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Mezquita - Moorisms
Moor Than Meets the Umayyad
Though the confusion would be understandable, "Mezquita" is not a pesky Spanish insect, but is instead a Spanish word meaning "mosque"... [more]



2012
2012


Belfast
Belfast
During The Troubles, which extended roughly from 1969 to 1998, more than 3500 people were killed and tens of thousands were wounded or injured. A perfect place for a vacation!...[more]
Dublin
Dublin
The Republic of Ireland: where they drink Guinness
and good Irish whiskey, where they love a good fight, and where everyone eats Lucky Charms for
breakfast... [more]
Madrid
Madrid
Spanish ham was darker than American ham, and sliced thinner, and no doubt a product of aristocratic pigs (one imagines them discussing polo matches), and pretty
much a whole different thing...[more]
Granada
Granada
It was during this time that Ferdinand and Isabella granted a favor to a Genoan sailor who had been pestering them since 1486 with a crazy idea about reaching the Indies by sailing west instead of east... [more]
Seville
Seville
When Americans think about Seville, they probably think of it in terms of Rossini's opera The Barber of Seville, or its iconic interpretations by the Little Rascals or Bugs Bunny/Elmer Fudd...[more]
Córdoba
Córdoba
Córdoba's average summer highs are 98F, which makes it the hottest city in Europe. Days exceeding 40C, or 104F, are not unusual in the summer. Naturally we were visiting the city in August... [more]


2011
2011


Copenhagen
Copenhagen
In the 12th Century a village on the east coast of the Danish island of Zealand was fortified with a castle and became the town of Copenhagen...[more]
Berlin
Berlin
Most Americans who think of the city of Berlin probably think of it in connection with one of its notorious 20th Century roles...[more]
Cologne
Cologne
To the non-German speakers of the world, "Eau de Cologne" unquestionably sounds classier than the German translation, "Kölnisch Wasser"...[more]
Brussels
Brussels
In the 18th Century a number of wars were fought between France and either Spain or Austria, and all of them seemed to use Belgium as a battleground...[more]

Amsterdam
Amsterdam
If you’d like to experience an awkward tourist moment sometime, try walking with your wife and daughter down a street where there are store windows displaying women in lingerie for sale (the women, not the lingerie)...[more]


2010
2010


Paris
Paris
Paris managed to not get itself destroyed through two world wars and survived to become the most popular tourist destination in the world...
[more]
Seville
Seville
Partly as a result of Seville’s position on the only navigable river in Spain, voyages of exploration in some cases were planned in the city, and sometimes actually departed from Seville...[more]
Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is located near the middle of a large central plateau that covers much of the Iberian Peninsula, and has an altitude in excess of 2,000 feet...
[more]
Barcelona
Barcelona
Being surrounded by such architecture must certainly have had a profound effect on developing artists of the region. Three such artists were named Miró, Dalí and Picasso...[more]


2009
2009


Naples
Naples
The lively city of Naples (Italian name Napoli) is the capital of the Campania region of Italy, and is located approximately 120 miles (190 km.) southeast of Rome...
[more]
Venice
Venice
The buildings of Venice were built on top of many many wooden pilings, largely logged from regions of modern-day Slovenia and Croatia which remain deforested to this day...[more]
Florence
Florence
Much of Florence's money found its way into extravagant homes, churches and public buildings, and into some magnificent art with which to decorate all of it...
[more]
Rome
Rome
The brothers picked the area near the Tiber, and after a disagreement over which of the hills to start the city on, Remus ended up dead, and the new city found itself named after Romulus...[more]


2008
2008


New Zealand
New Zealand
The first European to visit New Zealand was the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman, who arrived at the west coast in 1642. After Maoris began killing his crewmen, he elected to depart...[more]
Australia
Australia
All connection between Australia and other continents was severed many millions of years ago. Since that time, a vast number of plant and animal species have evolved which are not seen anywhere else...[more]