Thursday, September 26, 2013

Christopher Columbus

The Cathedral of Seville is immense, being the largest Gothic church in Europe. And, third behind St Peter's in Rome and St. Paul's in London. Unlike in Cordoba, this cathedral was built on the site of the Almohad mosque. All that remains is La Giralda, the mosque's original bell tower. Christopher Colombus is buried here. This is his tomb.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Seville and Flamenco

Some of the best flamenco happens in Seville. We were able to see a demonstration of the dance, which included the dresses and all of the accessories a dancer uses. Such things as combs, earrings, hair flowers and scarves, which are often passed from mother to daughter. Spanish dance is known for bright shiny dress, always shiny. Music is as important to the flamenco as is the dancer. A drummer keeps the beat (11-13 beats per measure). The male dancers legs seemed to vibrate, they moved so fast. Castanets replicate hand claps in the beat.

In the evening we were able to attend a flamenco dance show. This was truly a treat for all of us.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Cordoba y La Mezquita

Cordoba is known for this crowning Muslim landmark. The building is the size of three football fields. I am sorry for that description, but it does give size. It is a forest of marble pillars and red and white arches as impressive as any of the gothic churches of Europe. When Fernando III conquered Cordoba in 1236, he left the mosque intact. A 16th century archbishop constructed a cathedral inside. We are lucky this remains as it is truly magnificent.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Museo Nacional del Prado

On our last day in Madrid, we visited the Prado, the finest art museum in Spain. We toured the works of three Spanish painters: Diego Velazquez, Francisco de Goya and El Greco, who was born in Greece but claimed Toledo, Spain as his home. No photos allowed so google them if you wish.

Alongside this museum runs a beautiful boulevard called the Paseo del Prado. Wide streets with a wide walk down the center made for a respite from the sun. Portland sure could learn a thing or two about delightful walking streets from the Spanish.

I managed to capture some fun street art though.

Palacio Real

Building started near 1734 and was completed in 1764 while Felipe V was ruler. His son, Carlos III, was the first to inhabit this palace. No photos were allowed so I cannot convey the beauty of this palace. The grand staircase while quite large was easy to ascend as the steps were broad half steps. There were many wonderful and opulent rooms including the Throne room where the king and Queen held court. A fascinating side excursion was to the Armory where all of the shields, swords and body armory are displayed. Across the street is the Kings Cathedral. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Madrid At-Lasta

We arrived in Madrid, found our luggage and then our transporter found us. YEAH! He was from Mexico and followed the love of his life to Spain. Good for us his English was good and he gave us an introduction to the topology of Madrid on our ride to the hotel.

We arrived at the Hotel Melia Galgos at around noon. We were exhausted and they were ready for us, letting us check in early. We adopted the culture immediately by taking our first siesta. Life IS good!

Later we strolled down the Calle de Serrano, the hottest shopping district in the city. Window shopping was fun. Merchandising is certainly different which makes it more interesting.

Ending in the Parque de Bueno Retiro, we watched a lot of street vendors including mimes, musicians vendors and puppeteers entertaining children and, well, us.

After, we headed past the Museo de Prada toward Plaza St. Ana to enjoy drinks and tapas, small plates of food, and people watching. Caite's recommendation was a restaurant called Lateral. It was a nice finish to a very long day.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Hurry Up So We Can Wait

Up at 5am and out the door by 5:30 with a message from United stating the plane was delayed but we still needed to be there at the regularly scheduled hour. Oh too bad, the pilots got in late and need to rest. Don't get me wrong I'm glad they are but ME TOO. Sleeping until 7:30 sounds really good right now. Our plane now leaves at 11:am. We've been here awhile. I guess it guarantees that we will sleep on the plane. Good thing we had a 6 hour lay over in New York.

The Backsplash is Nice-a

It needs to be sealed and the switch plates added but I love the dark top with the creamy travertine tiles juxtaposed with the white cabinets. We are getting close.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Sporting New Counter Tops

I chose a quartz product, Zodiaq brand and chestnut is the color and pattern. The sink is granite. It was recommended by several people. The faucet is a HansGrohe Allegro E. It looks like a piece of sculpture. I will get a close up for you to see and post it in a few days. This brand appealed to me because the housing for the pull down element is magnetized so it should never droop. YEAH!

Here they are.

When the painters come, the island will be painted a chocolate brown.

My back splash is being installed now so in a day or two, I will post photos. It is looking fab.