Spain for the Short of Attention Span – Part 7 – Granada

Granada is very photogenic, as evidenced by the fact that I took about six bazillion photos there.  (You are getting a brutally edited version, partly because I don’t want to bore you with all my holiday snaps and partly because I do not have the patience to wait for them all to upload.)

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Spain for the Short of Attention Span – Part 5 – Tarifa

(Part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4 if you want to read these in order.)

Have you ever even heard of Tarifa? I shall assume that like me before I went on this trip, you have not. It never ceases to amaze me when I discover something lovely or great or special that I have never even heard of. It’s a big world out there, I guess.


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Spain for the Short of Attention Span – Part 4 – Cadiz

(Here are part 1, part 2 and part 3, if you missed them.)


What can I tell you about Cadiz? Well, it is very old. Europe’s oldest city, actually. When we were leaving Seville and deciding where to go next, we asked the desk person at our hotel and he recommended it: “Cadiz is quiet and small, but is very very charm.” With a review like that, how could we not go? Continue reading

Spain for the Short of Attention Span Part 3 – Seville

You can read part 1 here and part 2 here.


Well. Seville. Seville is significant to me for being the only place I’ve ever been where someone put a ball of vanilla ice cream in my gazpacho. Because of this alone, I will always have a soft spot for Seville. However, this city has much more to offer than creative uses of dairy products. Continue reading

Spain for the Short of Attention Span – Part 2 – Cordoba

(You can read Part 1 here.)


If you enter Cordoba by train, do not let the walk into town fool you. We did this. We left the train station and headed in the direction that the information people said was centre. There is a very nice park that you follow to get there, but otherwise, the city — while pretty — is not the most inspiring thing you will hope to see in Spain. And after coming from Toledo, we were a little let down.  But folks, stick with Cordoba, because in the middle of this city is the old city and the old city is gorgeous!  (I’m sure there is an excellent moral here about first impressions, but I don’t think I’ll pursue it.) Continue reading

Spain for the Short of Attention Span – Part 1 – Toledo

Here’s the thing about going to Europe when you’re from the “new world”: it’s culture overload.  You are coming from a place where anything over a hundred years old has a heritage plaque on it and suddenly find yourself in this alternate universe where they talk about renovations that happened in the 15th century.

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Amsterdam in Photos

ImageAmsterdam was a stopover in both directions on our trip.  We had about four hours there on the way to Spain, and an overnight on the way back home.

On the four-hour segment, we were greatly exhausted, having just flown for nine hours, so we took a canal cruise (beautiful views, vaguely annoying guide), wandered a little, had lunch, and got back to the airport, all in a bit of a daze.

On the way back, things were a bit more leisurely.  We’d only flown the couple of hours from Madrid and had more time to explore, which we mostly did on foot, though we had a day pass on transit that we also used to great effect.  It’s a gorgeous city.  Despite what my time in Ireland led me to believe, it is not just a place for raunchy stag weekends and getting stoned.

I had troubles photographing it though, as I felt that the beauty was of the 360 degree variety.  Nothing I took really felt like I was doing it justice, because I was forced to leave things out.

A big highlight was the Van Gogh museum, which was the only museum we visited from the wonderful array of museums Amsterdam has to offer.  (Gigantic line-up, but also a sign that said, “Why wait in line when you can cross the street to such and such booking office and get your tickets right away?”  Being a suspicious sort, I stayed in line while husband investigated and came back with tickets.  Then we skipped the queue like we were VIPs or something while other people in line glared at us.  It was rather fabulous.)  Full of Van Goghs of course, but also a number of big names he was buddies with or who influenced him.  And on the second floor was a delightful surprise of posters/lithographs/prints by the likes of Lautrec and Steinlen.

I’m not sure that Amsterdam is a place that I would go on vacation for any significant length of time, but simultaneously I’m happy we went and I’m quite sure I’d love to live there.  It was just that kind of city.  I’d probably need to learn to ride a bike though.  Bikes are a very big deal in Amsterdam.

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Montreal in Photos

Just some photos from my week in Montreal.

I love cities, and this was a great one.  It’s vibrant and colourful with something for everyone, even the non-French-speaking folk like myself.  (Don’t listen to the people who say that the Quebecois will treat you poorly if you don’t speak French; everyone we dealt with was lovely.)   I love the architecture.  There’s a great blend of old buildings, new buildings, and seriously excellent graffiti that I really enjoyed.

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