My Travels Around the World

Category: Spain

Valencia and Cuenca


We flew from into Valencia from Madrid on Sunday, Sept 30. It was a short 45 minutes flight. We quickly made our way through the airport, grabbed a cab and headed into town. Only as we drove along seeing orange grove after orange grove, did I remember. Ah, Valencia oranges! That and olive trees everywhere. We could tell right away that Valencia was a beautiful city with squares and fountains and statues and roundabouts. Most of Valencia is quite modern with it Old Town section. But more about that later.

To read more of my Valencia and Cuenca, Spain blog from 2013, click on this link:

Valencia 2013

Madrid (2013)

We took off on a Thursday, at a very civilized hour from a day filled with warmth and sunshine. The kind of day you just don’t want to leave San Diego. The flight was to DFW where after a brief lay-over, we boarded our flight to Madrid. We settled into our business class seats, took off our shoes (my kids would say that is the sign that we are on vacation), got comfortable and took off right on time. After a decent meal and one movie, we changed into PJs and went to sleep (nothing like flat beds with down comforters to ensure some sleep – oh yes, and a sleeping pill).

About 5 hours later we woke up for breakfast and our descent into Madrid. Being one of the first off the plane meant no lines at passport control and before we knew it, we were out in the street grabbing a taxi to the hotel. We landed at about noon so we had the whole day ahead of us. The Intercontinental Hotel was conveniently
located so that we could walk where ever we wanted (and those of you that know us well, know we love to walk in cities). So we unpacked, grabbed our hats and headed off to see the sights.

Andy and I had both been to Madrid both (both together and separately). So we didn’t feel we needed to do all the tourist things. We headed down Calle Soreno, one of the more elegant streets, towards Plaza de la Independencia. This is where the Puerta de Alcala (Alcala Gate) was built for King Carlo III by the famous Fancesco Sabatini. It is considered one of the most iconic landmarks of Madrid…

To read more of my 2013 blog on Madrid, please click on the link:

Madrid 2013

Basque Country


Evening of July 2, 2009 and July 3, 2009

Let’s start with just a bit of Basque history.  All the towns/cities have two names – the Spanish name and the Basque name.  San Sebastian is Donostia in Euskara (the Basque language).  Hondarribia is Euskara, with the Spanish name Fuenterrabia. On the roads, all signs have both names listed.  Another interested tidbit about the Basque part of the country – most signs in Spanish have been painted over so only the Basque language signs can be read.  They are ferociously nationalistic.

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