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Archive for the ‘Spain’ Category

Shoestring-Jun2009 This month’s desktop calendar preview at left.

As usual, the image and download instructions can be found under the “For Your Desktop” tab.

Enjoy!

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Shoestring Calendar May 2009This month’s image comes from Granada, Spain.  Preview here:

If you’d like to download, grab the image and follow the instructions in the “For Your Desktop” tab.

Enjoy!

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Once a year, Ben and Jerry’s gives away ice cream at its scoop shops free.

fcdheader2TODAY’S THE DAY!

In the U.S. and Canada, find your nearest scoop shop here.

Overseas, give one of these two links a try:  1, 2.  (You’ve got a chance if you’re in Aruba, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, or the UK.)

Enjoy!

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What’s going on at the blog? Inquiring minds want to know!

There are lots of good changes coming soon — check out the beta version of the new site here.  How do you like the new look?  Something broken in your browser?  Leave a message in the comments.

For the next couple of weeks, continue to check this page while everything gets sorted out at the new domain.  When it’s time to change your bookmarks and your rss feeds, I’ll let you know.

shoestring-mar2009Since I was hoping to launch at the beginning of March, I’ve been sitting on this month’s desktop calendar.  No longer!  Download a piece of spring for your computer by clicking on the “For Your Desktop” tab above.

Finally, I will be at the ITB here in Berlin for the next five days, making contacts with fellow travel bloggers and travel professionals.  If you’ll be there, do send me a message via the contact tab.  Let’s network!

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Vicky Cristina BarcelonaTuesday is discount day at one of the largest English-language (i.e. not dubbed) cinemas in Berlin.  On tap this week was Woody Allen’s newest, Vicky Cristina Barcelona.  Though a sadder movie than I expected, what disappointed me most was the portrayal of one of those three title characters — can you guess which one?

The film is set in — surprise! — Barcelona, and while every review you’ll read will extol the gorgeous sweeping views of the enchanting city, it felt more like they spent a few days shooting at spots around town before retreating to other locations.  Would that Spain had been more influential in the plot.  As written, the film and its romantic intrigues could have easily been set in any other number of romantic, European, Mediterranean locales. 

La Sagrada Familia ceiling

One of the first things Vicky and Cristina do upon arriving in town is a pilgrimage to La Sagrada Familia, the masterwork-in-progress of architect Antoni Gaudi.  Vicky is pursuing a master’s in Catalan culture (without, I might add, much ability to speak Spanish), inspired by the works of Gaudi and the dulcet strains of the Spanish guitar.  If you’re not familiar with his work, Gaudi’s style was influenced by art nouveau and his whimsical architecture, like La Sagrada Familia, detail on door (Pontius Pilate)that of Hundertwasser, is usually fiercely loved or hated.  For lovers, it is easy to take in a great variety of his works in just a short visit to the city.

Making La Sagrada Familia unique is that it remains under construction, over 12 decades since breaking ground and eight decades after Gaudi’s accidental death; work continues despite setbacks from a civil war, two world wars, and the near-complete destruction of Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia, sculptural detailmodels and plans.  Workers hope to finish by 2026, the centennial of Gaudi’s passing, though with any construction project of this magnitude, it is unclear whether or not they will achieve this goal.  If you could ignore the modern equipment, it would be like stepping back a thousand years, when many cathedrals across Europe were built, each taking hundreds of years to complete.

The church, open at 9 a.m. daily, is located near the subway station bearing its name.  Admission fee:  10 euros adults, 8 euros students.  Included in the admission price is entrance to the church and two on-site museums.  The site has two excellent gift shops with a variety of reasonably-priced Gaudi gear and a wide selection of postcards.

La Sagrada Familia stained glass

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This week, not a traditional photo, but rather a collage of textures from the Alhambra in Granada, Spain (visited in June 2008):

Follow other photos around the world (and add your own) at the links in this week’s Photo Friday!

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Welcome to the fifth Travel on a Shoestring Carnival for Europe. Here you’ll find European travel tips for those without a lot of money to spend.

Photographic inspiration this week comes from yours truly, one of the many intricate details I captured (in this case, a carved door) in June at the Alhambra in Granada, Spain.

If you’re headed to Spain in August, you’ll want to pop over to Karen Bryan at Europe a la Carte Blog who has a lead on 10 Euro Spanish Saver Rooms from Travelodge.  (I’m surprised no one commented the rooms are so cheap because — as I was told by locals on my trip in June — August is simply too hot to enjoy traveling there!  Make sure that room has air conditioning, I guess.)

Just a hop, skip and a jump away is lovely Lisbon.  Pennypinchers will welcome Kristie‘s advice on Where To Stay In Lisbon, Portugal posted at Norway – An American In Oslo.

If you find yourself on your last krona before flying home, Anna Etmanska gives the lowdown on overnight options at Stockholm’s Arlanda airport in Shopping and Sleeping Part 2 at Budget Trouble.

The Amateur Traveler updates us on what’s new from the road in England and Greece Revisited – Episode 138

Carter Dougherty outlines how to get away from the city for a perfect Riesling in Frankfurt, Wine and the Rheingau at IHT Globespotters Blog.

If you’d rather drink with your eyes, take a tip from Sheila Scarborough and head to Belgium to enjoy Artful color: Carpet of Flowers in Brussels at Perceptive Travel Blog.

EuroCheapo Blog has had some great guest posts on getting around Europe cheaply on trains.  You’ll want to check out both European rail passes: Read this before you buy and France Night Train Alert: €15 couchettes through July 14.

Wrapping up, it seems that everyone’s got Paris on the brain.   NYT travel writer Elaine Sciolino presents Hidden Gardens of Paris and Budget Travel’s This Just In had an article by Laurie Pike on Affordable Europe:  In Paris, Secret Spots for Visitors.  When you’re knackered and longing for a taste of home, Joe Schmid of the IHT Globespotters Blog can help you out with his article Parisburgers: Finding the Great American Meal in France.

Thanks to everyone for contributing! If you’d like to see your post on budget European travel in August’s carnival, submit using our online form. Next week, we’ll be back to North America, Central America and the Caribbean. Submit your posts for that carnival before next Wednesday!

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