January 26, 2016 The Traveling Gals

Rios de Guadalquivir and Guadiana Rio Guadalquivir Photo via Britannica.com The Iberian river of Guadalquivir is the second largest in Spain.  The Guadalquivir is distinctive due to its plant and animal life being the most varied in Europe.  It begins in the national park of Cañada de las Fuentes from flowing streams cascading down the Cazorla mountain range.  It passes through Córdoba which was originally part of the Islamic Caliphate that comprised most of the Iberian Peninsula and a capital city of the Roman province.  This unique history provides an historic quarter anchored by the Mezquita,…

December 21, 2015 The Traveling Gals 2Comment

Edinburgh – Athens of the North Edinburgh (pronounced ed-n-buh-ruh) is the capital city of Scotland.  Scotland has been part of the United Kingdom for over 300 years and recently voted to continue their union with England, Wales and North Ireland.  In the 19th century Edinburgh was called “the Athens of the North” due to its Greek revival buildings such as the Surgeon’s Hall museum. Edinburgh is a hilly city with a marine climate that has moderate temperatures with no dry season and typical mist and drizzle.  This creates a very lush and green landscape.  This is creates a great terrain for…

December 1, 2015 The Traveling Gals 1Comment

Holiday Traditions Around the World: Christmas in France Christmas in France is both a religious and secular holiday as it is in most modern countries.  In French, Christmas = Noël and is a reference to the Gospel.  It comes from the French phrase “les bonnes nouvelles” which means “the good news”.  L’Avent en France (Advent) commences the fourth Sunday before Christmas.    Although the Christmas tree is not so popular, homes all throughout France display the Nativity scene “la crèche”.  The creche is often coupled with figures called little saints or “santons” which represent the Holy Family, shepherds, Magi as well…

November 17, 2015 The Traveling Gals

Venice – Off the Beaten Path Venice is known for its canals and romantic gondola rides.  It is a destination on everyone’s wish list with its artistic jewels and monumental architecture.  There are many highlights that every traveler in Venice cannot overlook.  San Marco Piazza is the largest and most important public square originally built in the ninth century.   The Basilica di San Marco, also known as the Golden Basilica, for its golden mosaics is within the Piazza and adjacent to the Doges Palace (“Palazzo Ducale”).  The Doges Palace is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture.  The interior comprises vast council…

September 4, 2015 The Traveling Gals 14Comment

Norway is known for its world famous fjords, majestic mountains and spectacular glaciers.  Norway encompasses a beauty so stunning it almost does not feel real.  The other two gals and I were lucky to visit Norway as part of a trip to Northern Europe.  We visited Bergen, Alesund and Geiranger.  Cruising the fjords to Geiranger felt like I was part of a movie.  The scenery was unbelievable.  When we arrived at the bottom of Geiranger fjord we embarked on the most memorable hike of our lives so far. The climb to the top was steep and physically demanding, but entirely worth…