22 May 2017:
Malaga, Spain:
Wrapped in a Mantle of Art

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

The rust-colored walls of the Alcazaba, the azure waters of the Mediterranean, the dramatic flair of Spanish and Moorish architecture.

All are conducive, I suppose, to great art, and it was here that Pablo Picasso was born.

For all of these reasons and more, Málaga has wrapped itself in a mantle of art.

This small city has developed a remarkable portfolion of world-class art collections, starting with a Picasso collection and a branch of Madrid’s Carmen Thyssen museum.

More recently, the Centre Pompidou Málaga and a branch of the Russian Museum of Saint Petersburg opened.

MALAGA MAY 22, 2017

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On one visit,  I went up into the hills to visit the ancient city of Mijas, the “Balcony of the Costa del Sol.”

It was the morning after the night before, in Feria or fair season.

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A MALAGA ALBUM

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Granada, one of Spain’s most spectacular and famous cities lies just under two hours to the northeast of Málaga, at the base of Sierra Nevada mountains.

The city has been inhabited for thousands of years.

In the 8th century, the city became the capital of a province of the Caliphate of Cordoba.

The Alhambra, Arabic for “the red one”, or the red fortress, was built in the mid-14th century.

In January 1492, the last Muslim sultan in Iberia surrendered control of Granada to Ferdinand and Isabella, Los Reyes Católicos (“The Catholic Monarchs.”)

By the 16th century, Granada took on a Christian and Castilian character, as immigrants came from other parts of the Iberian Peninsula.

Many of the city’s mosques, some of which had been established on the sites of former Christian churches, were converted to Christian uses.

GRANADA ALBUM

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Text and images copyright 2016 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

21 May 2017:
Cartagena, Spain:
The Warm Coast

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Cartagena is on the Costa Cálida, the Warm Coast of Spain’s Murcia region. Cartagena is one of Spain’s more historically significant places because of its superb and easily defended naval port.

But Cartagena is less-known than many other coastal cities of Spain,

In fact, its distant namesake, Cartagena de Indias, in Colombia, may be much better known.

Cartagena, Colombia grew as one of the principal Spanish fortresses to hold the treasure taken from South America, the Caribbean, and Asia.

Cartagena, Spain has long been a crossroads of civilizations and navies. It has a fine collection of early 20th century Art Nouveau buildings, intermixed with a spectacular Roman Theatre and remains of Phoenician, Byzantine and Moorish structures.

SUNDAY IN CARTAGENA

Continue reading 21 May 2017:
Cartagena, Spain:
The Warm Coast

20 May 2017:
Valencia, Spain:
Arts, Sciences, and Paella

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

València is Spain’s third largest city, after Madrid and Barcelona, which is pretty impressive company.

But València can stand on its own as a wondrous old city, the former capital of the Old Kingdom of València.

The birthplace of paella.

The deathplace of the fallas.

And the modern resurgence of an ancient settlement around the spectacular Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències, the City of Arts and Sciences, completed in 2008 in the old bed of the river Turia.

It was a spectacular day, weatherwise, in this spectacular city today.

And so I chose to conduct a photo safari in which I focused on the parts rather than the whole of Valencia. Here is some of what I saw.

VALENCIA 

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Its highlights include structures by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, among them the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia opera house and performing arts center which is topped by a swooping wave which overhangs the structure.

L’Hemisfèric, an IMAX Cinema and planetarium is the centerpiece of the project. Its eyelid is reflected in a water pool, creating the illusion of a giant eye.

El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe is an interactive museum of science that resembles the skeleton of a whale.

L’Umbracle is a landscaped walk with plant species indigenous to Valencia including rockrose, lentisca, rosemary, lavender, honeysuckle, bougainvillea, and palm trees.

L’Oceanogràfic is the largest oceanographic aquarium in Europe. Built in the shape of a water lily, it is the work of another architect, Félix Candela.

CITY OF ARTS AND SCIENCES

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We eat oh so well aboard ship, but that is no excuse not to indulge in local specialties when given the chance. Few places are more worthy than this region of Spain, the birthplace of paella.

The dish is named after the pan used to prepare it. You can, if you wish, think of it as a Spanish version of a wok.

In many ways it brings together the Roman and Arab and indigenous flavors of the region.

In Moorish Spain, farmers improved the old Roman irrigation systems along the Mediterranean coast, leading to greater yields in rice production. And from this came casseroles of rice, meat, fish, and spices.

