Why I’m Passionate about Spanish Treasures!
Our new Spanish Treasures gay tour has literally been in the making for decades. One of my favorite hobbies as a boy was to put together puzzles, and one of my favorites was of a Spanish town that was perched on top of a cliff. It seemed like such a romantic and exciting place that I’ve never forgotten it. Much later I discovered that “my” Spanish town was called Ronda. I was also a huge fan of the card game “Authors” and was attracted by allure of Washington Irving’s Tales of the Alhambra.
Next April, on our inaugural cultural tour in Spain, our HE Travel guests will have a chance to take a leisurely stroll through the Alhambra, then gaze at Ronda from below and walk its ancient lanes.
Our European Specialist Biagio Tedesco and I designed this tour to showcase Madrid, the common capital city of a nation made up of several distinct and proud regions, and then the highlights of Andalucia, both inland and on the Mediterranean coast. When I toured this region of Spain in 2010, I enjoyed seeing the museums, palaces and monuments of the region that were on my itinerary, but it is memories of several personal vignettes that most quickly bring a smile to my face.
A guided tapas walk In Madrid where each course was in a different specialty restaurant – including sausages from one of the city’s oldest butchers, olives from a counter with at least 30 varieties, and the richest hot chocolate I’ve ever seen, which was best “drunk” with a spoon
In the olive shop, the very loud cheers of patrons when their beloved Madrid Real soccer/football team scored a goal against their arch-rivals from Barcelona
In Cordoba, the astounding juxtaposition of the city’s Catholic cathedral completely enclosed within the walls and roof of a building that was originally built as a magnificent mosque
Our guide’s explanation as to ways in which Cordoba’s Catholics, Jews and Muslims have tried to co-exist as neighbors over the centuries, rather than as arch-rivals (with varying degrees of success)
An evening stroll along the banks of the Guadalquivir River, from which Christopher Columbus and others set forth on voyages that linked the old world of Europe with Asia (well, at least the Caribbean Sea, since Columbus didn’t quite make it to the Asian Indies)
Staring out a small window of the Washington Irving room of the Alhambra at the low-rise city of Granada across the valley – a view that has probably not changed that much in the last two centuries
Join us to celebrate the arrival of spring in Madrid and Andalucia with a small group of fellow gay travelers! When you return, I look forward to hearing your own personal memories of this fascinating land!