spain

spain: arcos de la frontera

Arcos de la Frontera, panorama, Iglesia de San Pedro

Founded by Romans as Arx-Arcis & later the capital of an independent, Muslim taifa, Arcos de la Frontera entered a golden age after being taken by Christian forces in 1264. The city & surrounding area first became part of a lordship then moved up to become a countdom, gradually increasing in importance. Catholic Monarchs Fernando & Isabel created the Dukedom of Arcos in 1493 for the Ponce de León family while reorganizing noble titles after their consolidation of power in Andalucía. Their grandson, Carlos V, made the Dukes & Duchesses of Arcos automatic Grandes de España in 1520… ranking just underneath any possible heirs to the throne. Amazing to think that the title is still passed down today, & that the castle on the main square continues to be their private property:

Read More »spain: arcos de la frontera

road trip: borders

borders, road trip, map, Spain, Portugal
● See enlargement below…
borders, road trip, map, Spain, Portugal

Whether you call it a national border or la raya, this trip had a several motivations: spend time in places Rafa & I had been individually but not together (awwww), visit new spots that are best accessed by car & see how permeable —or not— the Portugal/Spain border has been over time. We beat the heat until the last couple of days of the trip, but overall we were very lucky with weather considering the time of year. Join us for a crazy week on both sides of the border…

Read More »road trip: borders

sevilla: spring blossoms

España, Sevilla, Andalucía, primavera, spring, flowers, blossoms, flores

Spring has sprung! With a mild climate for most of the year, plants love Sevilla… if they can survive the intense heat of summer. The city is filled with a huge variety of flowering plants & trees, so the winter blues disappear quickly. While this post isn’t a compendium of all we’ve got blooming now, let it inspire you to stroll the city & enjoy one of nature’s great displays.

Read More »sevilla: spring blossoms

sevilla: heliópolis

España, Spain, Andalucía, Sevilla, Heliópolis

The 1929 Iberoamerican Exposition radically transformed the city of Sevilla, with major projects such a large public park (Parque María Luisa) & the creation of cortas (artificial canals) in the Guadalquivir River. Cortas served several important purposes: shortening the river’s course, providing a means for more rapid water flow & thereby reducing sediment deposit, allowing for better flood control, creating new port facilities & opening new land for development. Although plagued with constant delays, this new infrastructure turned Sevilla into a modern city.

Read More »sevilla: heliópolis

spain: sevilla day trips

España, Spain, Sevilla, day trips

When I moved back to Spain in 2016, I made a resolution to visit everywhere near home in Sevilla —big or small— that I’d never had time to see while on a work trip. Part of this ambitious plan also included re-visiting places I already knew well but felt I needed to explore more, and I’d write up several locations that had yet to appear in this blog. Well, that was the plan. Life has a way of making plans go astray so… no time like the present to start.

Read More »spain: sevilla day trips