Just Another Day In Spain…

Vigo, Spain - Designerella

Buenos días! from the wonderful country of España. Spain is a country that offers many different and exciting experiences for tourist. The Atlantic port town of Vigo is located just 20 miles north of Portugal, it is a location that provides a great Iberian experience.

A great place to begin exploring the town is from La Guia Hill. The hill is located to the east of downtown Vigo, in the suburb of Teis. At the top of the hill is a nice park that provides wonderful views of the city and the Ria de Vigo. Also atop the hill is a beautiful shrine Ermita de Nosa Señora Da Guía. The spire can be seen from most locations in Vigo. From here looking west provide wonderful views of the city and port. Looking east provides an excellent view of Ponte (bridge) de Rande. In both directions breathtaking panoramic views stretch out over the Galician countryside. And a close look into the waters shows rectangular structures which are mussel farms.

Vigo, Spain - Designerella

Vigo, Spain - Designerella

Vigo, Spain - Designerella

Just south of Vigo is O Pazo Quinones de Leon. This palace was built in 1620 recently restored to become Quinoes de Leon municipal museum that maintains the buildings and the gardens. This palace is sitting on a 17th century Castrelus Park which has stunning French gardens and fountains surrounding the palace. While pictures are not allowed inside the palace, the views are memorable enough not to need pictures. The furnishings in each room are remarkable with pieces coming from all-around the world. The alterpiece located the chapel is truly remarkable piece that should not be missed. Outside the gardens are well manicured and serve to make the outside space a continuation of the interior.

Vigo, Spain - Designerella

Vigo, Spain - Designerella

Vigo, Spain - Designerella

Every time I visit Spain I enjoy the sunny skies and wonderful hospitality. The town of Vigo, Spain provides a true Galatian experience.

La Palma!

La Palma, Spain - Designerella

¡Bienvenidos! from Santa Cruz de La Palma.  The island of La Palma is the result of volcanic activity like the other Canary Islands. The volcanoes on La Palma are the most active of all the Canary Islands. The port town Santa Cruz de La Palma, which is simply referred to as La Palma, is just north of one of the smaller calderas. In spite of the potential for volcanic activity, the locals have created a wonderful town with cobblestone streets, quaint shops, and cute cafes.

La Palma, Spain - Designerella

La Palma, Spain - Designerella

Castillo De La Virgen sits on a hill overlooking the town of La Palma. This structure was built for staging the Dialogo Entre el Castillo y la Nave. Every five years the statue of the Virgin Mary is brought here from the nearby Santuario de la Virgen de las Nieves for a festival honoring Our Lady of the Snows.

La Palma, Spain - Designerella

La Palma, Spain - Designerella

From the castle Plaza Alemedia is in view. The centerpiece of the square is a model of Columbus’ Santa Maria. The ship itself is a maritime museum.

La Palma, Spain - Designerella

Adios from another fabulous Canary Island!

Under the Sea

Gran Canaria, Spain - Designerella

On the opposite side of Gran Canaria from Las Palmas is Puerto de Mogán. Here you can take a submarine ride to see what life is like under the sea. It is an amazing experience that provides breathtaking views fish in a comfortable and relaxed environment.

Gran Canaria, Spain - Designerella

Gran Canaria, Spain - Designerella

Gran Canaria, Spain - Designerella

Gran Canaria, Spain - Designerella

Shipwrecks show the perils of man trying to conquer the sea. Now on the seabed floor, shipwrecks provide structure which attract schools of fish.

Gran Canaria, Spain - Designerella

Gran Canaria, Spain - Designerella

Leaving the sea, the port town of Purto de Mogán.  It is known as the “Venice of the Canaries” because of the many bridges over small canals near the marina. Here one can find sailboats of all sizes navigating near the shores of this fine island.

Gran Canaria, Spain - Designerella

Gran Canaria, Spain - Designerella

Gran Canaria, Spain - Designerella

In addition to the bridges, another aspect Puerto de Mogán is known for is colorful flowers. This time of year, beautiful red, purple and orange flowers spill over the bridges, through the fences and over the arches. Walking along the seashore the flowers provide a great contrast to the blue sea.

Gran Canaria, Spain - Designerella

Gran Canaria, Spain - Designerella

Gran Canaria, Spain - Designerella

Gran Canaria, Spain - Designerella

Gran Canaria, Spain - Designerella

Puerto de Mogán is a hidden treasure in the Canary Islands with jewels both above and below water that should not be missed.

Gran Canaria, Spain - Designerella

Tenerife: An Island of Wine

Tenerife, Spain - Designerella

The Canary Islands are a highly underrated wine producing region. Tenerife, the largest and most populous of the islands, has many wonderful wineries just a short drive from the main port town Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Just east of Santa Cruz is the La Baranda Winery. This is an excellent vineyard that also has a museum describing some of the historical aspects of wine-making. There is also a restaurant on the grounds that has fabulous views of the nearby mountains. Both the red and white wines are excellent.

