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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Those two photos really give you an idea of how narrow those streets are. And here is our private terrace:
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.
We also toured another Moorish palace/fortress, the Alcazar. Here are a few photos:
And a fine example of rococo excess:
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.
And a couple more Sevilla street shots:
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.
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.
We ate at the hotel restaurant our last night in Sevilla. I think they must have heard about us.
Sevilla was home to many more Don Quixote statues. Here are a few.
There were several more in the train station:
While we waited for our train back to Madrid, I did the usual:
We took the fast (Ave) train from Sevilla back to Madrid:
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.
And last but not least, the last photo of the trip, from the plane over the coast:
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.
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.
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!