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Category: History

Tarragona and Sitges

We’re now feeling like we’ve really explored Catalonia.  Along with finding many of the nooks and crannies in Barcelona, we’ve ventured up the coast to Girona and Figueres, westward and inland to Montserrat, and now it’s time for us to drive South down the coast.  Our destination is Tarragona, a city founded in the 5th […]

Girona and Figueres, Dali and Picasso

We’re off on another day trip in our rental car.  First stop: Girona.  We heard good things, but we had no real idea of its history.  First, there were the Romans, then the Visigoths, then the Moors, and then finally a Catalonian county starting in the 8th century.  One part of the old city that […]

Montserrat

As part of our stay in Barcelona, we rent a car to explore some of the nearby sites.  The first one on the list, Montserrat, surprises us in many ways.  The first is weather – we’re completely submerged in a cloud until about 100m away from the Benedictine Abbey near the top of the mountain […]

Barcelona and the Sagrada Familia

Onwards to Barcelona. We start our time in Barcelona by learning about its history through architecture.  At the time of the Industrial Revolution, Barcelona really takes off, and as part of the expansion created by the rush of people to cities, Modernist architects such as Antoni Gaudi get their chance to shine.  Our guided tour […]

Valletta’s charm

After Mdina, a tiny town of 300 people that completely empties every night around 5pm, Valletta feels like a true metropolis (kinda). There are restaurants and bars, shops that stay open late, theaters, and seemingly hordes of people.   Stomachs still full a couple days later from our Christmas dinner, early breakfast, regular breakfast and […]

Malta and Gozo’s ancient history

For our first couple days on the island, we rent a small car to hop around to all of the scattered sites.  Driving a manual car on the wrong side of the road made for a fun challenge for both Lindsey and me.  I wouldn’t say I’m great at driving with a stick-shift on the […]

Christmas in Malta

One of the many reasons that Malta became a destination for us this winter is how they celebrate the holidays.  Many Christmas traditions in Malta happen outside the home.  Not only does everyone attend a Midnight Christmas Mass, but many then follow it up with an early breakfast at a local restaurant.  Christmas lunch is […]

Mdina

After a 36-hour layover in Barcelona, during which we mainly try to fight our jetlag, our babymoon gets started in the walled city of Mdina, Malta.  Mdina is beyond medieval – in fact, it was Malta’s capital city back into Antiquity.  Starting with the Neolithic and Bronze Ages, then the Phoenicians as early as the […]

Murano glassblowing

For as touristy as we know it will be and as it ends up being, the glass blowing demonstration while on Murano Island near Venice is spectacular.  We find ourselves two seats in a hot studio that is somehow much hotter than the very hot day outside.  The actors of the show are a master […]

Azulejos

We are immediately taken by the azulejos, the Portuguese blue tiles that cover the inside and outside walls of so many sites.  These tiles are both art and construction material, and they come in the form of realistic stories and geometric patterns. The most traditional are an incredibly calming blue; however, as we explore further, […]