Thursday, November 27, 2008

My Spanish Adventure: How dreams do come true . . .

While visiting the Puente Nuevo Museum, I read a really cool quote that said . . . "A bridge takes us somewhere which is always on the other side. However only some bridges can take us beyond their structure and pillars, where writers, dreamers and creators roam, where images of dreams and the imagination are built. The new bridge in Ronda is this place."

This quote evoked so many feelings in me and I start to reflect back again on all the places that I´ve been to on this trip, even going as far back to the inception and planning stages. Sure it was a tad ambitious traveling to so many places. However, to be honest, I can´t think of one city or town that I would have wanted to leave out. Not one! Not even my day trips to Toledo and Cordoba. During these past 3 weeks . . . I saw so many exciting and incredible things that I had never seen before, I met some pretty cool people, I learned to come out of my comfort zone and eat and drink like the locals, I learned about some very interesting history including how different religions and cultures had co-existed in the past and I wonder why they can´t do so now.

Some highlights tha I will never ever forget . . . the Almudena Fiesta in Madrid at the Plaza Mayor, my first tapa bar experience, walking the ramparts in the beautiful town of Toledo and my visit to the Mesquita and one of only three Synagogues in Spain, the passion and excitement of watching my first live Flamenco Show at Los Gallos in Sevilla, the arches of the Cathedral and the 1200 year old Muslim Subterranean well in Cordoba, the golden tiled dome and beautiful sunsets on the baeach of the 3,000 year old town of Cadiz, the magnificent and romantic lure of the Alhambra in Granada and now the place where dreamers can stand, the Puente Nuevo in Ronda!

And amongst all the grandeur of the things and places I saw, I always seem to leave with equally improtant memories of the little moments in time that really had great meaning to me and they all seem to involve the people I met . . . my rail buddies at the Almudena Fiesta in Madrid and the ladies I photographed in their regional dresses, the very patient bartender at my first Tapa bar in Madrid . . . the local in Sevilla who took the time to remind me of why I was in Spain . . . the local walking his little puppy in Cordoba who told him to settle down so I could snap his picture (he was being a whirlwhind like Annie´s Maria) . . .the local in Cadiz who stopped to tell me about this beautiful old church that I was admiring and taking a photo of as he was walking by . . . and Washington Irving´s romantic tales of the Alhambra in Granada!

I have really enjoyed getting to know Spain these past 3 weeks . . . the culture, the food and Cava, the great monuments, traditions, flamenco music and dance, religious sights, their magnificent jewels (in the Alhambra) and most especially the passion, friendliness and helpfullness of the Spaniards. Spain is a very beautiful and diverse country filled with so much history and I am so glad that I decided to come.

And much like the Puent Nuevo quote says about how it is more than just a bridge to get to the other side, travel means more to me than just getting to see and experience another country or culture. After this trip, I have come to realize that travel allows me to dream and to imagine beyond what I think I am capable of doing and it awakens that creative and adventurous part in me that frankly needs awakening every now and then. Makes life exciting and fresh!

After 3 wonderful weeks of traveling through this very beautiful, diverse and exciting country I am here in the small town of Ronda, near the end of this great Spanish adventure. But I know that this is not the end of my journey as a traveler, because dreamers never stop dreaming or imagining just as travelers never stop traveling.

I have so much to be grateful for in my life, so many people to thank for helping me to realize this trip. And I especially want to thank all of you for taking the time to read my blog and for coming along on my Spanish Adventure. It was an awesome and fun trip!

And so I leave you now with this night shot of the Puente Nuevo here in the beautiful town of Ronda . . and with one last thought . . . I can´t wait to see where my dreams and imagination will take me to next . . .

I´m looking forward to catching up with all of my favorite bloggers when I get back home to the States on Monday! Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving Holiday! Bye for now!


  1. hello!! I'm spanish and I like your blog!
    I'm happy that you enjoyed Spain. I'm from Murcia and I recommend to you to visit Murcia because it is precious and has streets and very beautiful squares full of bars with marvellous food!!

