One of the benefits of living in Europe is the close proximity to other countries. Over the winter holiday break, we spent a couple weeks visiting Rome, Florence, Pisa, and Venice. Here are my favorite photos from our New Year’s visit to this city on the lagoon.
Over the extended winter break from school, our family made a visit to three of Italy’s most prominent cities: Rome, Florence (with a side trip to Pisa), and Venice. I realize that these photo journal posts aren’t the most riveting, but I feel obligated to save off some of the better pictures in case my hard drive crashes!
This was my fourth time to Florence and it gets better with every visit. The sights and food available in this relatively small town are second to none. It really wasn’t hard to improve on my first visit when I was pick pocketed by some kids decades ago. Florence was recently added to our new list of “places to which we’d consider moving for a summer or longer”.
Starting in early December, downtown Granada dresses up nicely in the holiday spirit. Major streets are lined with lights and there is a festive mood that permeates the air. It all comes to a head the evening of January 5 for the Cabalgata de Reyes Magos (Cavalcade of Magi) parade.
Note: Santa Claus (Papa Noel) is a bit of an afterthought around here. The real stars are the three kings and it is the morning of January 6 that kids receive their presents.
We’ve had our fair share of family visitors lately. When they spend several days with us, we tend to exhaust all of the most touristy things there is to see in Granada. When that happens, we usually elect a day trip to our next favorite destination: Córdoba.
Home to the Mezquita (Mosque) now turned Catholic Church, this remains one of my most favorite sites in all of Europe – right up there with the Alhambra and Sistine Chapel.
In the center of town sits the gigantic Granada Cathedral. Unlike many of the other cathedrals in Spain, it wasn’t constructed until after the last Nasrid (Muslim) Dynasty surrendered to the Christian kingdoms in 1492.
In modern day Granada, it is somewhat awkwardly placed since it is difficult to get a straight on view of the front due to positioning of other buildings that overlap. Out the front entrance is a rather diminutive plaza that hosts both many organized and impromptu gatherings – usually in the evening.
I realize this online journal of mine is an abandoned mess. I always thought that once we arrived in Spain and settled in, I’d have all kinds of time to jot down blog posts that capture the essence of our time here. The problem is it has been quite the opposite. I have more (fun) obligations than I know what to do with and unfortunately noting things down in this format just hasn’t been one of them.
Anyway, enjoy a few pictures of some amazing street art that I’ve come across the last month or two, often in the most unexpected areas of town. For more pictures and small anecdotes, you can also follow along via my Facebook page.