Category Archives: Favorite Photos 2016

12 Favorite Photos from 2016

I take a lot of photos here in Spain — the 12 selected represent what (and where) inspired me the most in 2016.

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Tabernacle, chapel of the Huerto del Cura, Elche.

The Huerto del Cura (the Priest’s Garden), is a very tranquil spot in the center of the city of Elche. The city is most famous for the Palmeral (Palm Grove of Elche) — the only palm grove (oasis) of its type in Europe, and one of the largest in the world, surpassed in size only by some in Arab countries. The palm trees are the heart of the Huerto del Cura. There is a small chapel — no longer in use as a place of worship — just inside the garden, featuring a beautiful hand-painted altar. Another kind of oasis.

Photo taken February, 2016.

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Experimental Falla: Pesos i Conflictes (Weights and Conflicts), detail, Valencia.       

The Casal Lepanto – Guillen de Castro is known for its experimental Fallas — every March during the Fallas festival I look forward to their bold, imaginative vision. This year, artist Anna Ruiz Sospedra created a powerful statement in the falla titled Pesos i Conflictes (Weights and Conflicts). While it could be interpreted as a metaphor for many situations, the association most frequently made was with the refugee crisis in Europe.

Pesos i Conflictes (Weights and Conflicts) won second place in the Experimental Fallas category, Fallas Festival, 2016.

Photo taken March, 2016.

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Street art, Carrer de Camarón, Valencia.

The street art of Valencia is diverse and, especially in the old city (Ciutat Vella), very much a part of the architecture.  This classically beautiful example of Valencian street art is the work of a Spanish based artist duo who call themselves PichiAvo.

Photo taken March, 2016.

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Crucifix, Barri Santa Creu, Alicante.

Barri Santa Creu (Holy Cross neighborhood) in the old quarter of Alicante is full of narrow, colorful, uniquely decorated houses.

Photo taken April, 2016.

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Door knocker, La Vila Joiosa.

Hand-shaped door knockers are everywhere in Spain. There are many legends about them, mostly related to the history and traditions of Moorish Spain. The hand symbolizes the “Hand of Fatima” and is believed to be a sign of protection, representing blessings, power and strength.

Photo taken April, 2016.

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Moorish Window, Torre de la Calahorra, Elche.

Torre de la Calahorra is a watchtower of Moorish origin that was part of the defensive wall during the Al-Ándalus period in Elche. The construction of the tower dates from the late 12th or early 13th century. The quadrangular tower defended the entrance from the most important road from Alicante to Elche.

Photo taken April, 2016.

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Shoe store sign, La Vila Joiosa.

A hand-painted sign for a shoe store in the center La Vila Joiosa. The small city center of La Vila Joiosa has genuine old-fashioned charm, not compromised by tourism.

Photo taken May, 2016.

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Face of a child on an iron pipe, Valencia.

In Valencia, there are iron pipes with faces of young men, women, angels or children. Decorative and loaded with mystery — there is no definitive answer to the question of why they exist — the faces reflect an opulent time of decorative flourish in late 19th and early 20th century Valencian architecture and infrastructure.

Photo taken June, 2016.

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Parroquia de la Santísima Cruz (Iglesia del Carmen), Valencia.

Parroquia de la Santísima Cruz (Iglesia del Carmen) is located on la Plaza del Carmen, Carrer del Museo, 7, in  Valencia’s old city (Ciutat Vella). The medieval Plaza del Carmen is a great location to begin exploring. The adjacent Antiguo Convento del Carmen (Convent of the Carmelites) is now a major center for arts and culture in Valencia. The nearby Café Museu is a great place to relax and enjoy the local beer — Turia.

Photo taken June, 2016.

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WIndows beside the River Onyar, Girona.

The brightly painted houses overlooking the Onyar River are part of the great visual charm of Girona, the largest city in northeastern Catalonia. Among the bridges that span the river, which crosses the city, is the Palanques Vermelles bridge (1827), which was built by the Eiffel company.

Photo taken June, 2016.

Bar sign, Palamós, Costa Brava.

The fishing town of Palamós was the first stop on my Costa Brava summer tour, 2016. This sign was a happy welcome.

Photo taken June, 2016.

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Tiles, Café La Terra, Girona.

For me, Girona is the most bohemian of Catalan cities. Café La Terra, located at 23 Carrer de les Ballesteries, filled with atmosphere, is a perfect place to enjoy the local tapas and read, write or sketch. Or just relax.

Photo taken October, 2016.