    Adiós! ;)

  2. What a fantastic photo of the Puente Neuvo, and I love that you took the essential message from the quote and turned it into something completely meaningful about your travels.

    I think it's fair to say you left a small part of yourself in Ronda, and I'd love to ask you if you wouldn't mind me quoting you on my Ronda site.

  3. Oh my goodness, I have so enjoyed following your trip. Your photos have been so beautiful!

  4. Great post! I can't believe your 3 weeks are over already!! I so enjoyed traveling with you through your blogg. I hope you have an easy trip back home. Isn't it wonderful to dream about where to go next?

  5. Great post! I can't believe your 3 weeks are over already!! I so enjoyed traveling with you through your blogg. I hope you have an easy trip back home. Isn't it wonderful to dream about where to go next?

  6. Kathy, I haven't had time to read all your entries from Spain but by looking at the pictures I gather you had an amazing time in Spain. I'm looking forward to reading each one of your entries and see Spain through your eyes. I'm going thru some big Andalusian withdrawals and looking at your photos is not helping ;-).

    I’ll come back later for more …

  7. Hi Kathy,

    I hope that you had a safe trip home and aren't too tired. You have done such a wonderful job blogging on your trip - I have thoroughly enjoyed reading about (and seeing) all the cool places you have been over the past three weeks. Seems like the time just flew by!

    Ronda looks like such a cool town and I love your adventures with the bridges!

    Hope it doesn't take too long for you to get back on USA time. Only a couple of days for me and then I'm off to Venice!

  8. Hi Everyone! Thanks so much for all of your comments. I just arrived home a few hours ago and have been catching up with all of you. Haven't quite caught up but I will . . .

    CamPaniLLA, thanks for your comments. I really love your country a lot and do plan to return so I will definitely keep Murcia with it's beautiful squares, bars and awesome food on my must see list!

    Ronda Today, thanks so much for your comments. I loved your town very much and thoroughly enjoyed my stay there. Feel free to use whatever ou want. And you are correct, I think I did leave a little part of me there in your beautiful town . . .

    Leslie, thanks so much for your comments . . .

    Girasoli, I know what you mean. I can't believe I'm back... It was an awesome 3 weeks and yes I can't wait to do it all over again.

    Hi Maria, welcome home! I know what you mean about having a big Andalusian withdrawal. Gosh I really miss that Andalusian breakfast you told me about. Yum! That little bar near my apartment and sitting on the stool eating and drinking, eating and drinking . . . I definitely want to go back to Spain again!

    Annie, yes I'm back and trying to catch up with everyone's blog and fight jetlag and do laundry at the same time. Time sure did fly! I loved Ronda a lot. It is one cool town and wouldn't you know while I was there the King of Spain was visiting! The Christmas Market that I thought they were building in the Bullring was actually for a big event they had while the King was visiting in Ronda. That was very cool seeing him in person like that. I just visited your blog and I find out that I did make it back home before you left. I'm so glad that I did so I can wish you a wonderful time. Have fun and enjoy Venice for all of us. Don't forget to visit the Cafe girls! They make great paninis ... take care Annie!

  9. Welcome home Kathy!! Wow, you actually saw the King of Spain?? That is soooo cool! Did you get any photos of him?

  10. You ran into the King? That is amazing!

    I won't forget the Cafe girls at Bar da Gino! Thanks Kathy. And how very cool that they would like to quote you on the Ronda website!

    I'm at "woo hoo" right now - figure I'll be at "yikes" when I get home from work and start packing!

  11. Hi - welcome back! My computer died and I had to roll it back, so am just getting up and running again. Loved reading all about your trip. Your pictures are fantastic! :)

  12. Kathy, it sounds as if you had a fantastic trip. I've so enjoyed traveling along with you -- your descriptions and photos have been wonderful.

