Photos of Grazalema

Photos of Grazalema

Pictures from our two-week stay in our favorite village in southern Spain—mountain views, white houses, scampering sheep, fountains with faces, and Chris and Melissa looking goofy in various ways.       Read More

Returning to One of Our Favorite Places in the World

Returning to One of Our Favorite Places in the World

Nine years ago, with Melissa on crutches because of a badly sprained ankle, we came to the southern Spanish village of Grazalema in search of pretty scenery for her to recuperate in. We were charmed by this compact white village of 2,000 people, perched high on a shelf above a rolling green valley and ringed… Read More

Last Photos from Mallorca

Last Photos from Mallorca

Our last stops in Mallorca were the towns of Pollenca and Alcudia, which sit inland near the heads of twin bays in the northeast of the island. So strategic was the location that the Romans built a sizable city there, called Pollentia (whose ruins, confusingly, are next to modern-day Alcudia rather than Pollenca). The area… Read More

“A Cold Country with a Hot Sun”

“A Cold Country with a Hot Sun”

It’s a spring morning in southern Spain. I’m wearing two shirts and a fleece and sitting under two blankets on the sofa as Chris tries to get a fire going in the fireplace. We slept on fleece-y sheets under two comforters last night. There is no central heat, only very feeble electric space heaters. This… Read More

Mallorca Mountains

Mallorca Mountains

In summer, tourists flock to Mallorca for its beaches and bays. This time of year, we came to Mallorca for its mountains. The Tramuntana range runs for 90 kilometers (56 miles) along Mallorca’s northern coast, reaching heights of 1,445 meters (3,757 feet) above the sea. After staying in the village of Valldemossa, in the middle… Read More

Valldemossa: Saints, Sinners, and Sheep

Valldemossa: Saints, Sinners, and Sheep

Often when we plan to travel somewhere new, it’s hard to know where to go because the guide books make so many places sound good. That’s been the case with the Spanish island of Mallorca (pronounced mah-yorka) in the Mediterranean Sea. Do we focus on the mountain villages of the northwest or base ourselves near… Read More

Palma de Mallorca

Palma de Mallorca

Much as we love Rome, we’re eager to work on our Spanish. So after our housesit in Rome ended, we headed for Spain. Thanks to a tip from one of Chris’s colleagues at CBO, we decided to explore the Spanish Mediterranean island of Mallorca. The island is a huge summer beach destination, but in March… Read More

When in Rome …

When in Rome …

We’ve had a wonderful week in Rome, looking after a pretty, light-filled apartment near the Vatican and two sweet, soft cats (Roodle and Kenji). The first time we visited Rome, in 2008, we crammed in all of the major tourist sites. (Take a look at Chris’s post and Melissa’s pictures of Ancient Rome, Later Rome, and the Vatican.)… Read More

Oaxaca Scenes

Oaxaca Scenes

In case the weather is turning cold where you are, here are some scenes from the sunny city of Oaxaca in southwestern Mexico. Oaxaca was founded by the Spanish in the 1520s along key trade routes between Mexico City and Central America. Today, this city of 300,000 people is full of Baroque churches, colorful colonial… Read More

Ixtlan de Juarez

Ixtlan de Juarez

One day recently we escaped the city of Oaxaca for the mountains that tower over it to the north. An hour’s ride on twisty roads in a shared (collectivo) taxi—three people jammed in the front seats and three in the back—brought us to the mountain town of Ixtlan de Juarez. “Ixtlan” is thought to be… Read More