Girona and the Jews

I arrived in Girona in the mid-afternoon of a bright winter day in January, after an easy one-hour drive from Barcelona’s El Prat Airport. Northern’s Catalonia’s largest city, Girona turned out to be bigger than I expected, I even got lost in a commercial area in its outskirts, before finding my way downtown.  I drove by large and beautiful parks until finding Hotel Peninsular, in … Continue reading Girona and the Jews

Malloca: the royals, the rich, the Germans

I arrived at night at Mallorca’s Palma airport, one of the busiest in Europe, and was intrigued right away by the amount of ads in German – not in Spanish, the language of the land.  “The Germans own Mallorca, they buy everything they can”, explained my French friend Margot, who has a vacation home there and was waiting for me at the arrival gate. “But … Continue reading Malloca: the royals, the rich, the Germans

The reasons for Madrid

I had not been to Spain in a long time, but returning to Madrid last month made me wonder what took me so long. Madrid is thriving! The Spanish capital – a lively city of 3 million people – has everything other European capitals offer: culture, history, gastronomy, art, plus two important ingredients added to the mix: friendly people and low prices. The Madrileños, as … Continue reading The reasons for Madrid

Winter is high season in Florida

Due to the very high temperatures and humidity levels in Florida for most of the year, the best time to visit it is from late November to the beginning of April, winter in the Northern Hemisphere. The ‘season’, as it’s called, is when the thermometer goes from mid-90’s down to very pleasant 70’s Fahrenheit (21°C),  with almost no humidity in the air. Most winter days … Continue reading Winter is high season in Florida

Enchanting Mount Saint-Michel – Part 2 – The skull with a hole

After a visit to Mount Saint-Michel, in France, my daughter Clara and I were impressed by the beauty and the fantastic tales we had heard there. Perhaps the most fantastic of all is the legend of Saint Aubert, an 8th-century bishop in the nearby village of Avranches, a man so pious and religious that he was believed to  perform miracles. Legend tells that Aubert saw … Continue reading Enchanting Mount Saint-Michel – Part 2 – The skull with a hole

Enchanting Mount Saint-Michel Part 1 – A long overdue visit

Some places we visit enrich us with good moments, good memories and good pictures to show back home. Some others have a deeper effect on us – they change the way we feel and how we see things. Mount Saint-Michel, in France, was one of those. I knew that Mount Saint-Michel is one of Europe’s most famous landmarks. But I had also heard of the … Continue reading Enchanting Mount Saint-Michel Part 1 – A long overdue visit

The Gauchos of South America

In a world dominated by technology, the Gauchos of South America stand practically  alone in their success keeping their traditions alive, despite a frenetic globalization.      The Gauchos flourished from the mid-18th to the mid 19th centuries, in the region known as the Pampas, a vast portion of grasslands that stretches from southern Brazil to Argentina and Uruguay. Gauchos could be white, black, mestizos … Continue reading The Gauchos of South America