November 2017: Late autumn is a great time to go to Europe. Nancy and I wanted to haunt art galleries, museums and historical sites so the fall means little or no line ups. It also means closer weather for touring. After a short stay in London we flew down to Madrid. A few days in the stunning and beautiful ol’spanish capital did not disappoint, although, one of my all time favourite cities is Granada and we spent some time there. A Morrish stronghold until the 14th century is a renaissance of Arabian architecture and culture integrated into Spanish influence. There’s no other city like it. The ‘Alhambra’ ( 10th century Morrish palace and fortress ) is magnificent in the midst of Granada like the Acropolis is to Athens. The south west corner of Spain is wonderful! Cities such as Toledo, Seville and Malaga surround Granada. You could spend years there and not explore it all!
Rome, Italy is one of the most interesting places in the world, city or not. The history around Rome and her old city centre is second to none. Ancient ruins are everywhere. Etruscan columns at a bus stop, Roman foundation beneath your favourite cafe and Cathedral masterpiece on every corner. It is the city of the ‘urban square’ and ornate fountains surrounded by the best terrace cafes known to Europe. After an intense museum, gallery and historical experience Nancy and I spent a great deal of time hanging out at those fine establishments. This place has the warm climes and ambience you dream about…very civilized. Tuscany is ridiculously beautiful compliments to 500 year old farms and wineries. Sunsets seem better in Italy. What can I say, “I will never tire of Italy”
Athens was on my bucket list but not anymore. Greece is the one place that eluded me over the years. I love philosophy and history so you’d think I had gone long ago, but no! I guess the Gods made sure I was ready for it. Nancy had been there in her youth and wanted to visit again. Greece is amazing if you love history…if you don’t care, don’t go. Athens itself is rough and possibly even dangerous but redeems itself at the sight of the Acropolis and surrounding area. I walked and rested where Socrates and Plato walked, lectured, argued their madness and rested. Entered the amphitheatres and temples where the western revolution of thinking began! How good does it get. It was with mixed feelings we had our last meal and toast at a cool little terrace restaurant in Plaka just below the Acropolis. The next day we were off to the island of Santorini for our final week of rest and then home; all goes too quick.