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Archive for spain

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.

Peaking in Spain

By Linda Tancs

Montserrat is a multi-peaked mountain range near Barcelona, Spain. Its signature feature is a Benedictine monastery atop the range with one of the few black madonna statues in Europe. The hikes are likewise legendary, the easiest being from the monastery to Cami dels Degotalls. For the best views of the countryside, take the Funicular de Sant Joan, the steepest funicular in Spain. From there you can hike to Sant Jeroni, the highest peak, where you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of Barcelona and perhaps as far as Mallorca. Montserrat is an easy train ride from Barcelona-Plaça Catalunya station, taking little over an hour.

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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.

A Port and More in Algeciras

By Linda Tancs

Algeciras is a port city in the south of Spain, the largest city on the Bay of Gibraltar and one of the largest ports in Europe. It’s easy to write it off as just a transit point to Morocco, but a wander around the city will prove its worth as a matter of historical interest. Take the Reina Cristina, for instance, a historic hotel opened in 1901 and evocative of British colonial architecture seen in nearby Gibraltar. Visited by royalty, statesmen and film stars, the hotel was originally built to meet the housing needs arising from the opening of the Algeciras-Bobadilla railway in the late 1800s. The city is also the birth and burial place of one of its most famous sons, Paco de Lucia, a famous flamenco guitarist and composer. The Paco de Lucia Route will take you to 10 sites in and around the city that were either a part of his life or referred to in his songs.

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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.

The Lighthouse Way

By Linda Tancs

The Lighthouse Way in Spain (Camino dos Faros) links Malpica with Cape Finisterre, a route dubbed the Coast of Death in the 19th century by British sailors due to the Atlantic’s formidable shipwrecking capabilities. The 125-mile hiking route offers plenty of lighthouse views, to be sure. But that isn’t all. The route also offers forests, waterfalls, beaches, dunes, sandy coves and quaint fishing villages. Most trekkers take between eight and 10 days to complete the trail. Don’t rush, and enjoy the views.

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