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the front of Hotel El Ciervo

Hotel El Ciervo: a bit over-the-top … but in a good way!

I wasn’t even going to write a review of our hotel, the Hotel El Ciervo, here in Vielha, Spain. It was just a place to stay while we explored the Val d’Aran in the Pyrennees and its ski resort, Baqueira Beret. Or rather, while I explored and my husband and son skied. I’m not being sponsored…

The Valor factory's sign, reflected in the factory building

Visiting Valor in Villajoyosa

Last spring in Guadeloupe I visited an archeological park where I got to sample the pulp from a fresh-picked cacao pod. I heard more about chocolate cultivation at two coffee plantations. Given my obsession with chocolate, I decided to take the process a step further on my short visit to the Costa Blanca in Spain,…

The entrance tunnel to the bomb shelter at Refugio de Cervantes in Alcoy, Costa Blanca, Spain

Alcoy: My Too-Brief Visit

After a gorgeous, winding drive through the mountains from where I was staying in the Costa Blanca, finding the Refugio de Cervantes Bomb Shelter Museum in Alcoy took me another hour or so. The delay was due to its humble signposting, and by “humble” I mean a simple sign on a gate next to a…

a beautiful Costa Blanca view

Driving Costa Blanca: Some Advice

If you’re ever in the Costa Blanca in Spain, here’s what I’d recommend: get away from the coast! Yes, you can enjoy the beaches and party till the wee hours in the coastal towns, but there’s far more to see inland. The drive I did the other day, for example, was absolutely lovely. Leaving from…

close-up of a dragon figure edging the bars over a window in Barcelona

Gothic Barcelona: A Walking Tour with a Difference

As you know, I attended the TBEX travel bloggers’ conference in Lloret del Mar recently. While I was there, I was fortunate to be able to take a walking tour of Gothic Barcelona offered by Context Travel. They operate walking tours in more than 36 cities, “the world’s cultural capitals,” around the world. Context Travel’s unique selling…

throne chair on a dais with a cloth draped above it in the Gala Dali museum

Gala Dalí Castle: Dalí’s Gift to his Muse

If you like Salvador Dalí’s art—even if you’re not such a fan of his work—the Gala Dalí Castle in Púbol, Spain, is something you should not miss. This is not a Dalí museum. Dalí bought the building, a medieval castle, as a gift for his wife and muse, Elena Ivanovna Diakonova, who was called simply Gala. What…

view of Lloret de Mar with a row of apartments and hotels on the beach

5 Reasons to Visit Lloret de Mar

(Nederlands versie beneden!) When I told people I was going to Lloret de Mar for the last week of my one-month solo trip (Guadeloupe, Martinique, New York, Lloret de Mar), the usual reaction was something along the line of “Lloret de Mar? But why?” Lloret de Mar has a reputation as a party city, along…

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