Cambodia Calendar Update

I was doing some house cleaning and I realized I never posted a postscript to the Skull the Troll calendar Scott Kurtz and I created back in December of 2009.

If you remember waaaaaay back before Christmas, we sold a 2010 calendar of photos I’ve taken of Skull the Troll around the world, to help raise money for a school in Cambodia.

I’m pleased (if a bit late) to announce that we raised over $1,200 from the calendar for American Assistance in Cambodia.

I hope to do another money raiser later this year with the folks at Passports With Purpose. A big thank you to everyone who purchased a calendar. Hopefully, there will be some photos of the school available in the next few months.

Works of Antoni Gaudí

UNESCO World Heritage Site #114: Works of Antoni Gaudí
Works of Antoni Gaudí: My 114th UNESCO World Heritage Site

From the World Heritage inscription for the Works of Antoni Gaudí:

Seven properties built by the architect Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926) in or near Barcelona testify to Gaudí’s exceptional creative contribution to the development of architecture and building technology in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These monuments represent an eclectic, as well as a very personal, style which was given free reign in the design of gardens, sculpture and all decorative arts, as well as architecture. The seven buildings are: Casa Vicens; Gaudí’s work on the Nativity façade and Crypt of La Sagrada Familia; Casa Batlló; Crypt in Colonia Güell.

The work of Gaudi is almost synonymous with Barcelona. The signature building in Barcelona is the Sagrada Familia which was designed by Gaudi. The Sagrada Familia has been under construction for almost 130 years. Despite its size and scope, it is not a cathedral but actually a private church designed for a single family.


The Works of Antoni Gaudí is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Spain known for its collection of highly artistic and unique designs. The works of Architect Antoni Gaudi reflect the Art Nouveau style movement in architecture. There are seven buildings in total that were recognized into this collection of architectural works, which were constructed from the 19th to the 20th centuries.

The buildings that were included in the UNESCO property Works of Antoni Gaudí are as follows: Sagrada Familia, Casa Vicens, Palau Guell, Park Guell, Casa Batllo, Casa Mila, and Church of Colonia Guell.

Sagrada Familia

Works of Antoni Gaudí

The Basilica de la Sagrada Familia is one of the most popular entries in the list of the Works of Antoni Gaudí. This Roman Catholic Church is located in Barcelona, Spain. It features a Modernisme architectural style and had its groundbreaking in the year 1882. To this day, this church is still under construction with the target completion year in 2026 or 2028.

The original architect for this project was Francisco Paula de Villar until Gaudi took over following de Villar’s resignation. It was during this time that Gaudi transformed the architectural and engineering style of the basilica. It showcases a combination of Gothic and Art Noveau architectural elements. Due to the Spanish Civil War and the project’s reliance on private donations, the progress of its construction has been slow. Nonetheless, even the greatest artists in the world consider the Sagrada Familia as one of the most beautiful architectural works, and best interpretation of Gothic Architecture since the time of the Middle Ages.

Casa Vicens

Casa Vicens is a modernist architectural building in Barcelona, which is one of the 7 Works of Antoni Gaudi recognized by UNESCO. This building was deemed as one of the first to exhibit the Art Noveau style and among one of the first creations of Gaudi. The creation of this building was a breakthrough because Gaudi showcased what many architects before him haven’t been able to do – mix different architectural styles together. In doing so, he broke away from tradition and created a new language of architecture that also helped to carve out his name as one of the best architects to come out of Spain.

Palau Guell


Palau Guell is a mansion that is one of the designs included in the Works of Antoni Gaudi in Spain. He designed this mansion for industrial tycoon Eusebi Guell during the late part of the 19th century. The mansion is located in El Raval neighborhood within the city of Barcelona. This home features a main room wherein the high society guests are welcomed in. Some of the most notable details about this mansion include forged ironwork, parabolic arch, ornate walls and ceilings, and the iron gates. In 2004, this mansion underwent renovation as some of the original components have become weak. Hence, it was momentarily suspended from public visit. But it was re-opened to the public in 2011.

Park Guell

Park Guell is a public park system located on Carmel Hill in Barcelona. This is also one of the Works of Antoni Gaudi that was recognized by UNESCO. This park is comprised of gardens and architectonic elements, which is also why it is a popular destination for tourists in the city. Eusebi Guell, the same tycoon who commissioned Gaudi to design his home, also tapped the famed architect to develop this park with urbanization in mind. The work for the park lasted from the 1900 to 1914, but it was not officially opened to the public until 1926.

Casa Batllo

Casa Batllo is one of the Works of Antoni Gaudi that made it to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Spain. It is one of the most popular buildings in Barcelona and Gaudi’s most well-known works. This building is a remodeling of a former house that was refurbished. It is known locally as Casa dels ossos, which means House of Bones. This name is derived from the visceral and skeletal organic quality of the design for the building.

Church of Colonia Guell

Works of Antoni Gaudí

This is one of the unfinished Works of Antoni Gaudí in Spain – the Church of Colonia Guell. The building was initially designed to be a place of worship for those that live within the Santa Coloma de Cervelló suburb in Barcelona. It was also commissioned for by Eusebi Guell, but his dwindling wealth has resulted in the project being halted. To this day, only the crypt was erected from this entire project.

