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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…

a street in the old section of Girona, Spain

One Day in Girona (with teenagers)

We only had one day to spend in Girona. That, and the fact that we had three rather grumpy teenagers trailing after us, meant that we had to choose what we saw very carefully. The Arab Baths of Girona On any trip in the Catalonia region of Spain, you’re bound to see a lot of…

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…

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…

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 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…

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