Friday, October 5, 2007

Hello everyone!

Sorry I haven’t updated the blog recently but I have been moving around quite a bit. Currently I’m in Santiago de Compostela in the Galica region of Spain. I’ll be here for two day before heading back down to Lisboa, Portugal for three of for days. Why back to Lisboa? I’ll talk about that later.

As for where I’ve been…from Salamanca I headed over to Segovia. It is the town where Columbus charmed the crown to finance his journey and is most famous for the Roman Aqueduct that spans an incredible 813 meters reaches 29 meters in height. Also beautiful and remarkable is the Alcazar, a medieval fortress of spiraling towers and pointed turrets.

Next I was off to Leon to visit the Iglesia Catedral De Santa Maria. A beautiful example of 13th-century Gothic architecture and considered my many to be the most beautiful in Spain. In addition to its sites Leon is a lively town with great food and fun people. During the day I spent time roaming the markets and lovely streets.

From Leon it was off to Oviedo, a town alive with art, music, food, and of course sidra (cider) the local drink of choice. You are supposed to be able to tell the quality of the sidrerias by the height they hold the bottle over their head and the how low and tilted the glass when they poor. For me though, it was a town of beautiful streets, magnificent parks, and amazing sunrises.

After Oviedo I headed to Coruna by the sea and enjoyed the salt air, seafood, local color, and good music. Coruna though is much different from the other cities I’d visited; make no mistake, it is a big city, at least in feel and energy. While there are not a lot of historical sites when compared to it neighbors it has a lot to offer a weary international traveler. It is easy to get around, once you figure out your landmarks, it has great shops and very friendly people who are used to the tourist crowd and willing to help. Oh, and it of course has the Torre De Hercules, the worlds oldest working light house that was erected by none other than Hercules.

Well, as I’ve just arrived in this lovely city it now time to head out and explore since I only have a very short time here. As I mentioned I head back down to Lisboa. Why? Too meet up with a group of flickr photographers from all around Portugal and Spain, as well as the UK, Germany, and other countries including the US. It should be a great time and a different view of the city for me.

From there it’s up to Porto and then on a plane to Barcelona where I’ll spend a week at a resort on the beach. I managed to connect with a company that brings in anglos to speak English only with Spaniards that need to refine their English language skills. More on this adventure later.
If you are interested in seeing more photos go here

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Festival Time

Plaza Major

Hola! Que Tal? Well, I’m still in Salamanca relaxing a bit and taking some language lessons. I’ve been lucky so far to have the help from friends to keep me out of trouble when ordering or trying to find my way around. Since I’ll have a couple of months on my own after here I thought learning a bit more of the language than “una cerveza” would be beneficial.

This past weekend marked the start of the local festival to welcome the students back. In the Plaza Major they set up a large stage and all around the town center vendors setup tapas stands. It all makes for a carnival atmosphere where you wander around taking in the smells and sounds of the city. The tapas stands are great, for a 1.50 euro you get a small cerveza and a tapas. In between snacks there are wandering minstrel and dancers to follow around or if you prefer tuck into one of the local shops to peruse the local crafts or buy that new pair of handmade shoes. Luckily for my budget my pack will not hold any more stuff or I would already be in trouble.

On Sunday a friend and I took hopped a bus over to Valladolid to see a bit of the town and take in some of their festival. It is a bit smaller than Salamanca but it has a lot to offer. It is the town where Cervantes lived and Columbus died. We had the chance to visit the Columbus museum and the house where Cervantes lived. We also had the chance to take in some of the local color which included watching some very beautiful Spanish dancers.

Sunday, September 2, 2007


Leaving on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again. Ok, I know it’s a cheesy song lyric but, somehow appropriate. I’ve now arrived in southern Europe and have had a whirl wind trip so far. The flight was relatively uneventful (an hour and a half delay out of Philadelphia) and finding my way to downtown Lisboa was very easy. A few hours later and I managed to find a little (very little) room at the Luar Guest House, in Bairro Alto, to call my own.

Free of the pack it was off to a lunch of ham and mushrooms followed by a wonderful plate of grilled octopus. It is so nice to be by the water. After that it was back to the room to grab the map and camera, which resulted in a nap that lasted until just before sunset. No worries as I was up in time to investigate a bit of the city before dinner time, and more fantastic seafood. The next day I managed to make it up in time to wander around a bit before it got too hot. The heat alone would not be so bad but, when you add in the hills and the direct sun you understand the rationale for a siesta.

See also at

The next morning I was off to the train station to grab my ticked to Salamanca, Spain. As I was still adjusting to the new ways of life I decided to not to wander too far from the station before my train departed in the afternoon. Luckily for me the train station is located on the Rio Tejo where there is a nice path by the beach and the opportunity to see some of the local color in the shops and restaurants.

I am now in Salamanca and learning my way around this fine city of golden filigree sandstone and scholars (the kids party hard at night). It is now late so I will say buenas noches until I can update you more on this lovely town.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Almost packed...almost ready...

It is almost time for me to hit the sky and then the roads and rails of Portugal, Spain, and Morocco. I can hardly believe it has been three weeks since I left work and began preparing for my little adventure. It seems as though every day has been full and every night has been short.

While preparing for my trip I also managed to put together a showing of some of my abstract photography work and it is now on display in a local martini bar. The show consists of shots that I took in alleys and on side streets in Colorado Springs, New Orleans, and Memphis. I didn’t realize how great it would feel to actually have my photos hanging in public until now. It is nice for me because it is a place where I regularly meet with friends so it is a way for me to stay connected while I’m gone.

The photo below was taken by my good friend, former coworker, and fantastic photographer, Chris Coleman. You can see a few of my photos in the background.

To see Chris’s amazing work go here . If you want to see more of mine you can go to my "under construction" website or my flickr site

As for the trip, well as the title says, I'm almost packed and almost ready. I fly out of Denver August 28th and arrive in Lisbon August 29th. I have a ticket to return from Madrid on November 26th. My goal is to travel with only one “barely legal” carry-on bag. The clothes are not an issue as you’ll notice by the very small bundle on the right in the upper left photo. The electronics, however, are a different story. See all that other stuff, yes, it is camera gear and computer gear. All told though the entire pack has now been pared down to less than 40 lbs (18 kilos) and travels quite nicely.

That’s all I have for now. My next post will likely be from Lisbon where I’ll be wondering why I didn’t pare the pack down to less than 30 lbs.