travel theme: architecture

Monday, August 12:  Ailsa’s Travel Theme (Where’s my backpack?) for this week is architecture.  I’ve been having a bit of a hard time with this one because it’s such a broad theme.  As a matter of fact, I would say my entire trip through Spain and Portugal this summer was about the architecture (and the food!), so you could look at my entire travelogue to see some amazing architecture.  For this challenge, I’m going to limit myself to three places, four photos.  These are some of my favorites, but are of course not all-inclusive!

First choice, hands down, Cordoba’s Mezquita.  To see lots more pictures, you can check out my post: andalucía: córdoba’s stunning mezquita.

Cordoba's Mezquita
Cordoba’s Mezquita

Second choice, Seville’s Alcázar.  If you’d like to see more, you can visit: the alcázar in seville.

Seville's Alcázar
Seville’s Alcázar
Seville's Alcázar
Seville’s Alcázar

And finally, I have to include at least one place from beautiful Sintra, in Portugal: the gorgeous Palace of Monserrate.

Palace of Monserrate
Palace of Monserrate

travel theme: wild

Thursday, August 8:  I didn’t get to many natural places during my trip to Spain and Portugal this summer, but in the few places I did go, I found some wild flowers that I thought were pretty crazy-looking.   I also found a wild bird here and there, and some wild street art in Lisbon.  So for Ailsa’s travel theme this week, just under the wire, here are some pictures. (Where’s my backpack? Travel Theme: Wild)

wild flower in El Torcal, Spain
wild flowers in El Torcal, Spain
wildflowers in El Torcal, Spain
wildflowers in El Torcal, Spain
Scottish thistle in El Torcal, Spain
Scottish thistle in El Torcal, Spain
Scottish thistle in Teba, Spain
Scottish thistle in Teba, Spain
wildflowers in Teba, Spain
wildflowers in Teba, Spain
wildflowers in Teba, Spain
wildflowers in Teba, Spain
A wild bird in Teba
A wild bird in Teba
Scottish thistle in Teba, Spain
Scottish thistle in Teba, Spain
Wild street art in Lisbon, Portugal
Wild street art in Lisbon, Portugal
more wild street art in Lisbon
more wild street art in Lisbon

travel theme: sweet

Friday, July 26:  This week, Ailsa of Where’s my backpack? challenges us to come up with something sweet.   She asks us to: Whisper a sweet nothing and send it my way.

On my trip through Spain and Portugal, I sampled delectable sweets all along the way.  I have a few extra bulges around my waist as a result.  Here’s to you, Ailsa, some sweet nothings coming your way.

The Mercat de la Boqueria in Barcelona is a colorful feast of sweets: fruit juices, fruits, and candies galore.

sweet fruit juices at the Mercat de la Boqueria in Barcelona
sweet fruit juices at the Mercat de la Boqueria in Barcelona
sweet fruit at Mercat de la Boqueria in Barcelona
sweet fruit at Mercat de la Boqueria in Barcelona
candies at Mercat de la Boqueria in Barcelona
candies at Mercat de la Boqueria in Barcelona

One sweet treat that beckons from nearly every street in Spain and Portugal is gelato.  I tried to sample as much as I could. 🙂  This gelato cart was on the street in Tavira, Portugal.  Jo of restlessjo and I were in search of fig and almond gelato, which she raves about.  Sadly for me, though this cart usually sells Jo’s favorite flavor, they are out of it on this night.

gelato in Tavira, Portugal
gelato in Tavira, Portugal

Toledo, Spain is famous for its marzipan.  Of course, I had to sample some.

marzipan in Toledo, Spain
marzipan in Toledo, Spain

A churro, sometimes referred to as a Spanish doughnut, is a fried-dough pastry-based snack. It is normally eaten for breakfast dipped in hot chocolate or cafe con leche.  It’s delicious!

churros and chocolate in Granada, Spain
churros and chocolate in Granada, Spain

And finally, one of Portugal’s great culinary wonders is the cinnamon-dusted pastel de nata (custard tart), with its flaky crust and creamy center.  I tasted lots of these throughout Portugal, but this one was at Cafe Pielas In Sintra.

cinnamon-dusted pastel de nata in Portugal
cinnamon-dusted pastel de nata in Portugal

I have to say that some of the best sweets to be found are in Europe! 🙂