Madrid, Spain – 28 July

For our last Spanish Composition field trip, we took the bus over to a marketplace and then strolled over to a beautiful church were the monarchs were once crowned.

From there we walked toward the new, larger church that replaced its predecessor a couple blocks away as the royal place of worship. Along the way we stopped to see the footprint of an old mosque (I believe).

Last stop was the Palacio Real, which I mentioned in my 1st day in Madrid. We couldn’t take pictures in most of the rooms, but the entrance stairs were beautiful to capture too.

The outside was amazing. I couldn’t believe the scale of the square surrounded by the palace.


Burgos, Spain – 26 July afternoon

After leaving Bilbao and having a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, we hopped on the bus, heading south. Just in time for lunch, we arrived in Burgos, yet another beautiful, old city.

We had only an hour left to return to the bus. We good use of that time and walked to the Burgos Cathedral.

Though we didn’t have time to go in, we walked all around in awe.

Ten minutes late to the bus got us fussed at; but we got the pictures…

Bilbao, Spain – 25 July evening

Before dinner Curt, Emery, and I went for a five minute walk that turned into a couple hours. So it goes with good company and a new place to explore.

Bilbao 20 years ago was not a nice place to live. One day an architect plans and builds a structure that changes everything. It is the Guggenheim Museum of Contemporary Art. I’m not one for contemporary art; it is too strange for me. The building itself is by far the most interesting of the works.

Then Emery finds the water…

In front of the Museum there’s a huge flower-dog that we thought was a cat.

On the way back Emery wanted to climb The Thing, but we were having none of that, so I took pictures instead.

By this time, dinner!

San Sebastian, Spain walking the city – 25 July afternoon

For lunch we returned to Spain where the prices are cheaper. Curt and I saw an amazing church that had seen better years. It was in the middle of repairs and renovations.

We wandered around until we found the beach. In the distance on top of the mountain was where I stood the day before.

The walk back to the bus uncovered other interesting things in the city.

Saint Jean de Luz, France – 25 July morning

We popped over to the South of France for the morning. The croissants really are better there, but the prices for everything is horrendous. The small port town was very pretty, and the buildings began to look different as soon as we hit the border.

We visited a candy shop in our free time and wandered the small shops. By this point I had started to miss my dogs at home, and began to take pictures of the dogs I saw on the street.

I couldn’t leave out my photo of the vesped or the other of the street cat.

San Sebastian, Spain from afar – 24 July afternoon

They drove us to an amusement park far atop a mountain overlooking the beaches of San Sebastian so we had the best view of the city.

On the other side of the mountain I had an uninterrupted view of the Atlantic and an old port.

As we rode down, the city unfurled before me.

I was really excited to see such pretty flowers in the window next door to our hotel.


Pamplona, Spain – 24 July morning

We walked the path of the Running of the Bulls that is held every year in Pamplona. Here we had lunch of pinxtos that are several very small servings. We were now in Basque country.

Curt, Leigh, and I wandered away from the larger group. We found the edge of the city and its old city wall.

The subject of Basque Country independence is very controversial in Spain. The city of Pamplona was beautiful.


La Rioja region, Spain – 23 July after class

Wine country in Northern Spain.

About 20 of us went on this extra weekend trip to the North of Spain. We stopped at a couple wineries and sampled the wine and looked around at the countryside.

At the larger of the wineries, was a hotel that was quite peculiar its whole shape had been made to look like grape vines, water, and wine rivulets. The whole place had a very different vibe than the other wineries I’ve visited.

For pictures of the architecture and, my favorite, the nearby mountains, we stopped at one place that also looked strange.

Last Music Field Trip – 23 July

For our last trip together we went to the Fundacción Lázaro Galdiano Museum. I saw work of Goya and El Greco and even a Bosch. The experience was really cool; the building was once the main home of this incredibly rich family. No pictures were allowed inside, but there were more paintings, sculptures, and weapons than I though could be possessed by one family. The husband and wife pair were both rich in their own right, but when they married the mutual love of art spawned a huge art collection.

When the building was constructed, the family had no neighbors. As you see, the city grew up around the house and its gardens.

We also wandered around the posh area of Madrid the Museum was located in, and we saw a garden of a art gallery (that we didn’t go in).

El Museo de arte Thyssen – 22 July

After class Curt, Emery, and I went to yet another museum. It has modern art, which I’m not entirely fond of, but I got to see Salavador Dalí paintings. (Again – photos were allowed here without flash.)

One have a terrible glass glare so I had to take angled photos.

There was also a woman’s plaster head with his artwork.

There was one room with only bells suspended from different colored strings. It was so painfully beautiful. I. Wanted. To. TOUCH. Image the clashing sounds all those bells would have made. The room itself was so quite I could hear the echoing possibility. Perhaps the most bewitchingly interesting piece in the entire building.

The entrance fee was waived for students. I think it was the best bang for my buck ever.