The Magnificent Alhambra

Yesterday, Mary and I made our third pilgrimage to The Alhambra, the UNESCO World Heritage Site, looming over the ancient city of Granada. It is a stunning example of Islamic architecture and a symbol of Moorish power and the shifting tides of Christian rule in Spain. If anything, we were even more impressed this time as we learned new information about this sprawling complex and the people who lived there.

A Family Reunion in Toledo Spain

On Friday, we took a 35-minute train ride from Madrid to the ancient city of Toledo. Toledo's rich 2000-year history, narrow medieval streets, and eclectic architecture left us amazed when we visited a few years ago. It was a Roman colony, Visigothic and Islamic Al-Andalus capital, and later, Castile's political and military center. It was an amazingly tolerant place where Christian, Muslim, and Jewish cultures flourished together.

TAPAS WITH TONY

Saint Anthony Bourdain inspired our whirlwind of eating and drinking in Granada last week. We were determined to walk in his footsteps. The late great chef provocateur filmed an episode of “Parts Unknown” in 2013 featuring five tapas bars here. We planned to check out the same ones. But not all in one night, as Boudain and pals did. And not eating exactly everything he did. We're no match for his try-anything appetite, stamina, or even his biting, irreverent prose. Who is?

Above and Beyond in Granada

We usually focus on food and drink when we do a restaurant post. This one isn’t necessarily about food, although it was outstanding. This is about restaurant employees who go above and beyond good table service. Mary had a craving for paella, and we found a...

Basque Cooking School: San Sebastian

Most food lovers who pintxo crawl through San Sebastian’s old town are more than satisfied sampling these legendary Basque bites. Among them, though, are a passionate few who want to take their experience to the next level – that is, learning how to cook pintxos...

DEVOURING MADRID

A great food tour is a far cry from just eating and drinking. Food is intertwined with history and culture, so you won’t know Madrid, or any other destination, without knowing its food. Our guides were insiders who had a passion not only for food and drink but also for the history and lore of the place they call home. At each stop, they shared stories a casual diner would miss if wandering on their own. Like the nondescript door where nuns answer a bell and sell homemade cookies. Or the tapas bar Hemingway frequented. Or the reason squid sandwiches are a Madrid favorite. The following are some highlights of our most excellent Devour Tours in Madrid.

SOUTH AFRICAN WINE COUNTRY

More than 300 wineries thrive here in the moderate Mediterranean climate cooled by breezes from the Atlantic and Indian oceans, but they aren’t lined up, Napa Valley-like, on the main roads, preserving an appealing farm-country vibe. Our arrival in February coincided with harvest - and some of the area’s warmest weather. From our first base, the charming Plumwood Inn, we would explore Franschhoek and neighboring Stellenbosch, historic small towns considered by many to be South Africa’s wine and culinary capitals.

THE MOUNTAINS ARE CALLING

STORY & PHOTOGRAPHY BY WIBKE CARTER “The mountains are calling and I must go” is what is written on a sign in the lounge of my accommodation in the SalzburgerLand, and what a calling it is for the people who live in the mountainous region of this part of...

The Grand Tetons

Grand Teton National Park is more accessible than Yellowstone, and even a little warmer, but winter shuts down many of the park’s roads. Temperatures hovered around 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit under a brilliant blue sky during our three-day stay, maybe breaking into the low 20s on one afternoon. That is perfect ski weather, but we weren’t there to ski. We were there to take in the Grand Tetons and see wildlife.

DUBROVNIK’S GAME OF THRONES

Often called the "Pearl of the Adriatic," Dubrovnik instantly transports you to a different era. Known to millions as King's Landing from the popular TV series “Game of Thrones,” this Croatian city crowned with distinctive red-tiled roofs is a lively living museum. Each step within the historic walls of Old Town brings you in touch with the city’s rich history and cultural heritage.
The Magnificent Alhambra

The Magnificent Alhambra

Yesterday, Mary and I made our third pilgrimage to The Alhambra, the UNESCO World Heritage Site, looming over the ancient city of Granada. It is a stunning example of Islamic architecture and a symbol of Moorish power and the shifting tides of Christian rule in Spain....

SOUTH AFRICAN WINE COUNTRY

More than 300 wineries thrive here in the moderate Mediterranean climate cooled by breezes from the Atlantic and Indian oceans, but they aren’t lined up, Napa Valley-like, on the main roads, preserving an appealing farm-country vibe. Our arrival in February coincided with harvest - and some of the area’s warmest weather. From our first base, the charming Plumwood Inn, we would explore Franschhoek and neighboring Stellenbosch, historic small towns considered by many to be South Africa’s wine and culinary capitals.
Basque Country Bliss: San Sebastian

Basque Country Bliss: San Sebastian

Unveiling San Sebastian’s Culinary Coast and Cultural Charm San Sebastian, Spain is a Basque jewel nestled on the country’s rugged northern coast. This city, proudly called Donostia by locals, transcends the typical Spanish experience. It’s a city of many...

