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Archive for spain

Spain’s Fairy-Tale Castle

By Linda Tancs

Touted as one of Spain’s greatest castles, Alcázar de Segovia invites imitation. In fact, some say that it inspired two iconic Disney castles. That’s high praise for a structure that grew from a small Moorish fortress. Historically a favored retreat for Spanish kings, it later became a prison, an artillery college and even a filming location for Orson Welles’s Chimes at Midnight and the Arthurian musical Camelot. Now a museum, it serves as the emblem for the Old Town of Segovia, a UNESCO site. You’ll get great views of this ancient Roman city from the castle tower. About an hour north of Madrid, it’s an easy day trip from the capital.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Spain’s Wild Coast

By Linda Tancs

Spain’s wild side is Costa Brava (wild coast), a coastal region of Catalonia in northeastern Spain that stretches to the French border. It claims surrealist artist Salvador Dalí as a native son, having lived his life in Figueres. One of the most striking buildings there is the Dalí Theatre-Museum, which houses the largest and most diverse single collection of the surrealist’s works. It also houses the master himself; he’s buried in a crypt under the stage.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Catalonia’s Natural Park

By Linda Tancs

The Ebro Delta is the delta region of the Ebro River, the longest in Spain. It’s Catalonia’s largest wetland, a large part of which is designated a natural park to protect the area’s flora and fauna. Over 300 species of birds live there, making it a hotspot for birdwatchers seeking gulls, terns, reed warblers, flamingos and more. In particular, the park boasts the largest colony of Audouin’s gull. The region is also the rice growing capital of Catalonia, with over 54,000 acres reserved for this crop. Get there by train on the Barcelona-Valencia line.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Spain’s Red River

By Linda Tancs

There’s nothing particularly unusual about Spain’s Red River (Río Tinto) until you reach the town of Niebla, where the reason for its name becomes strikingly apparent. That’s where you’ll see an orange and red hue that gives the river an otherworldly appearance. But there’s nothing supernatural about the reason. For 5,000 years, copper, gold, silver and other minerals had been mined along the river, with dissolving iron giving it a reddish hue. In fact, the river is often considered the birthplace of both the Copper Age and Bronze Age, a site mined by the ancient Iberians and others for copper, gold and silver. The Rio Tinto Mining Museum in Huelva explores the history of mining in the area from prehistoric times to the present.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Tilting at Windmills in Spain

By Linda Tancs

The expression “tilting at windmills” means to attack imaginary enemies. It originated from the novel “Don Quixote” by Miguel de Cervantes, wherein Quixote mistakes windmill towers for giants and picks a fight with them. The iconic windmills of Consuegra in central Spain are attributed as the towers in question. Originally built to grind grain, the line of 12 Dutch-like towers is a tantalizing backdrop for the nearby medieval castle. Both the mills and the castle are a cultural historic site.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Art in the Canary Islands

By Linda Tancs

Gran Canaria might be best known for its black lava and white sand beaches, but locals are just as impressed with the evolution of artistic styles in the archipelago. Spanish architecture is a given, considering that the Spanish colonized the islands in the 1400s. But you’ll also find aboriginal monuments along with traces of Gothic, Baroque, Moorish and modernist influences. In the port city of Las Palmas, a colossal sculpture known as “Lady Harimaguada” dominates the water’s edge, an abstract work by the late Spanish sculptor Martín Chirino. Several bus routes are just minutes away from it.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Spain’s First National Park

By Linda Tancs

Picos de Europa are a mountain range forming part of the Cantabrian Mountains in northern Spain comprising Picos de Europa National Park, Spain’s first such park. Because the park covers three massive massifs, the mountain views are extraordinary. Golden eagles and chamois are a common sight there, amply viewed along one of the many hiking routes in the park, which are touted as some of the best in the country. Also, the Fuente Dé cable car will have you soaring past the peaks in a matter of minutes. Open year round as weather permits, winter is especially devoid of summertime throngs.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Green Spain

By Linda Tancs

Cantabria is an autonomous region in northern Spain, a strip of land between the Bay of Biscay and the Cantabrian Mountains. It’s known as Green Spain because of its lush vegetation, aided by a wet climate influenced by the Atlantic Ocean that produces around 47 inches of rain per year. It’s prized for its prehistoric caves, most notably the Sistine Chapel of Paleolithic Art. The region also forms part of the Northern Way of the Way of St. James, a pilgrimage route. Cheese is practically a religion there, too. Be sure to try the pasiega cheesecake, a local favorite.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Balcony of the Mediterranean

By Linda Tancs

Tarragona is a Spanish port city south of Barcelona. Once the Roman colony of Tarraco, it’s brimming with Roman ruins like ancient tombs and remnants of an amphitheater along with a miniature reconstruction of the ancient city. One of its most charming features is Balcó del Mediterrani (Balcony of the Mediterranean), an observation area offering views of the sea, the port, the beach and the Roman amphitheater. Rising over 130 feet above the sea, it’s located at the top of the city’s main street (Rambla Nova). Touching the ornate railing is said to bring good luck.

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As coronavirus proceeds, it is likely that the vast majority of us will be limited in our travels. But this, too, shall pass. Our love for travel remains, so Travelrific will continue offering travel inspiration in this medium. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Spain’s Land of Spas

By Linda Tancs

Ourense is Spain’s hot spot. Known as the Thermal Capital of Galicia, it’s known for its hot springs. That history is over 2,000 years old, beginning with the Roman baths at As Burgas, where an Interpretation Center explores the development of medicinal baths in this region. The city is a stone’s throw away from Portugal and also accessible via high-speed rail from Madrid.

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As coronavirus proceeds, it is likely that the vast majority of us will be limited in our travels. But this, too, shall pass. Our love for travel remains, so Travelrific will continue offering travel inspiration in this medium. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

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