My sweetheart and I just took a trip to Spain, Morocco, and Portugal. Back home, a major snow storm shut the whole city down for ten days. There was also a flu outbreak so widespread it warranted a CDC advisory. Sheesh. Where we were, it was in the sixties and there were trees full of oranges all over the place. Winning! January is the perfect time to get out of Portland.
We ate and photographed our way through Barcelona, Sevilla, Cordoba, Rhonda, Tangier, Chefchaouen, Granada, Lisbon, Evora, and Sintra. Highlights included strolling around the Tangier medina eating delicious Moroccan msemen pancakes with peanut butter and honey, visiting the Alhambra, a magnificent 13th century palace fortress, soaking in a hamam with star cutouts in the roof, and seeing the Sagrada Familia, Gaudi's ridiculously beautiful church. The light! The way it filtered through the space was unlike anything I'd seen before. Gaudi truly was a visionary.
We heard Fado in Portugal, saw Flamenco dancing in Spain, and caught some great impromptu Flamenco music in a little pub in Sevilla one night. We ate olives at every meal and flipped out about how good the olive oil and honey tasted. Most of the olive oil in the States is adulterated with cheap, plain oils and the honey is often cut with corn syrup and colored (and not labeled accordingly). Google around for info on fake olive oil and honey if you want a sad reality check. It's easy to get used to eating the crummy stuff, so we really enjoyed having the real deal at every meal. Delicious!
We also toured the historic Jewish area of each town we went to. One night we wandered through the narrow cobblestone alleys of the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona and saw a man lighting a menorah in the window of a lovely antique store. The glow of the candles, the historic street - a truly beautiful moment. The combined Christian, Muslim, and Jewish history in the area makes it really rich aesthetically and culturally. We fantasized about going back someday and renting a house in a tiny Spanish town for a few months. He'd write a book, I'd write another e-course, we'd improve our Spanish and learn Flamenco guitar. One can dream!
I'll share some of my photographs as I process through them. There are a few in my Full Awareness of Breathing portfolio, though they're not identifiably "of Spain/Morocco/Portugal." When I travel, I typically like to make photographs that describe my experience rather than shooting all the key attractions. So, the pictures are much more interpretive than journalistic. Here are a few of my initial favorites, below.
All in all, a truly lovely adventure!