Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Salt Flats

Utah has some very interesting geography. The Bonneville Salt Flats are out of this world. It is a huge flat area (159 square miles) next to the Great Salt Lake that is covered in salt deposits left by the lake. It’s makes a great day trip from Salt Lake City and lets you see what the world can be like when Mother Nature is left to work her magic.
Salt Flats, Utah

Salt Flats, Utah - I know it looks like snow, but it is actually salt.

Salt Flats - Western Utah

The Great Salt Lake, Utah

Monday, July 21, 2008

Welcome Home!

After yet another wonderful European trip, I'm home. As much as I love to travel and see the world, I enjoy being home and just keeping it simple (not to mention save money). It is nice to be back in my cute little house with all my books and things; just relaxing. It is also nice to see friends and family. Utah is a nice place to live and spent your time between travel adventures. It also photographs well. :) This picture is of the welcome-back-to-Utah-sunset from my first night back Home.
Brigham City, Utah

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Well all things must come to an end. It has been a great summer in Spain. It is such a charming place. I'm saying good-bye to Spain with these choice pictures of Madrid. I hope you enjoy... If you do please let me know.
Temple of Debod, Madrid

Plaza Mayor, Madrid

Royal Palace, Madrid

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Madrid always feels a little like home to me. It was the first place I visited in Europe and I have a pretty good feel for the city and yet there is always something more to discover and enjoy. When I stay in Madrid I stay in the area near the Opera and the Royal Palace. It is a great location and seriously minutes away from everything. The pictures in this entry are from some of my favorite places in Madrid and a few new places that I found while hunting for pictures. The picture to the right is the Metropolis Building. Like many other buildings in Madrid, it is beautifully lighted at night. The next 5 pictures were taken the same night. The last two day-time pictures are taken near the place I stay in Madrid.
Banco Espanol de Credito, Madrid

Near my favorite restaurant, La Finca de Susana

Plaza Mayor

Lights in Madrid

Post Office, Madrid

Plaza de Espana

La Opera, Madrid

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Extremadura and Caceres

Extremadura – I have visited a lot of places in Spain, but until this week I had never visited Extremadura. I have heard a lot about Extremadura and I’m pleased to say that everything I heard was true. It is the land of the conquistadors. It is a hot bed (quite literally in the summer) of historical intrigue and noble rivalry. It is slow to change and in parts has yet to join the 21st century. It is tangible and visible history piled layer on layer; from ancient to not so ancient. It is Extremadura. It is Spain.

Caceres - I was told that I should visit the old part of town while in Caceres. So, I book a hotel right on the Plaza Mayor and had a great view and easy access to all the architectonic gems found in Caceres. Walking in the old part of town is like traveling in time. There are no advertisements, next to no cars, no modern buildings (everything in good sensible long-lasting stone) and it is a charming place to explore with surprises around every corner. I highly recommend a day or two especially for the person with a like imagination and a desire to live in a by gone age. :) The picture to the right is of one of the many fortified houses found in Caceres.

Imposing gothic doors to Santiago

One of the fortified houses in Caceres. This is a city where people literally still live in Castles!

View from my hotel of the "newer" part of Charming Caceres. This part of town is outside the old medieval walls and yet it still has its charm and appeal. (This is a view from the back balcony of the hotel. My room looked over the Plaza Mayor, fyi)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Merida land of Roman Ruins

Merida, Spain – Back in the day as a reward for their loyalty and success, a group of roman military leaders were given permission to build a new city on the Guadiana River. They built a charming city and modeled it after their beloved capitol, Rome. They called their mini Rome Emerita Augusta and though the name has been modified a little over the years, Merida still is home to many roman sites and the power and vision of the men and women who founded the frontier town can still be seen throughout the city and the area around town.
The Temple of Diana - It was built by the Romans as a temple, converted into a christian church by the Visigoths, fell into ruin during the Moorish occupation and then later a Spanish noble family made additions and called it home (you can see the Spanish villa inside the pillars). It is a VERY cool place.
The Temple of Diana - Merida, Spain

The Temple of Diana - As many of you may know, Diana was the Goddess of the Moon. I thought this was a fitting picture of the moon passing through the pillars of Diana's temple. As I thought about that, I realized that the moon had probably passed through that way a many many times over the past 2,000 years. I was lucky enough to be there this time and have my camera ready. :)
The Roman Theater in Merida

The Roman Theater in Merida

I crossed two bridges while in Merida. The first (to the right) is a modern bridge and was very interesting. It has three paths or roads. There is a middle path for pedistrians and two paths one on each side for the automobiles. The modern bridge spans the river in three sections and is pretty cool to look at. The other bridge is the old Roman Bridge. It only has one path, but about 65 arches span the 600 yard river. I think both bridges are attractive, well-built and they offer a great view of each other. :)

The two bridges one modern one ancient

Mosaic floors in Merida

Mosaic floors en Merida

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Zamora and more Madrid

Zamora – After saying good-bye to Oviedo, I headed south to the city of Zamora which is in Castilla-Leon. Zamora turns out to be a very interesting city, full of historical buildings, modern areas and friendly people. It has retained much of its small town feel. From the pleasant pedestrian center to the castle and churches Zamora is a pleasant, if hot, place to spend a few days. One of the afternoons while I was here I went with some Spanish friends to a country house with a swimming pool. It was a nice way to cool off during the afternoon. Once things cooled off I was excited to explore more of the city and get some night shots of the city. The first two pictures are at the base of the old fortified part of the city. The next three pictures are taken by the river. The last and first (to the right) pictures are of a church I found interesting. Overall Zamora is a pleasant place and very friendly.

Zamora has both natural and man made fortifications to help keep it safe...

...more natural and man made fortifications

View from the old stone bridge looking back towards Zamora

This is the old stone bridge in Zamora

The milling houses on the river. Remember the terrifying experience the Don Quixote and Sancho Panza had one night next to the mills on the river?

I think it is interesting how the butresses on this church span the street and go into the walls of the houses on the other side.


I'm back in Madrid. I really enjoy being here. I feel like I'm at home when I'm in Madrid. The people at my hostel are great people and always have a minute to talk about this that and the other. Here are three pictures I took tonight. They range from the royal place to in and around Puerta del Sol.

The Royal Palace at night

Between Puerta del Sol and Gran Via

Just south of Puerta del Sol