The Grand Tetons

The Grand Tetons

BY MICHAEL BURGE / Story and Photographs by Michael Burge Story and Photographs by Michael Burge: Every travel destination has its surprises, and Grand Teton National Park was no different. We expected sawtooth peaks, sugar-crystal snow and bracing cold. After all,...

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Almost Homeless in Madrid

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THE BOOKING GAME

A multitude of apps, internet sites, and tools make it easy to book and we generally use a combination of them when doing our research and making reservations. Over the decades of booking our travels, we have made plenty of mistakes but with each error; we become a little wiser and a little more cautious as we do our booking due diligence. Here are some lessons we’ve learned.

Cruise Fever

The Return to Cruising Survey coincides with the nearly first anniversary of the suspension of cruising in the United States. One year ago, we were in Oman aboard the Azamara Journey, preparing to fly home after mounting COVID fears truncated our exotic voyage. That was our last voyage to date and the ship’s as well. It’s now docked with two sister ships in Glasgow, Scotland. Little did we know when we walked down the Journey’s gangway that cruising would come to a standstill. 

Uncharted Waters

Perhaps the biggest unknown is the duration and strength of the current surge. Will the dramatic rise in infections and deaths in the United States lead other countries to again close their doors to American visitors? Will people continue dying needlessly because brainwashed and ill-informed citizens refuse to be vaccinated or wear a mask? Will the politicians who have recklessly resisted calls for mask mandates, testing, and vaccinations finally wake up and join in taking the much-needed steps to secure citizens around the world from this scourge?

CRUISE AT YOUR OWN PERIL

There is risk in any travel, whether hitchhiking through South America or spending a weekend at Disneyland. This fact was emphatically validated for us when our recent luxury cruise turned from dream to nightmare. In these never-ending pandemic times, we knew that...

WDT BLOG: RON & MARY'S LATEST ADVENTURES

SAN SEBASTIAN SPAIN
MADRID SPAIN
GRANADA SPAIN
Pasaia Maritime Festival San Sebastian

Pasaia Maritime Festival San Sebastian

San Sebastian is so much more than pintxos and beaches. Today we discovered the sea-faring side, just a dozen miles outside of town, at the Pasaia Maritime Festival. This event happens every two years and showcases heritage boats and ships to celebrate a seafaring...

Basque Country Bliss: San Sebastian

Basque Country Bliss: San Sebastian

Unveiling San Sebastian’s Culinary Coast and Cultural Charm San Sebastian, Spain is a Basque jewel nestled on the country’s rugged northern coast. This city, proudly called Donostia by locals, transcends the typical Spanish experience. It’s a city of many...

Royal Botanical Garden of Madrid

Royal Botanical Garden of Madrid

It’s warming up in Madrid – high 80s, low 90s. So we search for interesting things to do that get us out of the sun. A little later today we will visit the nearby Madrid Archaeological Museum. A few days ago, we escaped into the 20-acre oasis that is the...

Almost Homeless in Madrid

Almost Homeless in Madrid

Almost homeless in Madrid. When we last posted, we happily boasted about our travel day from San Sebastian to the Spanish capital. No problem storing our bags, an on-time train, and a comfortable ride in first class. The travel gods were smiling. We should have known...

The Magnificent Alhambra

The Magnificent Alhambra

Yesterday, Mary and I made our third pilgrimage to The Alhambra, the UNESCO World Heritage Site, looming over the ancient city of Granada. It is a stunning example of Islamic architecture and a symbol of Moorish power and the shifting tides of Christian rule in Spain....

TAPAS WITH TONY

TAPAS WITH TONY

“𝑨𝒉, 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒓𝒚𝒃𝒐𝒐𝒌 𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒈𝒅𝒐𝒎 𝒐𝒇 𝑮𝒓𝒂𝒏𝒂𝒅𝒂. 𝑶𝒏𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒐𝒍𝒅𝒆𝒔𝒕, 𝒎𝒐𝒔𝒕 𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒑𝒍𝒆𝒙, 𝒎𝒂𝒈𝒊𝒄𝒂𝒍𝒍𝒚 𝒔𝒖𝒓𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒍 𝒑𝒍𝒂𝒄𝒆𝒔 𝒊𝒏 𝑺𝒑𝒂𝒊𝒏. 𝑨𝒏𝒅 𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒎𝒐𝒔𝒕 𝒃𝒆𝒂𝒖𝒕𝒊𝒇𝒖𝒍.” ~𝑨𝒏𝒕𝒉𝒐𝒏𝒚 𝑩𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒅𝒂𝒊𝒏 Saint Anthony Bourdain inspired our whirlwind of eating and drinking in Granada last week. We were determined...

Walking Through History in Granada

Walking Through History in Granada

Granada, much like Toledo, is a city defined by its history. People have called it home for over 7,000 years. Sunday morning we joined a Highlights of Granada free walking tour. Our guide took us through the labyrinthine of steep cobblestone streets in the Albaicín....

Above and Beyond in Granada

Above and Beyond in Granada

We usually focus on food and drink when we do a restaurant post. This one isn’t necessarily about food, although it was outstanding. This is about restaurant employees who go above and beyond good table service. Mary had a craving for paella, and we found a...