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Our Trip to Segovia

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Don’t miss out: Our trip to Segovia part II

Hotels and Hostels in Segovia

In 2010, we’re making good on our promise to see more of Spain! We recently spent a weekend in the gorgeous medieval city of Segovia, an hour north of Madrid. The entire casco antiguo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and for good reason. Within the old walls of Segovia are any number of treasures, including a bustling Plaza Mayor, an imposing cathedral, twisting alleys, and an abundance of restaurants serving the famous Segovian cochinillo (roast suckling pig). But the highlights are the Alcázar and the mind-blowing Roman Aqueduct, found at opposite ends of the city.

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Segovia is about 4 hours from Valencia by car, so doesn’t really qualify as a “day trip”. But if you’re in Madrid and have some extra time, you should definitely make the effort. Enjoy our pictures of this beautiful ancient city.

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Juan Bravo – Segovia’s 15th Century War Hero
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The inspiration for Never Ending Story?
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The Roman Aqueduct is over 2000 years old
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Goodnight, little piglet, try not to think about the next picture
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Built in the 16th Century, the Gothic Cathedral is mightily impressive
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Hotels and Hostels in Segovia

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April 27, 2010 at 5:30 pm Comments (4)

Xativa Castle in HD

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We returned recently to Xativa, in order to impress Mike’s parents, visiting from the castle-less USA. Since I’ve already taken practically every possible picture of the Xativa castle, this time a I made an HD video.

I’m not entirely happy with the quality or editing… and the music kind of gets annoying after a while. But I think the video provides a good overview of the castle. Hope you enjoy it!

Cute Little Hotel in Xativa

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April 24, 2010 at 4:50 pm Comments (3)

Granada – Federico Garcia Lorca

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“Viento del Sur,
moreno, ardiente,
llegas sobre mi carne,
trayéndome semilla
de brillantes
miradas, empapado
de azahares…”

– Veleta (excerpt), Federico Garcia Lorca

Spain’s most famous poet and the favorite son of Granada, Federico Garcia Lorca was a seminal artistic figure, just as important in death as life. Musician, artist, radical, dramatist, patron of flamenco, Lorca had his hands in everything, but it was his poetry for which he’s most well-known. His poetry, and his ignoble execution at the hands of Franco’s army.

Lorca lived in Granada, and we visited his house-museum on the southern end of the city. When he occupied it, not really that long ago, the house was on the city’s outskirts, in a field. But Granada grew quickly, and the house is currently within a city park. It’s been perfectly upheld, with original furniture donated by the family and Lorca’s artwork decorating the walls. For a fan of either poetry or history, a visit to the house is obligatory.

It’s difficult to overstate how important Lorca’s influence has been to the people of Granada and Spain. He was one of the most early proponents of flamenco music… one of Camarón de la Isla’s best songs is Lorca’s poetry set to music. He was openly homosexual and leftist — traits that were dangerous for the volatile period in which he lived. Indeed, shortly after the Civil War broke out, he was arrested by the Popular Front and executed. Franco then banned his entire body of work.

Lorca’s remains have never been found, and the recovery of his body remains a highly-charged topic in Spain, which is still coming to terms with the havoc of the war which tore it in two.

More from Our Granada Trip

Buy Garcia Locrca’s poems here. Click if you are in the USA, UK, Germany or Spain

Some pictures of Garcia Lorca’s house and the park which is named after him:

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Granada Art
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March 3, 2010 at 2:56 pm Comments (3)

Granada – Bodega Barranco Oscuro in Las Alpujarras

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Midway into our drive through the Alpujarras, we stopped at Bodega Barranco Oscuro, a small family-run winery near Cádiar. It was the off-season, and just after 5pm, so I think the owner was a bit surprised to see our car ambling up the muddy path. Two huge dogs bounded towards us in greeting, and we let them guide us to the bodega’s doors.

spanischen-wein

The owner was extremely gracious — her husband and son were on tour in France, but she let us in and introduced us to their selection of wines. The interior of the bodega was neat; it had just been recently redone and sported wooden tables for wine tastings and enormous windows showing off a magnificent view over the Alpujarras and the Mediterranean. On a clear day, she said, you could even see to Morocco.

After we tasted the Pinot, we were taken on a little tour of the bodega. The current family has been running the show for about a decade, making all-natural wine with the grapes grown in the unique, cool mountain conditions. And the house has a history of wine-making going back hundreds of years. We saw the press and barrels, and then the ancient storage area, not in use anymore. Juergen was in Photographer’s Heaven.

We spent too much money, but the wines really are great. If you’re in the area, we definitely recommend popping in to Barranco Oscuro, especially during the harvest season. They have a website and blog with news and information here.

Buy your Granada guides here. Click for: USA, UK, Germany, Spain

More from Our Granada Trip

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Barranco-Oscuro-andalucia


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March 1, 2010 at 4:23 pm Comments (6)

Granada – El Suspiro del Moro and Almuñécar

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Legend has it that when the Moors were finally conquered and kicked out of Granada, Boabdil, the last Moorish king of Al-Andalus, paused at the southern mountain pass for a last mournful look at his beloved city of birth, and sighed. His mother smacked him, saying “Now you weep like a woman over what you could not defend as a man!” Ever since, the mountain pass has been known as The Gate of the Moor’s Sigh (El Puerto del Suspiro del Moro).

Sierra-Nevada

From the spot, you get a lovely view of Granada, and it’s not difficult to empathize with poor Boabdil. But though it’s little comfort for those being expelled from their homeland, the route leading from The Gate of the Moor’s Sigh to the Mediterranean is incredible. Take the A-4050 south and you’ll be rewarded with a long, narrow road winding around cliffs, providing unbelievable mountain landscapes and vistas of the sea.

The road ends in the neat seaside village of Almuñécar, on the Costa Tropical. We marveled over the crystal blue waters, but unfortunately weren’t able to explore the city; a delicious and inexpensive meal on the beach was all we had time for. But with an immense castle near the ocean and history dating back to 800 BC, when the village was established by the Phoenicians, Almuñécar is certainly worth an entire day.

Cheap Hotels in Almuñécar

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Andalusia Car Hire
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February 23, 2010 at 6:06 pm Comments (3)

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