Tenerife, Spain - Designerella

Tenerife, Spain - Designerella

Tenerife, Spain - Designerella

The views from the Baranda Winery are magnificent. Terraced vineyards can be spotted on the mountainside down to the ocean.

Tenerife, Spain - Designerella

Alvero Bodegas is the best place to find the perfect Tenerife wine. A large selection of wines allows visitors to find the perfect wine to match their desired taste. In order to truly experience the wine in the proper way, they offer excellent Spanish tapas to go with the red and white wines. A sparkling wine called Cava is a real treat.

Tenerife, Spain - Designerella

Tenerife, Spain - Designerella

The bodega is filled with old bottles and barrels, many dating back many years ago. The dates of the wine may be difficult to determine, but the spiderwebs and dust give some indication. The bodega is antique looking and provides a real Spanish experience.

Tenerife, Spain - Designerella

Tenerife, Spain - Designerella

Any wine-lover will enjoy a visit to Tenerife with an exclamation of: ¡salud!

Tenerife, Spain - Designerella

Merry Christmas From Cadiz, Spain!

Cadiz, Spain - Designerella

Feliz Navidad (Merry Christmas) from Cadiz, Spain!  A Christmas Eve tour of this beautiful city shows it preparing for the big holiday feast. This city is beautiful with the many monuments, the ringing bells atop the cathedrals, and the holiday excitement in the streets.

Cadiz, Spain - Designerella

Cadiz, Spain - Designerella

Cadiz, Spain - Designerella

Being on the coast, seafood is excellent and fresh in Cadiz. Every morning at the Central Market a large section is dedicated to the fish market.  Since this was Christmas Eve all the locals were there early finding the best and the freshest seafood for their Christmas Day celebration.  There was a great energy in the market as the shoppers looked for the best deals and the shopkeepers worked their stalls.

Cadiz, Spain - Designerella

Cadiz, Spain - Designerella

Cadiz, Spain - Designerella

Cadiz, Spain - Designerella

Cadiz, Spain - Designerella

While the fish section is a cannot miss attraction, the rest of the Central Market is also great. Other sections have stalls filled with fresh produce and meats. The signage and the clean displays make the items appear as art. It all looks so tasty!

Cadiz, Spain - Designerella

Cadiz, Spain - Designerella

Cadiz, Spain - Designerella

Once again, Merry Christmas! And I wish everyone around the world a wonderful, joyful and safe Christmas!

Orange Color Sky in Malaga

Malaga, Spain - Designerella

There is nothing more breathtaking and peaceful than waking up to the most beautiful sunrise in España. Just south of the port town of Málaga is the city of Marbella. Marbella lies on the Mediterranean Costa del Sol and is known for its beautiful white-washed buildings, tight alleys, and orange trees. It is a great place to explore how Andalusian go about their lives–especially at Christmas time. The city has simple Christmas decorations adorning the beautiful historic street lights.

Malaga, Spain - Designerella

Malaga, Spain - Designerella

In the heart of the city is Iglesia Mayor de Santa Maria de la Encarnacion (Church of Santa Maria of the Incarnations).  The Gothic church was built in 1505. It is a great spot to stop and pray or visit solely to see the splendid treasures within the church.

Malaga, Spain - Designerella

Malaga, Spain - Designerella

Malaga, Spain - Designerella

There are also many fabulous treasures to be found elsewhere in the city. Arches connect buildings on either side of the narrow streets. Vine, not currently in their spectacular bloom, also cross the narrow canyon created by the buildings. (When they are in bloom it must be quite a sight.) What you can find this time of year is oranges on all the trees. Even the benches that you may sit upon are a neat little artistic tile treasures.

Malaga, Spain - Designerella

Malaga, Spain - Designerella

Malaga, Spain - Designerella

Malaga, Spain - Designerella

The next town south from Marbella is Puerta Banús.  This resort development has a completely different feel to the charms of Marbella. It is the playground of the well to do with chic boutiques, upscale restaurants and an impressive marina. Here, the white buildings and boats contrast beautifully against the blue Mediterranean waters and the darkness of the nearby mountains.

Malaga, Spain - Designerella

Malaga, Spain - Designerella

The Spanish Costa del Sol is fabulous destinations with places to fit everyone’s idea of a great vacation.

Palma, Spain

Palma, Spain - Designerella

Mallorca is an island that lies off the east coast of Spain. Palma de Mallorca is the main city and it has the most breathtaking cathedral. The Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma is the official title, but locals affectionately referred to it as La Seu. Before the Cathedral there was an older mosque at this location. It is understandable why they were built here as the location itself is exquisite, sitting right off the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. The cathedral has magnificent architecture and many fine details that make it a remarkable structure.