Paella Valenciana includes meat (usually chicken or rabbit). Paella de Marisco, with fish or seafood, or even Paella Mixta, with meat and fish. Not with sausage, ham, or meat broth; those are for tourists.

Paella is typically eaten at midday, so many restaurants do not serve it at dinner, which in Spain can be deep into the night. In its classical version, paella is cooked over a wood fire. Not gas. And if you see a microwave in the kitchen, run away.

MERCAT CENTRAL

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Text and images copyright 2017 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

19 May 2017:
Barcelona, Spain:
Rambling

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

As far as I am concerned, there are two types of travelers: those who love Barcelona, and those who have not yet experienced its many charms.

We come to Barcelona six or eight times a year in this job. Tough work, but someone has to do it.

The most famous street in Barcelona is Las Ramblas, or the Promenade. It is actually a series of linked streets, each one of them a rambla mostly dedicated to a particular set of markets: flowers, art, pets.

Few cities are more imbued with the artistic vision of one man than is Barcelona. The visions, all of them beautiful and some of them a bit strange, were those of Antoni Gaudi, one of the masters of the Modernist or Art Nouveau style.

His crowning achievement was—or will be—LaSagrada Família, the Holy Family.

Gaudi designed it to have 18 towers: 12 for the apostles, 4 for the evangelists, one for Mary and one for Jesus.

Gaudí died in 1926, and they’re still working on the basilica, with plans to complete in in 2026, the centenary of his death.

Like many of you I have visited hundreds of cathedrals all over the world, many of them many centuries years old. Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia may well be the last monumental cathederal to be built, and it is amazing scene to watch the work underway.

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BARCELONA TODAY

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GAUDI IN BARCELONA

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The waterfront at the base of the city, near the place where much of Spain’s great fleet of exploration was built and where Columbus returned from his first voyage, has been restored and improved.

Maremagnum, a sprawling shopping, dining, and entertainment complex has pride of place. Literally translated from the Latin it means the “great sea.” But as a Spanish idiom, it means an abundance or an overabundance or a confusion born of excess.

Much like Barcelona itself.

MAREMAGNUM

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If somehow you’ve seen everything you want to see in Barcelona, here are two great out-of-town trips: the Montserrat Monastery, about 30 minutes by car, bus, or train and a world away, and Girona, a mini-version of Barcelona with a river running through it.

MONTSERRAT

Text and images copyright 2017 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

18 May 2017:
Bandol, France:
La Ville Tranquille

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Bandol is a commune in the Var department of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region of southeastern France.

It is a lovely but less-known part of the French Riviera, between Toulon and Marseille.

Bandol features a sheltered bay cradled by hills and protected from the wind.

They call it the “ville tranquille”, the tranquil village.

The sheltering hills help block the Mistral, a strong wind coming from the Rhone Valley that can reach near gale force or higher for 115 days per year not far away in Sanary-sur-Mer.

The south-facing sheltering hills around Bandol have another benefit, providing excellent conditions for the growing of grapes. There is evidence of vineyards in the area going back to about 600 B.C.

There are five appellations in the region, and Bandol is known for its white and rosé wines produced on the coast, and stronger-bodied red wines on the inland terraces.

The soil and the warm, coastal climate are ideally suited for the late ripening Mourvèdre grape.

We sampled some for you. Santé!

A CASTELLET ALBUM

On this visit I went with a group of guests up and over the seafront hills to the pretty perched village of Castellet.

It was early enough in the season that this old town was not yet over run with invaders taking selfies.

Photos copyright 2017 by Corey Sandler

Text and images copyright 2017 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Hudson Book Cover

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

17 May 2017:
Monte Carlo, Monaco:
Down and Around from the Med to Southampton

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Welcome aboard Silver Wind.

We’re sailing out in the middle of the night, escaping the buzz and the glitz of Monte Carlo for the laidback French port of Bandol in Provence.

Our course will take us down and around, from Monte Carlo to Bandol, and then across the bottom of Spain. After passing through the Strait of Gilbraltar, we’ll head north to Portugal and then past Normandy and the mouth of the Seine at Honfleur.

The cruise will conclude with a crossing of the English Channel to Southampton.

I’ll be posting photos and stories here throughout the cruise. Here’s our plan:

I hope you’ll join me here.

Text and images copyright 2017 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Hudson Book Cover

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM