Saturday, November 5, 2011

Spain and Portugal, Toledo

A few photos from a couple of days ago on our way to Madrid

Ceiling in the Jewish chapel in Toledo dating from the 15th century

View of 16th century windmills on the way to Toledo from Ubeda. Don Quixote thought these were giants of course and they certainly are large enough.

Basset on our city tour of Toledo

View from Ubeda looking at the fields of olive tress that stetches as far as the eye can see.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Spain and Portugal Day 11, the Alhambra

The Alhambra with the defensive towers and walls.

Left Ronda this am and traveled to Granada to see the Alhambra. The weather was not cooperating as it was raining a lot most of the day and pretty hard when we arrived at the Alhambra. We had a good tour of the Moorish palaces. The Alhambra was started in te 13th century and was added to over the next 200 years by each successive caliph. It was taken over in 1492 by Isabella and Ferdinand and the Moors were expelled a few years later.

View of the Alhambra from the Generalife (garden).

Patio with reflecting pool inside the Alhambra

Spectacular ceiling inside of one of the palaces (adjustment of light level to come later)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Spain and Portugal Day 10, Ronda 2

Our guide in Ronda, Diego

Had a tour of the old city this morning. Very interesting tour guide named Diego. Lots of witty comments along the way.

Patio lined with Moorish Arcades.

Went into the Church were styles from the Moors, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque were exhibited.

Really spectacular Baroque alter.

The Bull Ring was quite the thing. It dates from the 18th century but is still in use. It is completely circular and the spectators are really close to the arena were the bulls and matadors play out the drama. Diego explained to us the this was not really a bull fight as the outcome was certain, the bull would die one way or another, and it would only depend on how well it was done. It turns out that Orson Wells and Ernest Hemingway attended bull spectacles here (not at the same time). The Mediterranean Sun Coast is close by and the VIPs come over to Ronda to see the bull fights.

Section of the Bull Ring.

Our Parador (hotel) as situated right on the edge of the gorge. We walked down into the ravine, great view back up at the "New Bridge" and a waterfall. From the down in the gorge looking up gave a nice perspective of the location.

Parador a the edge of the gorge.

New Bridge (18th century) from down in the gorge.
Parador is located on the upper left edge.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Spain and Portugal Day 9, Ronda

"New Bridge" over Rio Guadalevin

Arrived in Ronda around noon today. Will be here until Thursday AM. Spectacular setting of the old city next to a deep, narrow gorge. There are three bridges crossing the gorge, the new bridge (18th century), the Felipe V bridge of the 16th century and an earlier bridge of the ~14th century.

Lots of narrow streets and white washed buildings.

Great view across the gorge at old buildings
with restaurants and other shops and apartments.

A little friend along one of the garden
paths along side the gorge.