Palma, Spain - Designerella

Palma, Spain - Designerella

Palma, Spain - Designerella

Adjacent to the Cathedral is the Old Quarter. The narrow meandering streets are remnants from a time before the automobile. It is an excellent spot to become lost and while exploring the amazing shops. Christmas is coming and the city of Palma already has beautiful Christmas ornaments decorating the historic streets and modern plazas.

Palma, Spain - Designerella

Palma, Spain - Designerella

Palma, Spain - Designerella

On the opposite side of the cathedral is the Jardins de s’Hort del Rei. With its greenery and fountains, it provides a place to quietly reflect upon this amazing city.

Palma, Spain - Designerella

Churros con Chocolate!

¡Hola! I am back in Vigo, España tasting some of the best local treats while exploring the city.  Late November in this part of Spain brings chilly weather.  This provides the perfect excuse to sample a local dessert. There are no words to describe the perfect combination of churros when pair with thick hot chocolate. The chocolate is nearly as thick as pudding and is used to dunk the churro. For all those chocolate lovers out there, this is a recommended treat whenever you visit the country of Spain.

Vigo, Spain - Designerella

Vigo has a nice historic center. Rua dos Cesteiros is one of the classic narrow streets in this part of the city. The name of the street literally means street of the basket weavers. The shops have all kinds of woven products from the widest variety of baskets to chairs.

Vigo, Spain - Designerella

Vigo, Spain - Designerella

Outside the history center is a much more modern city. Despite being car-friendly, it still was very pedestrian friendly. The locals shops and cafés are very inviting and tourist friendly making the city a delight to explore.

Vigo, Spain - Designerella

True Taste of Galicia

Vigo, Spain - Designerella

Some locations are synonymous with great wine–Bordeaux, Tuscany, Napa. One more should be on that list, Galicia. As those of you who routinely follow my blog notice that I have a the privilege of visiting many fabulous wineries all around the world. (Hint: click on Vino in menu bar to the right to see all my wine postings.) The Galician wines are very similar to the Porto wines located just south of here in northern Portugal. One of the areas renowned wineries is the Agro de Bazan Winery, located north of Vigo in España. The winery grounds were nearly as fabulous as the tasty wines.

Vigo, Spain - Designerella

Vigo, Spain - Designerella

Vigo, Spain - Designerella

Vigo, Spain - Designerella

Vigo, Spain - Designerella

Granbazán Ambar, Granbazán Verde and Albariño Contrapunto are all three excellent wines. There is an immediate visual appeal when pouring the golden colored Granbazan Ambar. This wine also gives off an pleasant aroma of sweet fruits and flowers.  Granbazan Verde a typical Albariño wine that is made with white grapes. It has a slightly salty after-taste and has an aroma with hints of green apples and fennel. Albariño Contrapunto has fabulous fresh fruit aromas.

Vigo, Spain - Designerella

Cambados is another port city on the Spanish Atlantic coast. This village is a charmful town with lots of character. Being on the coast, fish is a large part of the economy and diet here. Unfortunately I arrived too late in the day and missed the daily fish market which is said to be superb.

Vigo, Spain - Designerella

Vigo, Spain - Designerella

A Camel Ride in Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria, Spain - Designerella

Gran Canaria is the third largest of the Canary islands and, as the name suggests, it is a grand place. The main port on the northeast side of the island is Las  Palmas de Gran Canaria which is the co-capital of the  autonomous region with Santa Cruz that located on the nearby island of Tenerife.  This island is part of Spain and is located about 93 miles off the northwestern coast of Africa. The island of Gran Canaria supports many different climates, but the city of Las Palmas has a subtropical climate with mild to warm temperature throughout the year.

In a recent conversation with my sister, she asked what activity I was most looking forward to?  The answer was easy–a camel ride. Gran Canaria provided me the opportunity to fulfill this wish.  I feel blessed to have the opportunity to have experience my first camel ride on this grand island. Camels are magical and kind animals.  These tall furry creatures are magnificent!  Riding the camel and soaking up some of the tropical sun made me feel like a child exploring the world.

Gran Canaria, Spain - Designerella

Gran Canaria, Spain - Designerella

Gran Canaria, Spain - Designerella

While the island of Gran Canaria has many adventures like riding camels, most vacationers come to soak up the beach sun. On the south side of the island is Maspalomas which is the oldest tourist town on the island.  It is easy to see what drew the first tourists here, the most beautiful beaches. Today there are the beaches, amazing cafés, restaurants and souvenir shops. The natural reserve of Dunes of Maspalomas has existed since 1897.  The area also contains the world famous Playa del Inglés.

Gran Canaria, Spain - Designerella

Gran Canaria, Spain - Designerella

Gran Canaria, Spain - Designerella

Gran Canaria–an island of adventure I will always look forward to visiting!