Monthly Archives: May 2010
UNESCO World Heritage Site #112 The Palmeral of Elche
From the World Heritage inscription:
The Palmeral of Elche, a landscape of groves of date palms, was formally laid out, with elaborate irrigation systems, at the time the Muslim city of Elche was erected, towards the end of the tenth century A.C., when much of the Iberian peninsula was Arab. The Palmeral is an oasis, a system for agrarian production in arid areas. It is also a unique example of Arab agricultural practices on the European continent. Cultivation of date palms in Elche is known at least since the Iberian times, dating around the fifth century B.C.
This is one of the most unique World Heritage Sites I have ever visited. The old city is basically build within a palm forest. Everywhere you go are palm trees and palm gardens. The palm forest was originally created by the Arabs when they settled in Elche to remind them of home.
View my complete list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Still Stuck in Spain
Bunch of things are happening to me:
1) I’m in Barcelona where my US Airways flight to the US has been canceled four times now. Every other airline seems to be crossing the Atlantic just fine and I know people who have beaten me back to the US, even though my flight was scheduled sooner. Wednesday I was told the flight would be delayed 8 hours, so I sat around the airport all day before I was told that the flight was canceled. It is getting pretty damn ridiculous. I was given the option of a flight to Munich on Thursday which would then go to Philadelphia, but then I’d have to spend the night in Philly and would arrive around the same time I would if I get on the Friday flight out of Barcelona. If all goes well I’ll be in the air in 24 hours. If all doesn’t go well, you will find an expletive riddled rant about US Airways on this site tomorrow that you should hide from children. (more…)
Daily Travel Photo – Luxor, Egypt
Many of the Egyptian temples were reclaimed for use as Christian churches during the Byzantine Empire. This is an example at the temple of Luxor of a Byzantine painting covering the older Egyptian artwork.
Daily Travel Photo – Four Corners, USA
This the the exact point where the borders of Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico meet. As I took this photo, my camera was simultaneously in all four states.
Travel and Family Emergencies
Due to another eruption of the volcano in Spain, airports in Spain have been closed the last several days, especially the airports in Northern Spain where I am. I’ve been just continuing with my previously scheduled agenda of visiting the Basque Country while I’ve been waiting for the cloud to clear.
I’m writing this at the Bilbao Airport where the ash cloud has moved enough to allow flights this afternoon to the south of Spain. If all goes well, I’ll be in Barcelona tonight and on a flight to Chicago tomorrow morning. I have no idea how I’m getting from Chicago to Appleton. Buying a ticket (for a 50 minute flight) is $600 and renting a car for a one-way trip (3 hours) is over $200. My guess is I’ll just end up biting the bullet and renting a car. (more…)