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sevilla: parque maría luisa

España, Spain, Sevilla, Seville, Parque María Luisa

Designed by a French landscape architect for the 1929 Ibero-American Expo, Parque María Luisa was once the backyard of the powerful Montpensier family; in fact, Sevilla named the park after its Duchess donor. Today, this 34-hectare public space remains the largest green area in the city, full of many interesting nooks & crannies to explore. Let’s have a look at its past & present…

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photo essay: río huéznar

España, Spain, Andalucía, Sevilla, Río Huéznar, Huésna, Sierra Moreno

The Huéznar River —sometimes written “Huésna,” as it can also be pronounced— begins near San Nicolás del Puerto & meanders to a reservoir before emptying into the Guadalquivir. Known for a long series of cascades, the riverbed creates a real oasis in an otherwise semi-dry area. We’ve only begun to explore trails here & will add more content as our walks progress.

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spain: guidebook research 2022

Rick Steves, Spain, Andalucía, guidebook research

After a two year break, I’m on the road again! The book department —as Rick Steves himself put it— has a herculean task ahead of themselves this year: update each & every guidebook the company publishes. We all have our work cut out for us. In fact, this is just the first part of my schedule. I’ll be updating the entire Portugal book in June & July. But let’s not jump the gun…

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el pedroso: arroyo de las cañas trail

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España, Spain, Andalucía, El Pedroso, Arroyo de las Cañas, trail, sendero

Rafa & I continue to explore the large number of walking trails in our area, & this is the most well-known. Its first two sections are beautiful with several opportunities to spot horses, sheep, cattle & even pigs! Although lengthy, the route is generally flat with well-maintained backroads & paths. Take a picnic lunch, & spend a fun afternoon walking through this biosphere / natural park.

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el pedroso: newest trail

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Spain, España, Andalucía, El Pedroso, hiking, trail

Even easier than the Mirador de Alonso, this walking route is so new that it doesn’t have an official name yet! Still under construction on the day after Thanksgiving, we were surprised at all the animals we saw along the way: falcons, storks, sheep, friendly dogs & curious cattle… an easy way to connect with nature if you happen to be in the area.

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recipe: migas

recipe, Spain, migas

And you thought gazpacho was the only way Spaniards found another use for day-old bread! Much of Spanish cooking is waste not-want not using simple, high quality ingredients. In fact, migas (literally “breadcrumbs”) uses only five common kitchen staples to make a classic dish. This particular recipe comes from a family of saffron harvesters in Castilla-La Mancha, so they add a pinch of their local spice. For this traditional shepherd’s dish, saffron wouldn’t normally be on hand but its addition makes this version even more tasty.

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personal: places lived 13

places lived, Spain, El Pedroso, 2021 to present, España

When I wrote this series of posts last year, I never dreamed another entry would be needed so soon! Such is life. A friend & I began house hunting online during the height of the pandemic, mainly as a way to pass time. Without trying, we learned a lot about the real estate market in Spain. So when our landlady decided not to renew our lease for 2021, I put all that research to work & became a first-time property owner.

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spain: utrera

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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— ending 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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