After three long months of editing I think my Spain portfolio is complete...or as complete as it will be. It is a huge portfolio, consisting of over 700 images, and taken together is a virtual tour of Spain. In fact as I edited these photos I felt I was seeing everything again for the first time. As we moved from place to place we had guides to interpret what we were seeing, but I am so compelled to photograph that I often miss what's being said. I don't hear that well anyway, so my focus is on what I am seeing then later read about those things that interest me. In the end I bet I wind up with more of an insight than anyone on the tour. My reading thus far has included a brief overall history of Spain, a history of the Moors in Spain, a history of the Spanish Civil War, and currently a history of Spain's "golden age" from 1519-1682.
These fifteen portfolios visit much of this spectacular country. We began in Madrid, the Capitol. Flying in to this modern city I was struck by how green the landscape was...from horizon to horizon. I guess I expected much the same ground coloring as coastal California, golden yellow. Not so. My wife and I spent the first afternoon in Madrid's RETIRO park, a large and beautiful reserve within this city where one can escape the traffic and noise of the city.
We travelled the country by coach in a clockwise direction heading north to Santander and the Bay of Biscay. Enroute we stopped at the charming village of Lerma before crossing the Catabrica Cordillera (mountains) finally reaching the sea in late afternoon. We then proceeded east to Bilbao, San Sebastián, Pamplona (of San Fermin fame) and Zaragosa before driving along the foothills of the Pyrenees and a relative "breather" in Barcelona. We continued southwest to Valencia and Granada, a stop on the Costa Del Sol (including visits to Malaga and Mijas), thence to Gibraltar, Seville and Cordoba before proceeding north to Toledo, and finally back to Madrid. In other words we circled Spain, enroute seeing and experiencing a great deal, like flamenco in Andalucia, the Alhambra in Granada, unbelievable architecture in Bilbao, and the Prado in Madrid. Besides green in the central and northern sectors we saw far more mountains than expected, olive orchards as far as the eye can see, acres and acres of artichokes, almond and orange orchards, bull raising ranches, and miles of scenic coastline. And, oh yes, did I mention architecture? If not there's plenty to see in my portfolios. Would I go back? Oh yes! We left plenty to see and do. I'm too old now, but I should have walked the Camino de Santiago years ago. If not familiar with that check it out.
So, if you want to experience what we did spend some time with my portfolios. You will virtually retrace our steps. If you know little about Spain now you will now quite a bit by the time you finish.