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Europe / Weekly Wow!

[Weekly WOW #039] The Basilica Sagrada Familia in Barcelona:

Are We There Yet? “What’s so special about a church that isn’t even finished,” I wondered, as Simon headed for the doors , and a long climb up one of the towers. “It doesn’t even have a completed roof.” Little did I know that 15 years later, I would be standing inside that same structure, […]

Europe / Weekly Wow!

[Weekly WOW #038] Mezquita-Catedral de Córdoba:

Is it a Mosque? Is it a Cathedral? No, it’s a “Mosquedral”. It felt odd, to say the least, to be standing in a structure that survived centuries of Spanish history – wars, destruction, rebuilding – to exist as one of the most unusual historical buildings in the country. Understanding how a cathedral came to […]

Europe / Weekly Wow!

[Weekly WOW #037] Avignon’s Famous Bridge:

Diminished, but not Destroyed. It felt a little odd; standing on the subject of a French song I used to sing as a child. And yet, it was a bit like coming home. “Sur le pont d’Avignon” sang in my head as we explored the history of a medieval bridge that had defied all odds […]

Europe / Weekly Wow!

[Weekly WOW #036] La Feria de Abril in Sevilla, Spain:

Serious Flamenco and Non-Stop Fun Make for the Perfect Party Orange and white paper lanterns alternated gayly illuminating the large tent. Tables were occupied by smiling, drinking, tapas-eating revelers. On the tiny stage, a man in a checkered shirt and tan slacks was doing a respectable job of showing off his flamenco skills, while the […]

Europe / Weekly Wow!

[Weekly WOW #034] Touching the Prado:

Madrid’s World-Famous Art Museum Finds a Way to Share Treasured Paintings with People who are Blind. The Mona Lisa was always one of my favorite paintings. Perhaps this was because there was simplicity and contrast that even my limited vision could see back in the day. Now, I was standing in one of the Prado’s […]

Europe / Weekly Wow!

[Weekly WOW #033] Piazza del Campo in Siena, Italy:

A Sparkling Jewel Under the Tuscan Sun. The Gelato was cool and refreshing. Too bad the increasing heat was accelerating the sticky drips of deliciousness running down to my wrist. Normally, I would have uttered a naughty word, but since I was sitting on a bench in the Piazza del Campo in Siena, my brain […]

Europe / Weekly Wow!

[Weekly WOW #029] The Alcázar de Segovia, Spain:

A Multi-purpose Marvel. Once a castle, always a castle? Well, not necessarily. The Spanish town of Segovia is home to a historic structure that has lived several lives over the centuries. In its present incarnation, the Alcázar de Segovia (Segovia Castle) is positively WOW-inspiring. In August of 2014, Simon, Otto and I were in Madrid […]

Europe / Weekly Wow!

[Weekly WOW #027] Swarovski Crystal Worlds in Wattens, Austria:

All that Glitters is Definitely Not Gold As we left the small Innsbruck hotel with our luggage, we stepped into an Austrian winter wonderland. The snow that had fallen the day before was still pristine, and softly blanketed our surroundings as far as the eye could see. Innsbruck was planned as a pass-through on our […]

Europe / Weekly Wow!

[Weekly WOW #024] The Plzeňský Prazdroj Brewery in Pilsen, Czech Republic:

The Origin of Liquid Gold Standing in a medieval cellar, surrounded by oak barrels, each containing some of the finest and best-known beer in the world, I accepted the plastic cup I was offered. First I sniffed the “hoppy” smelling contents, then tasted. WOW! That’s right. I’m writing about libations again. It may seem as […]

Europe / Weekly Wow!

[Weekly WOW #023] York Minster:

When it comes to survival, this Stunning Cathedral Shows Us How It’s Done Outside the York Minster, it was cold, damp and rainy, but for those of us attending Evensong inside, it was nothing short of WOW! There is something about this magnificent and enduring symbol of faith that has fascinated me since I first […]