El Museo Guggenheim
Frank Gehry's most celebrated work. The museum is located in Bilbao in the Basque Country (northern Spain).
This is the main entrance to the Guggenheim. At the front entrance you can find a huge masterpiece known as "puppy" from the artist: Jeff Koons.
The museum itself possesses modern artwork from artists such as Warhol and many others - quite an eclectic combination but most definitely worth a visit (both outside and inside).
Location: Pamplona, Basque Country (España)
The song goes like this:
Uno de enero, dos de febrero, tres de marzo, cuatro de abril ... cinco de mayo, seis de junio ... siete de julio ¡San Fermín! ... a Pamplona hemos de ir (bis) ... con una media y un calcetín ...
This is the second time I run, but the first time I actually make it all the way thru and into the bullring ... scary, indeed, very scary!
Little did I know that once inside ... a few minutes later, a toro (bull) would be released into the bullring and the madness would continue. ... after the 3rd bull being released ... I was done and just jumped the wall and went to my friend's apartment.
... a short video after entering the bull ring ...
... and of course, you also need to try some paella. Even though many say the paella from Valencia (paella valenciana) is the best, you can still find many locations that serve it.
A must try is la Paella Negra ... which becomes black due to the squid ink that is added toward the end of its preparation.
La paella used to be a "poor people's meal" in the southern region of Spain ... and instead of seafood, it contained - mainly - escargot and rabbit ... at times chicken ...
Santiago de Compostela
Here you see one of Christendom's 3 sites for pilgrims since the Middle Ages. This is the famous Catedral de Santiago de Compostela where supposedly the remains of Santiago - one of the apostles of Jesus - are located.
Many pilgrims come from ALL over the world to walk, bike or horse ride through the Camino de Santiago also called the Way of St. James.
I met pilgrims that had been traveling from the border with France (Pyrenees) for 30, 40, 50 and even 60 days until they reached this place. Wow! ... quite some impressive spiritualism and/or devotion.
This was part of my to-do list while here:
Galicia in general is well-known for its seafood. So I did make it my task to eat as much as I could ... and I did.
Here you see a plate called Pulpo a la Caldeira which is octopus with a special sauce made of olive oil and spices (paprika) and accompanied by potatoes. It was chewy & delicious!
Next stop: La Coruña
Where literally ... Life is a beach!
... and again ... I ate seafood as if there was no tomorrow! ... squids, octopus, sea urchins ... tasty!
Today Sunday, 23 de junio - is the celebration for St. John ... and La Coruña is the infamous city that holds huge bonfires on the beach tonight, and cook sardines ... #Corunarocks
La Coruña (Galicia), España - espíritu de fuego
... and do read more about the San Juaneros and their night ...
Parque El Buen Retiro - once a site only enjoyed by the Spanish Royal Family, it is now a great place to spend an entire day sightseeing through the botanical gardens, kayaking, using the paddle boats, be entertained by jugglers and/or simply sit, relax and enjoy people watching.
It's name stems from what royals used to do here ... simply withdraw from court life and retreat themselves here (whether religiously or not).
It has many lush gardens and a few worth-finding fountains such as the one of the artichoke and the infamous monument to Lucipher - the only one in the world.
For more info.
El Palacio Real
It is no longer a royal residence but it still used to receive dignitaries of foreign countries as well as Heads of State.
Worth visiting: The tour within the palace as well as visiting the Royal Armoury.
Museo del Prado
This is the entrance known as the Velásquez entrance due to the monument that stand before it.
This museum is home to many paintings from re-known Spanish artists such as Goya, Murillo and Velásquez ... as well as foreign artists as El Greco, El Bosco ... amongst others.
Mercado de San Miguel
... a hidden treasure ... you ought to head here to try many seafood delicacies, pastries ... and so much more ...
This Roman bridge leads pedestrians to the Cathedral / Mosque of Córdoba.
At the entrance of the bridge you can spot a tower which is a live museum of the history behind this city.
A city where Jews, Muslims and Christians live together.
La Mezquita / Catedral de Córdoba
Former mosques here in Al-Andalus had a courtyard called: El Patio de los Naranjos. Place where fervent worshipers would wash their hands and feet before entering the prayer halls.
A unique place for both Muslims and Christians!
La Plaza de España is definitely a place you must visit while in Sevilla. It will definitely bring back memories from Sacha Baron's movie 'The Dictator'.
Located within the Parque de María Luisa it is was originally built for the Spanish-American exhibition of 1929. On its wall you can see tile-based depictions of many Spanish provinces ... and if time allows, you can take a paddle boat on the semi-circular lake that surrounds this structure, go biking around the nearby park or just stroll and enjoy the views of the Plaza and its fountain.
La Catedral de Sevilla:
A World Heritage site. It used to be a mosque until it was consecrated into a Catholic church. However you can still depict the Islamic architecture that has been preserved throughout the years. Within its wall you will be impressed by the tall columns, the high Altar, the different smaller chapels within.
One of its most famous personalities buried here is that of Christopher Columbus.
Mausoleo a Cristóbal Colón
(1898 - 1902)
His coffin is carried on the shoulders of 4 kings representing the original Spanish kingdoms of Castilla, León, Aragón and Navarra.
It is worth mentioning that on the right corner next to the feet of the king representing León, you can find a grenadine representing Granada.
Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza
The popular bullfights are still strong in Sevilla.
It's worth taking the tour of the bull ring as well as the museum underneath in order to better appreciate how this event has evolved throughout the years.