Casa Mila

Completing the list of the Works of Antoni Gaudí in Spain that was recognized by UNESCO is Casa Mila. This modernist building is also located in Barcelona, as is most of the other Works of Antoni Gaudí. The architect was commissioned by business Pere Mila in 1906 to create the design for this building. This building was built from 1906 to 1910, which is distinguished for its unique stone façade and twisting wrought iron windows and balconies.

View the complete list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Spain.

View the list of all of the UNESCO World Heritage sites I have visited on my travels.

Last updated: Aug 1, 2017 @ 9:06 pm

Eating Our Way Through Valencia

This guest post is written by Lillie Marshall who blogs at We traveled together for about a week in the Valencia Region of Spain in April, 2010. All photos used here were taken by Lillie.

Stalking Gary

As I stared at the sixth course of our third five-star dinner in Spain, I realized: this was a long, long way from my past life as a schoolteacher!

Lillie eating dessert in Bendiorm
Lillie eating dessert in Bendiorm

My name is Lillie, and for six years I was a high school English teacher in the Boston Public Schools, saving money and scheming future adventures. In August of 2009, I finally flew out of Boston to embrace the world! Since then I have had nine glorious months voyaging through Asia, West Africa, and finally Europe.

From the very day I started my own travel blog in July, I knew full well that the world’s number one travel blogger is Gary Arndt of Everything Everywhere. When I learned a few weeks ago that Gary would be in Spain the same time I was, I sent an email asking if I could meet up with him. When Gary agreed, I hopped aboard a nine-hour train from Andalusia to Valencia to meet him in person.

“So basically you’re a stalker,” replied a woman when I told her this story.
Continue reading “Eating Our Way Through Valencia”

The Opposite of Travel

If travel evokes images of moving from place to place and seeing new things without a care in the world, then what I’ve been doing during the last two week since I’ve gotten back to the US has to be the opposite of travel.

I’ve been living in my parents basement, visiting my father in the hospital every day, terrified of my phone ringing because it might bring bad news. No exploration, no foreign places, and very weighty concerns hanging over my head. My grandmother has been to the emergency room twice and even my great aunt fell down and had to undergo surgery on her hip. Continue reading “The Opposite of Travel”

Vizcaya Bridge

UNESCO World Heritage Site #113: The Vizcaya Bridge
Vizcaya Bridge: My 113th UNESCO World Heritage Site

From the World Heritage inscription for the Vizcaya Bridge:

Vizcaya Bridge straddles the mouth of the Ibaizabal estuary, west of Bilbao. It was designed by the Basque architect Alberto de Palacio and completed in 1893. The 45-m-high bridge with its span of 160 m, merges 19th-century ironworking traditions with the then-new lightweight technology of twisted steel ropes. It was the first bridge in the world to carry people and traffic on a high suspended gondola and was used as a model for many similar bridges in Europe, Africa, and the America only a few of which survive. With its innovative use of lightweight twisted steel cables, it is regarded as one of the outstanding architectural iron constructions of the Industrial Revolution.

I had no idea what this was until I visited Bilbao. I thought visiting a bridge would be sort of lame, but it turned out to be really interesting. The bridge is still functioning and carries cars and passengers every day. It can carry six cars every time the gondola goes across the river. If you visit, you can climb the bridge and cross it by foot on the top.


Vizcaya Bridge

Vizcaya Bridge is one of the most unique UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Spain. This is the only site listed under the Industrial category. It was inscribed by UNESCO in 2006 for its innovative use of engineering that depict the advancement of the construction industry during the Industrial Revolution era.

The Vizcaya Bridge links the Ibaizabal estuary from one side to the other. It is located in Bilbao, Spain and is designed by Basque Architect Alberto de Palacio. The bridge was completed in 1893 and rises 45 meters high with a span of 160 meters. This was the first bridge to transport people and traffic using a high suspended gondola. A few years after it was completed, many other bridges in Europe adapted the same architectural and engineering techniques that Vizcaya Bridge innovated.

About Vizcaya Bridge

Vizcaya Bridge

Vizcaya Bridge is also known among its locals as Puente Colgante, which literally translates to “hanging bridge”. The transporter bridge is made out of iron materials. Architect Alberto de Palacio worked with Engineer Ferdinand Arnodin throughout its construction process. The bridge started to open to the public in the same year it was completed, which is 1893. Thus, this makes this bridge as the oldest transporter bridge in the world.

The bridge was constructed to solve an issue when it comes to connecting the towns of Getxo and Portugalete in Bilbao. The engineers had to devise a way to make transport between these two towns possible without disrupting the Port of Bilbao’s already busy maritime traffic. When Palacio designed this bridge, he wanted to be able to transport not just people but also cargo, while still enabling ships to pass under the bridge.

To this day, the Vizcaya Bridge is still in use. This also makes it one of the oldest bridges that are still operational today after being built in the late 19th century. With the bridge earning its distinction as the only Industrial site in the list of UNESCO sites in Spain, it is considered to be the perfect example of beauty and functionality melding as one. It is also the first construction project to combine the use of new steel cables and iron technology. The bridge’s structure is made up of four 61-meter towers that serve as pillars on the river bank. Meanwhile, the bridge has its own gondola responsible for transporting vehicles, people, and cargo from one side of the bank to the other. The gondola moves through a horizontal crossbeam to facilitate transport.

View the complete list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Spain.

View the list of all of the UNESCO World Heritage sites I have visited on my travels.

Last updated: Aug 1, 2017 @ 9:04 pm