Photos of the Louvre and The Palace of Versailles taken from online
A Sojourn in Spain and Morocco
This trip to Spain and Morocco was an amazing adventure and my most rewarding vacation, ever. Within it, I found that the beauty of Spain is nearly inexplicable and, it has a timeless quality to it. That quality extends beyond the architecture, landscapes, history and art to the faces, smile and warmth of the Spanish people who welcomed me everywhere.
Barcelona is always the same. It sends an electric shock from the hair on my head down to my toes every time I set foot there. While there, I found a wonderful concert at Santa Anna given by Alan Garagic, a classical guitarist, who immediately won me over with an aria from The “Magic Flute”, then a style reminiscent of the Andalusian Romero Brothers. In the remaining time: Gaudi & Sagrada Familia, LaPedera, and Parc Guell; Figueres & Dali; La Rambla con helados; 4Gats & coffee; the harbor & peace; Barceloneta & Place d’Espana for walking, observing & feeling free.
Zaragoza! I was unprepared for what I saw when I entered La Seo Cathedral. For a few minutes, I stood immobile, mesmerized by the magnificence and the intricacies of the alabaster and gold engravings. How could this mastery have been achieved so many years ago? Which chapel was the most exquisite? Seeing the internal beauty of this cathedral was, in itself, worth the trip to Spain.
In Madrid, someone exclaimed, “you have the most beautiful smile in the world!” These few words set the stage for an incredible five days. I had hoped to expand my enthusiasm for art periods other than impressionism; however, I ended up confirming it. Museo de Sorollo, with its many canvases of color and reflective light took my breath away. Day trips to Segovia, Avila and Aranquez displaced me to where all else ceased to matter except history, beauty and imagination…How can I return?
Then there was the Guggenheim in Bilbao, interesting enough, mostly for the architecture. In San Sebastien, there wasn’t enough time to fully enjoy this romantic and alluring city but, as I approached by air, the reflection of a spectacular rainbow announced the city’s aesthetic qualities and, I most enjoyed the coastal landscapes and fresh breezes. Andalucía- Malaga and Marbella- brought unforgettable moments over tapas, queso manchego, jamon, vino y flamenco!
From there, the cruise I selected was surely predictable…but, ah Morocco! This country would be overpowering for me on a daily basis. It’s all-consuming, fast-paced and exhilarating, requiring mental gymnastics to survive. The Mausoleum of Mohammed V, the Kabash of Udayas, the Royal Palace & Bab-Rouah Gate were among the many divine sights of the capital city, Rabat. Casablanca, alone, was spellbinding, intriguing and inviting…so much going on at the same time. Try shopping in the Central Market or Medina or a visit to Hassan II Mosque, the 13th largest in the world- amazing! Now, I can check Morocco off my list!
Fortunately, I did not take a ferry to Mallorca for just one day from Barcelona, upon return from Morocco, as I originally had thought to do. Instead, I flew over for a couple of nights. Even that was not nearly enough to explore and experience this unique and picturesque island. To my disappointment, the arrival afternoon was spent resolving business related issues. The following day, the only available Saturday excursion to eastern Cala Millor, Porto Cristo and Cuevas Del Drach was a lovely tour; however, I had in mind that the western part of the island would be the most appealing. Mallorca is enchanting and, I must go back there for more. Absolutely!
What a trip- 28 days in Spain and Morocco! This was a phenomenal education and experience, leaving me with a very difficult transition back into daily life. I was already thinking- no, dreaming about what’s next and, after only one week home!