Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Out of the Jurisdiction: Ronda Romantica

 A highlight was an evening parade, part of a weekend with a "Ronda Romantica" label.  Not speaking or reading Spanish, I had no idea what was going on, except that it involved wearing traditional clothing and it was fun to watch. 

Monday, May 30, 2022

Out of the Jurisdiction: Ronda

 Ronda is a stunning town in the Sierra de las Nieves National Park in the province of Malaga, in the far south central part of Spain.  The Parador de Ronda is in a former town hall building about 400 feet above the ravine carved through the hilltop by the Guadalevín River.

Many of the rooms of the Parador de Ronda face into the ravine. I'm not great with heights, so fortunately my room is one of ones on the shaded left side of the parador, with a more indirect view into the gorge.

A rustic bridge straddles the gorge.  These buildings are seen from the other side.

A view of the parador from across the street.  The statue honors Antonio de los Ríos Rosas, a 19th century Spanish politician born in Ronda.

This is the view from my balcony.  Not bad, eh?

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Out of the Jurisdiction: Carmona

 This is a "posadas and paradors" tour of Portugal and southern Spain organized by Odysseys Unlimited.  Pousadas in Portugal and paradors in Spain are historic structures like castles, monasteries, convents or governmental structures converted into luxury hotels. 

The Parador de Carmona was built from a fortress high above the agricultural plains of Andalusia.

A beautiful pool complex is below the parador, and beyond it is a lovely view of the countryside.

A ten minute walk takes one outside the city gates.

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Out of the Jurisdiction: Cordoba

 Four interior views of the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba, constructed in the seventh century as a Moorish mosque.  Cordoba was the regional capital at the time.  

After conquest by Christians in the 12th century, it was converted to a cathedral.

Friday, May 27, 2022

Out of the Jurisdiction: Merida

 Merida is the capital of Extramadura, in the far western part of Spain.

The Temple of Diana is a UNESCO World Heritage listed temple dating back to the early part of the first century after Christ.  The reference to Diana is a misnomer.  It was ordered to be built by the Roman Emperor Tiberius and served secular purposes.

Merida's archaelogical museum is home to many well preserved statues.  The head in the center is Augustus, the Roman Emperor who ordered the founding or the colony in Merida to serve as a home for old and disabled Roman soldiers.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Out of the Jurisdiction: Evora

Evora today is a walled university town with the ruins of a Roman temple in a prominent location.  In past centuries Evora was the second biggest city in Portugal, behind Lisbon.  

The Roman temple from the first century after Christ stands in front of the entrance to the posada where we stayed.  The posada is a former monastery converted to a hotel.

An attractive plaza.  I caught an instant with the scene free of people or vehicle traffic.

The Chapel of Bones is a bit ghastly but very impressive.  Look it up.

The temple and posada from the opposite direction.

Town hall.

The archbishop led a service at Evora Cathedral.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Out of the Jurisdiction: Monsaraz, a Town with Roots in Prehistory

 On the way to Evora, we stopped at Monsaraz, a hilltop town near the eastern border of Portugal, which has been settled since prehistoric times.

Next stop:  Evora.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Out of the Jurisdiction: Jerónimos Monastery, Another Lisbon Highlight


 Jerónimos Monastery or, in Portuguese, Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, is one of the most prominent examples of the Portuguese Late Gothic Manueline style of architecture in Lisbon.  It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the nearby Tower of Belém, in 1983.

On to Evora tomorrow.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Out of the Jurisdiction: Lisbon

This is the first international trip to get underway since the pandemic canceled several planned 2020 and 2021 trips.  This one begins in Lisbon, which I first visited three years ago, then heads south in Portugal before crossing into Spain and ending in Madrid.  Come along!

Palácio de Queluz is just outside the city of Lisbon.  It was the home of Portuguese royalty in the 18th century before a French invasion forced them to flee to Brazil  in the early years of the 19th century.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Tower Cottage

This 1880 Queen Anne gem stands back and above East Ridge Road.  The home was designed and built by Charles Betts Northrup, a carpenter and builder who grew up in Ridgefield. The home was eventually occupied as a summer retreat for Maude Bouvier Davis, who spent summers here. 

Maude was sometimes visited here by her niece, Jackie Bouvier, later known as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, First Lady to President John F. Kennedy. Maude owned the property until 1972. 

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Hezekiah Scott

 Ridgefield has an impressive crop of 18th century houses that still stand.  Many have been expanded and renovated in recent decades.  The Keeler and Scott families seem to have been especially fertile.  Keeler and Scott family houses are everywhere.

Hezekiah gave his name to Kiah's Brook, a small nearby stream that drains Lake Naraneka.  The neighborhood is known as Scotland in honor of Hezekiah and his kinfolk.  Scotland Elementary School is across the street from his old homestead.