December 19, 2014

Braga, Portugal. October, 2009

Once at the top of the challenging uphill climb and then the even more challenging massive staircase, you reach the church of Bom Jesus do Monte (and you realize the significance of Monte in its name.) Dr. Blake has a fear of heights, afraid to look down from the top of stairs, escalators, the Grand Canyon, etc. Probably a good thing that he stayed down below and did not accompany me as I climbed the steps (not on my knees, though, as some pilgrims do.)

December 18, 2014

Coimbra, Portugal. October, 2009

Europeans know how (and why) to do parks right. Take this one, for example, smack dab in the middle of this charming Portuguese university town. Spacious and spare, it’s enjoyed by relaxed locals and visiting tourists alike. So peaceful on this lazy Sunday morning.

December 17, 2014

Braga, Portugal. October, 2009

When we travel, it’s often tough to get a photo of the two of us. So we do what we can. Not always successfully. This shot at a coffee bar in downtown Braga an example of “not always successfully.”

December 16, 2014

Santiago de Compostela, Spain. October, 2009

How wonderful that kids are kids no matter where you go. Here’s a group of them delighting at a Punch and Judy puppet show set up in a small plaza in this northern Spanish town.

December 15, 2014

Santiago de Compostela, Spain. October, 2009

In a Catholic country like Spain, in a holy pilgrim destination like Santiago de Compostela, it couldn’t hurt to name your produce store Christ the King.

December 14, 2014

Santiago de Compostela, Spain. October, 2009

In Spain, the rule seems to be if you can still find more room for ornamentation, then you haven’t yet completed your job. The swirly filigree of the stonework on the left. The patinated metal squares studding the door here at the town’s cathedral. And how’s that for a smart little door knocker?

December 13, 2014

Madrid. October, 2009

Guess which Spanish actor’s family owns this restaurant? Every one of the entrees on the menu is named for one of his films. A little corny, but nice.