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Coron, Palawan, the Philippines

Trip of a Lifetime: Bloggers Pick their Must-See Destinations

For this collaborative post, I asked fellow travel bloggers about their idea of a trip of a lifetime: If a person who’s never traveled far from home asked you to name the one place they should visit on their one and only trip ever, what would you say? I got so many different answers! I’ll start…

In the background, the Palau de les Arts. In front of that, the IMAX theater. At the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain

The City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia (with teenagers)

I caught my first glimpse of Valencia’s City of Arts and Sciences last year as we drove by on our way to see the old center of the city. It was astonishing: massive, futuristic architecture contrasted sharply with everything we had seen so far. Shining white in the sun, I wouldn’t be surprised if these…

Archways provide shade in Monells,, in the Baix Emporda,, Spain

Baix Empordà villages: a photo essay

Baix Empordà, part of the province of Girona in Catalonia, is one of those hidden gems, to use the cliché, that no one seems to know about. Many tourists visit Girona, and many of them venture out to the Dali Theatre-Museum in Figueres. Most, though, don’t stay long enough to explore the lovely stone villages…

sculpture in the Dali Theatre-Museum in Figueres, Spain

Dalí Theatre-Museum: A glimpse into Dalí’s mind

To look at a Salvador Dalí painting is to wonder about the mind that painted it. A visit to the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres, Spain, gives visitors a chance to look into that mind. That doesn’t mean, though, that you will understand Dalí’s thinking any more than you did going in. I certainly didn’t. It’s called a…

a modernist building in Alcoi, Spain

Modernism in Alcoi, Spain

It was a hot Sunday morning in August when I walked from the deserted Plaça d’Espanya into the visitor’s information office in downtown Alcoi, Spain. The lone woman at the counter seemed thrilled to have someone to talk to. All I wanted was a map, but she insisted on telling me, in detail, about everything…

one part of Levante beach in Benidorm, Spain

Reconsidering Benidorm

Benidorm is one of those places everyone has an opinion about, and it usually isn’t good. When I asked my husband what he thought of the place, he described it as “an overgrown beach town with high buildings right up to the beach.” It was full, he said, with “loud Dutch and fat, pale, English…

carving above the door of Sant Felix in Vilac, Val d'Aran, Spain

Medieval Churches in the Val d’Aran, Spain

There’s something special about the medieval churches in the Val d’Aran, Spain. All are quite small, stone-built in Romanesque style, and date from the 11th to the 15th century. Many have a similar floor plan: a basic rectangle contains two rows of stone pillars, dividing it into a nave with an aisle on either side. While…

view across the Val d'Aran from the Baquiera Beret ski resort, Spain

Val d’Aran: Skiing in Spain!

It never would have occurred to me that ski resorts even exist in Spain. I just happened to meet some representatives of Pyrennees Experience at the World Travel Market last year who told me about the Val d’Aran. Their timing was perfect. My son, 17 years old, who normally asks for very little, had just…

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