discovering the world…

spain: utrera

Spain, España, Andalucía, Utrera

A quick commuter train ride southeast of Sevilla —the line heads toward the general direction of Zahara de la Sierra & Grazalema— ends in Utrera. This city of 52,000 people sits off most tourists’ radar but has a few surprises to merit a visit: a church similar to the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos in Lisbon, the only church bell ringers left in Andalucía, an immense castle keep & a party room inspired by the Alhambra. Even pastries if you have a super sweet tooth! Let’s explore this easy day trip from Sevilla

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el pedroso: mirador de alonso trail

  • spain
Spain, España, El Pedroso, train, hiking, Mirador de Alonso

One advantage of living in the Sierra Morena foothills is easy access to several hiking trails. Although not an experienced hiker, updating guidebooks for Rick Steves has endowed me with lots of stamina! Autumn now approaches & with it cooler temperatures, so we’re starting to explore on foot what the region has to offer…

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endless mile: ten years on

When Endless Mile began ten years ago today, I never envisioned the business taking so many twists & turns. Then again, who really knows how a company’s future will unfold? EM has survived desertion, a few changes in focus & two international relocations. But the business is still here & not going away any time soon. A brief recap of each year follows to show how Endless Mile has grown over the past decade. Join me looking back…

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andalucía: navigating a pandemic

  • spain
España, Spain, Andalucía, COVID19, graph, pandemic

In March 2020, Spain began a lockdown that would come & go for well over a year. As we descend from the fourth wave of infection, now seems a good time to reflect on national & local management of the pandemic. My personal experience in Andalucía should not be considered standard for the entire country; other regions of Spain have had wildly different circumstances. Hindsight is of course 20/20, but I’ll try to address the good, the bad & the unfortunate, occasional ugly. Enjoy the rollercoaster ride like the graph above (taken from the Ministerio de Sanidad).

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buenos aires: esquinas

Argentina, Buenos Aires, esquinas, corners

When I started writing a free PDF guide of the most attractive domes in Buenos Aires —sometime back in 2007— daily walks throughout the city made one thing obvious: corners (esquinas) offer the very best views. Buenos Aires had been founded on a tight grid plan used by the Spanish in all their territories, so street intersections gave light to cramped quarters. Future city planners widened avenues & crowned new corners with impressive domes as well as added the ochava… recessing ground level corners like the shape of a stop sign. No better place to show off brilliant architecture & give pedestrians some much-needed space.

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recipe: codfish cakes

At the risk of adding yet another cod recipe to this blog, I couldn’t let Holy Week pass without presenting another of my favorites from Portugal: bolinhos de bacalhau. This traditional petisco (snack or appetizer) is great with beer when you’re feeling peckish, at the beginning of a meal to ease an eager appetite, or several accompanied by a salad makes a meal. While traditionally fried, my version is baked but just as tasty… maybe that means you can indulge in an extra!

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sevilla: almohad baths, rediscovered

España, Andalucía, Sevilla, Bar Giralda, Almohad, baths, baños árabes

I’ll wager that almost everyone who visits Sevilla has walked past the Cervecería Bar Giralda on Mateos Gago. Beginning as a kiosk in 1923 on nearby Plaza Virgen de los Reyes, owners moved to this more permanent spot when architect Vicente Traver renovated a pre-existing structure. Regionalist style was all the rage in 1920s Sevilla, so Traver incorporated what he found into his design then left no written record of his work. Archaeologists would uncover this gem one hundred years later…

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recipe: lentejas

recipe, Spain, lentejas

A big bowl of lentil stew makes any winter day warm & cozy… delicious even while temps in Sevilla reach 23ºC in mid-February! Every Spaniard grows up with their family’s version of this classic dish, & Rafa finally let me have a go at making this crowdpleaser. Lots of spices along with onions, carrots & potatoes give fantastic flavor to a basic kitchen staple: the lentil. One taste & this may become your favorite stew regardless of the season.

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