spain: osuna

España, Andalucía, Osuna, panorama

Countless day trips exist from Sevilla, but larger cities like Córdoba, Cádiz & Jerez get all the press. After moving to Spain in 2016, I’ve started to think of Sevilla as a hub… it’s easy to make the grand city your home base, then explore from there. Smaller, equally important destinations like Écija, Itálica & Carmona lie nearby, all less than a couple of hours away by either bus or train. Rafa wanted to show me around Osuna, so off we went…

Continue Reading →

lisboa: palácio fronteira

Portugal, Lisboa, Lisbon, Palácio Fronteira, Mascarenhas

Situated far from the Metro & tourist crowds, the Palácio dos Marqueses de Fronteira has to be one of the best-kept secrets of Lisbon. Heck, it’s taken me 20 years to get around to visit it! Built in the 1670s, this hunting estate survived the 1755 earthquake & became the main residence of the Mascarenhas family since then…

Continue Reading →

discovery: 1929 expo tiles

O Notícias Ilustrado, fev 1929, Mário Reis, 1929 Expo

Browsing through digitized period magazines on the Biblioteca Nacional website the other day, I stumbled across several photos of the Portugal pavilion under construction. A February 1929 edition of O Notícias Ilustrado highlighted artist Mário Reis with his portrait & the azulejos he made for the pavilion. I froze because I recognized those tiles… they’re now on the Chafariz da Junqueira!

Continue Reading →

portugal: guidebook research 2018

Rick Steves Europe, Portugal, guidebook, research

Last time I updated the entire Rick Steves’ Portugal book, I posted daily comments on Facebook—each one beginning with “Wow, do I love Portugal”… fun moments describing the ups & downs of being a guidebook researcher. Four years on, I still love Portugal but Facebook not so much. This time I took a few moments before going to bed each night to jot down some notes about the day. Here we go again!

Continue Reading →

pamplona: running with the bulls

España, Spain, País Vasco, Basque Country, Pamplona, Iruña, Encierro, Running of the Bulls

It’s July & that means one thing only in the Basque Country… time to run with the bulls! I’ve been lucky enough to go for the past two years, so this post is an amalgam of both experiences. And while I’ve never been tempted to put my life on the line & actually run alongside, the spectacle is something I’ll never forget.

Continue Reading →