who adorned this city with his beautiful work. The RHS Band and Dance group performed a concert in the Plaza de Zocodover much to the enjoyment of all. 

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

2016 - A Walking Tour of Madrid, Spain

My amazing Spanish sister Cristina Cruz and her fiancé Jose and his daughter, Cristina took Bart, Anna and I on a tour of Madrid. First things first: churros and porras at Cris’ favorite shop… followed by an amazing day of MADRID!!!! We walked in Sol, ate tapas at the Mesones and took photos with the Madrid bear. Conclusion: We LOVE our Spanish family, and it was an unforgettable day.

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