    I think it's a great trip when you can come home with no regrets about what you saw and did (altho there are usually regrets about what you didn't get a chance to do!)

    I always feel so much larger than my former self after a trip, like a sponge that has absorbed so much. And even if I don't look any different on the outside, something inside has blossomed.

    Welcome home! I'll be watching for more of your impressions from this trip.

  13. Hi Everyone, I managed to stay up until (I think) about 7:30 pm last night so I can try to get back on LA time. I woke up about 3:00 am but forced myself to go back to sleep. Thankfully, my supervisor told me to take today off and go back to work on Wednesday.

    Girasoli, I wasn't carrying my SLR, but had my compact canon in my purse (yes, I'm a nut for traveling with two cameras but sometimes I just don't feel like carrying a big camera around so I always take a second more compact camera)... I snapped just as his car and escort was driving up, but I snapped too early and may have missed him. I did look up just as his car drove by and got a good look at him waving to all of us bystanders. Very cool! I tried to get closer to where he exited but there was a large crowd. And since I didn't have good rail positioning (like I did in Madrid) or my zoom lens with me I couldn't snap a real good close-up of him. I'm going to take a second look at my photos on my larger screen today to see if I caught any good shots of him.

    Annie, it was pretty amazing to have had a quick glimpse of King Carlos during my stay and when I googled his visit just now I found out that he visited Ronda's fine Equestrian stables (the very stables I visited the morning before and maybe even the horses that I saw being worked out). What a coincidence, huh!

    Rondatoday said something so interesting and that applies so much. I really did feel like I left a part of me in Ronda. I have so many great memories. I think Spain like Italy has really touched my heart.

    Whoo hoo! you'll be in Venice tomorrow! How exciting for you and all of your blog readers. I am so excited for you! I can visualize Venice right now and I can't wait to hear about all of your observations and new discoveries. I'm so glad to hear that you'll visit the Cafe girls! Have a smooth flight over and have an awesome time in Venice! Take care Annie!

    Leslie, thank you so much for your comments and for reading my blog. It was so much fun writing it. Sorry to hear about your computer problems. I hope that it doesn't die on you again.

    Sandra, thanks so much for the welcome home and I agree with what you said about no regrets. I did miss doing a couple of things that I had planned to do, but things sure change while on the road. For example, I had wanted to do that train trip while in Ronda but I was enjoying my stay so much there that I couldn't tear myself away. In Cadiz, I was actually hoping to bus over to Tarifa so I could do a quick day trip to Morocco (I was so close) but I was enjoying myself so much in Cadiz and I couldn't tear myself away there also. Both decisions I have no regrets over. I agree with your other comments a lot. I also feel like a sponge absorbing so much and like you I do change (inside) after each trip. And it's hard to explain and pinpoint exactly how I change but I know that is both in my knowledge and most importantly in my heart. I just have such a deeper understanding and appreciation for life and the world I live in.

    And now even after having slept for nearly 12 hours, I am feeling sleepy again...looks like jetlag trying to creep in!

    Today, I'm going to try to work on my reviews and do a post entry comment on my trip and on my visit to Malaga. I was very surprised that I really enjoyed myself there and actually did quite a bit in the two short days.

    Annie . . . I'll pass the 2008 travel baton over to you so you can close out Travel 2008 in beautiful Venice...Whoo hoo!

  14. Passing the baton to me - I like that! I won't actually be in Venice until early Thursday morning (I fly from NC to JFK tomorrow afternoon and then JFK to Venice tomorrow night). I just checked the weather forecast and when I arrive on Thurs. morning, it's supposed to be sunny and in the low 50's - perfect! Not too cold at all.

    I'm so glad your supervisor gave you an extra day off to recover and get back on LA time. I hope I can sleep tonight because I doubt I'll sleep on the plane (too excited!).

    Take care and I'll talk to you soon!

  15. Safe travels Annie! So glad to hear that the weather will be perfect for your arrival! Have fun!


It's me Trekcapri (aka Kathy). Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment.