Here We Go Again

Finally, the last of the Spain travelogue photos. There were lots of them, but I’m getting tired of putting them up, so here are all the rest of them, in one big post. The knitting content is at the end of this post, so if you’re getting tired of them too, just scroll on down.

Your fearless Spain adventurers left you on the road to Arcos the last time. We stopped along the way at one of the little white hill towns, Grazilema. We took the very scenic route off the main road to Grazilema, with miles of twisty, hairpin-turning roads.

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I didn’t get much knitting done on this leg of the trip, as I wasn’t about to pry my hands off the dashboard to take up the sock. I did get one shot of the sock over the valley, though.

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And here a a couple of pictures of the town of Grazilema. This was the cutest little town; I’d go back here for a longer stay next time.

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After a lovely lunch, we continued on to Arcos. We stayed in one of my favorite hotels of the trip while there, La Casa Grande.  If you have a few minutes, go to their website and check out the photos; they are better than mine. The house is almost 300 years old, and very charming. We had one of the rooftop rooms, next to the terrace with a spectacular view. The only drawback to the place is that it is on a tiny street too narrow for a car or taxi, so we parked and walked, lugging our luggage the last few blocks.

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Arcos is only a short drive to Jerez, so we drove there the following day for a little horse-watching and sherry-tasting. Unfortunately, Jerez is one of the worst places in the entire world that I’ve ever navigated. There are absolutely no street signs, so a map is next to useless. We got hopelessly lost, though finally found our way after stopping several times and getting help from mostly non-English speaking locals. They couldn’t read the map, either, so I didn’t feel so bad. We missed the horse show at the Equestrian center, but made it to the Gonzales-Byass (the Tio Pepe people) sherry bodega with plenty of time to spare for our tour there.

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That last photo is part of a display of some of their original bottles and barrels. The new ones weren’t quite that dusty.

After the tour, we got to have a little tasting and eating, our favorite part.

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That tapas platter (and the bottle of sherry) was just for the two of us. They don’t believe in letting you go home hungry in Jerez. Probably this is because they know you will get lost and spend hours wandering around Jerez trying to get out.

We were back in Arcos for another night:

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Those two photos really give you an idea of how narrow those streets are. And here is our private terrace:

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After Arcos, we headed for Sevilla, another one of my favorite places in Spain. We had a walking tour of the old part of the city our first day, including a tour of the Cathedral, one of the largest in Europe. It’s hard to take a photo of it, as it is so huge. I didn’t get many good interior shots because of the vastness of the space.

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We also toured another Moorish palace/fortress, the Alcazar. Here are a few photos:

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And a fine example of rococo excess:

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This is one of my favorite photos of the trip. It was in a cave-like lower room, with a ground level pool. The arched ceiling reflects in the pool below.

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And a couple more Sevilla street shots:

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We stayed at the Convento La Gloria Hotel in Sevilla, another one of my favorite sleeping-places on the trip. As the name suggests, it is an old convent that has been converted to a hotel. The rooms were small, but the service was wonderful, and the family run restaurant downstairs was fabulous. There were dozens of paintings on the walls of the hotel, but this is the photo I found the most amusing. This is the fire-extinguisher box outside our room.

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I believe that was a commentary on the narrow streets of Sevilla. If there were to be a fire, there is just no way a fire truck would get here, so you might as well pray.

There was a little sitting area outside our room. I took advantage of it for a quiet knitting space.

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We ate at the hotel restaurant our last night in Sevilla. I think they must have heard about us.

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Sevilla was home to many more Don Quixote statues. Here are a few.

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There were several more in the train station:

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While we waited for our train back to Madrid, I did the usual:

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We took the fast (Ave) train from Sevilla back to Madrid:

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After our arrival in Madrid, we checked back into our original hotel for one more night before our flight home. We did a whirlwind tour of the Museo Del Prado and the Thyssen Museum. Without a doubt, my favorite museum of all time is the Thyssen. It would be worth a trip back to Madrid just to get a longer visit there.

Here is Sweetpea after a long journey. Sweetpea loved Spain, too.

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And last but not least, the last photo of the trip, from the plane over the coast:

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Knitting Content

The Jo Sharp sweater is still in time-out. I’ll get back to it later this week, as I’ve decided that I don’t hate the details of the pattern as much as I love the look of the finished sweater. I’ve gotten caught up in two-colored knitting this week. First is the latest sock pattern that I started.

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The pattern is from Sensational Knitted Socks, by Charlene Schurch. This is a great book, for all you sock-knitters out there.

The other one is a Bea Ellis hat pattern, using two-color Norwegian style knitting.

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The pattern is rather ingenious. Because it is relatively itchy wool, the first two inches or so of the hat are knit in a soft sport-weight cotton. Then you change to the wool, purl a turning row, and start the hat pattern. When you’re done, you turn up the cotton lining and hem it, so you have the soft cotton over your delicate little ears. I am a right handed thrower, so I’m learning how to knit continental style, so I can have one color in each hand and not have to stop and change yarns every couple of stitches. I’ve learned that I actually do continental much faster than the way I’ve always knit, though I’ve not been able to master purling and picking at the same time.

I’m also still working on that blue lace scarf. I hope to finish that one soon, so I can get some wear out of it this winter!

About Lorette

My name is Lorette. I learned to knit in 1999, and took up spinning in 2009. I'm a physician specializing in internal medicine, and live in the Pacific Northwest. Enjoy my blog!

Comments

Here We Go Again — 13 Comments

  1. I love food (and wine)photos almost as much as knitting photos. Spanish wines are our favourites.
    That train system puts the North American ones to shame!
    Li

  2. Excellent conclusion to the travelogue. I like the same reflected arch/pool picture you do. You covered a great deal of territory.
    I haven’t tried stranded yet. I do love snowflakes. Hmmmmmmmmm.

  3. A Bea Ellis hat kit is my first FO of 2006, started on New Years Day, finished 1/2, the color work is like chocolates, I can’t wait to knit another row to see what I’m going to get. I knit the band, turned and started the colorwork and then I did a sort of 3 needle join so that I didn’t have to sew the hem, After I blocked the hat, I was not really thrilled at the way the cotton yarn bagged, but when it is on, I think it is a lovely hat. What I really wanted to ask you about are your blocking mats/blocks? Didn’t you blog about them? I now find myself in need of them and can’t remember where to find them.
    Thanks, Enjoy your blog

  4. Aaah – I’m exhausted from my travels through Spain! I feel as if I have actually been there. Thanks for sharing all of it with us. I just bought Sensational Socks and I wish I had had it before I bought a single other sock book – it just about replaces them all. I’ve started a pair using Socks That Rock yarn, but I’m eyeing the two color ones. Great job on the hat – it’s beautiful.

  5. Lovely travelogue!
    I have that hat pattern, too, in very similar colors! (is yours burgundy or rusty red? Mine is rusty red)
    Heaven knows when I’ll ever get to it. I just want to be a woman of leisure, ya know? I know you do. It’s not an original thought, by any means.

  6. I really like the color of those socks. I’m sure you didn’t get to do much knitting while in Spain. The pics are beautiful!

  7. Well thank you for sharing all the wonderful pictures and information about your trip. It looks like you guys had a fantastic time, and I’ve enjoyed my virtual tour via your camera.

  8. Your photos of Spain are fabulous! That underground cave room is magical! We will spend a month in Barcelona and northern spain this summer, so I think we will skip the south–too hot. But your photos make me want to reconsider our decision! If you like small hill top towns, I recommend Pals in north east spain, north of Barcelona and east of Girona. You knitting is also great. For the hat, instead of knitting in cotton, I just do a small, 1 inch, knitted inside cuff. Then, I cut a strip of polarfleece in a coordinating color, about 4″ wide, and whip stitch it into the inside of the hat. Very soft, very cozy. It stretches to accommodate the stretch of the knitting.

  9. Those pictures are wonderful. You could totally do a travel brochure or something. Love the knitting. You are right, that is a very ingenious pattern.

  10. Seeing your pictures is a humbling for me – it brings the notion that the United States is “young” and it will be years and years and years before we have such a rich history to share with the world. (the cathedral alone looks like it’d be worth the trip! add in the museum and someday I’ll get there…)
    I, too, have a hat kit from Bea and seeing how far along you are means I need to dig it out and see how far along I am. I was looking forward to doing the two color work and don’t think I made it through the cotton inside…looks like it’ll be worth the intial knitting.

  11. All that Vino! I am in awe…. 😉
    Your trip looked amazing. One more location to add to the list of “places to visit before I die”!