Only in Europe would a bridge constructed in 1793 be considered a “new bridge.” The town of Ronda is constructed on the edges of the cliffs of El Tajo. Three bridges join the different parts of the town, plunging deep into the canyon. At night, the Puente Nuevo is lit up from below, creating one of the most scenic views I have ever had a pleasure of seeing while drinking wine on our B&B’s terrace, the Andalusian mountains in the background, the buildings perched on the ledges of El Tajo in the foreground.
In the province of Valencia on the Costa Blanca is the touristic town of Calp, visited not only for its long stretch of beaches but also for the iconic Penyal d’Ifach, a massive limestone outcrop emerging from the sea and linked to the shore by rocks. It is often compared to its southern counterpart, the Rock of Gibraltar, and is 332 metres high. You can hike up the Penyal d’Ifach thanks to a tunnel carved into the rock, though the steep cliff face and narrow pathway proves intimidating to some, as are the aggressive birds during nesting season. I chose instead to capture the rock from below, where it rises from the Mediterranean Sea, sheltering and protecting the town below.
Some music journalists claim that American music festivals could really learn a thing or two from Primavera. Others say that Primavera is the second version of the UK’s infamous Glastonbury.
50 kilometres west of Barcelona lies the Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey, nestled high up on the Montserrat mountain. The mountain cuts into the skyline like a handsaw. In Catalan, Montserrat literally means “serrated mountain.” Funicular trains and hiking trails take you all around the imposing mountain, once said according to Arthurian legend to be the site of the Holy Grail. But for me, it is more of a holy grail of a view.
I was 17, and it was my first time out of North America – a “cultural” trip to France and Spain with my French teacher and a group of 16 students. We spent a week in France followed by three days in Barcelona and the Catalonia area. It’s hard to recall my exact itinerary now seven years later, but what I do remember is that Barcelona became my new favourite place (keeping in mind that at the time, I had very little to compare it to). One of our stops was the infamous Sagrada Família by Antonio Gaudi, the never-ending work in progress with construction thriving only on public donation. In 2008, much of it was scaffolded, under construction, and it had not yet been consecrated by the Catholic church. As a group we did not go inside, but I remember one thought as we looked at the drawing of what the finalized cathedral would look like – would the Sagrada Família be finished before I die? It was already 100 years in the making – what’s …