Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spain, Portugal and Islam

Since first seeing Islamic tiles, I've been drawn to the style.  I was enchanted by the stylized works of nature and the geometric patterns.

During my college years, I took a class in Islamic Art and Architecture, made molds of Islamic tiles in clay class and created a book of Islamic floral designs for a class assignment.  The period that most fascinated was the height of the Islamic age in Spain.

For many years, I've dreamed going to Spain. More specifically my dreams were to visit the Southern region that Muslims named "Al-Andalus." (Now referred to as Andalucia) This year, it is finally happening and I am trying to hold back my excitement.

My airplane reservations are made - fly into Madrid, exit via Barcelona. Now it's time for some serious planning as I'm told that purchasing Eurail and Alhambra tickets in advance are a must. There's a bit of time to plan since I'm not leaving until Autumn.

At this point, the itinerary is a little loose. Here's my tentative plans in order to avoid doubling back: Overnight train from Madrid to Lisbon, bus Lisbon to Seville, bus Seville to Cordoba, bus Cordoba to Granada, train Granada to Madrid, train Madrid to Barcelona.

Now, Dear Reader, this is where you can help me solidify my itinerary: If you have suggestions for transportation, lodging, food, sight-seeing, eateries, and colorful markets, I'd like to have your recommendations.


  1. Wow! Great news. So happy for you. Do you speak Spanish? If not, there's Duolingo on the web. Mary

  2. I have no advice as this is one of the areas I've never traveled myself. I am so happy you are going though and I really look forward to hearing about it and seeing how it will affect your art next year.

  3. When in Madrid, it is well worth a trip out to Toledo, the former capital of Spain. There is beautiful architecture. They have daily bus excursions from Madrid that you can reserve a seat on.

    I have been to all of the places you are going and am very jealous. I had a wonderful time in Spain and would love to go back some day. EB

    1. Thanks, EB. I'll make sure to use one of my days in Madrid to take a side trip to Toledo. R.

  4. I'm so happy for you that you are realizing your dreams. I can't wait to do some traveling to spain, italy some day too. Kathy

  5. Pictures are glorious! We sent your Blog to a friend. He and his wife have traveled extensively in Europe and I thought he might have some suggestions for you. Love you! MAR

  6. Wonderful pictures ... great adventures waiting for you ... inspirtation for future works, I can already tell. Good luck with plannning. ¡Buen viaje!

  7. I am very excited about your going to Spain. What a trip!!! You are courageous! It will be wonderful. Plan to take it slowly, so you can savor each place. JH