Spain & the Iberian Peninsula: The Bucket List

The entrance through the Passion facade (Ann Burnett)

Awe-struck at the Sagrada Familia Basilica, Barcelona, Spain

Our first view of the Sagrada Familia is from the top of Montjuic Hill at the end of the funicular ride up from the Ave Paral.lel. My eyes sweep over the panorama below Barcelona, and then, rising above it, the unmistakeable shape of Gaudi’s Read More

Arches of La Mezquita, Seville

Exploring Cordoba’s Mezquita: the Mosque that Became a Cathedral

The cavernous space of La Mezquita in Cordoba makes me think of Russian dolls. Standing right in the middle of the 8th century mosque is a perfectly formed Renaissance cathedral. What is more, the mosque grew out of an earlier Visigoth church, which Read More

If you climb to the top of the Giralda Tower, you'll enjoy prime views of Sevilla.

Exploring Sevilla’s Cathedral, Alcázar and Archivo de Indias

Slowly and steadily, the line of people plods upward. Sighing, panting, gasping, straining. The woman in front of me desperately wants to commiserate with me about this relatively arduous trek, but I don’t speak French. Finally, she holds up three Read More

Pollensa refugio

Climbing the Calvario: a Pilgrim’s Trail in Pollença, Majorca

“One hundred!” says my husband, stopping in triumph on a broad limestone step. He’s got there first. Or has he? I tramp on past him, another three steps. “No,” I correct him, “this is one hundred.” We stare at each other without animosity and then Read More

Locally-made leather is a popular buy

Shopping in Majorca: Visiting a Traditional Market in Port de Pollença

I want to buy. I’m walking through the main square of Port de Pollença, on Majorca’s north-eastern coast, and my freshly-exchanged Euros are burning a hole in my pocket. It might be the sunshine (it does make you a little mad), or the smells of fresh Read More

Alcudia walls feature

Walking the Walls of the Historic Town of Alcúdia, Majorca

The woman in front of me on the bus is beginning to get stressed about her travel arrangements. “This looks like the old town,” she tells her companion. “We don’t want to the old town. We want the beach.” He peers through the window. “We could get Read More

Cesar Manrique subterranean house Taro de Tahiche

Feeling the Heat of Lanzarote’s Volcanoes in Spain’s Canary Islands

With the toe of my boot, I scrape away a thin layer of coarse gravel and lean down to pick up a handful of the exposed pebbles. I let go immediately as they burn my fingers – the ground I walk on is too hot to handle. I shouldn’t be surprised, having Read More