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Vermouth in Tarragona, Spain.

Any time planned in Spain means some suffering at the gym in the weeks leading to the trip and those following. And I’m fine with that. I’ve never regretted an extra mile on the treadmill with the knowledge that a plate of jamón serrano or a stack of patatas bravas covered in a tomato aioli sauce would be my reward. On my recent trip to the Iberian Peninsula, I did not hold back – here are my favorite experiences from several days in the country. [click to continue…]

Sunrise on Lake Awassa, Ethiopia. The southernmost of Ethiopia's Rift Valley Lakes.

The scene from this week’s image has likely been a constant for centuries. As dawn breaks on Ethiopia’s southernmost Rift Valley lake, a pair of fishermen paddle their boat to a preferred spot to drop lines or a net. Their small vessel causes a minor wake, while the pink hues of the morning light are reflected on the calmer majority of the lake’s surface.

The courtyard of the cathedral in Tarragona, Spain.

I captured this image while spending several days in Spain in January. The cathedral of this Catalan city is located on grounds that housed a Roman temple, a Visigothic church and a mosque before the building’s decidedly Catholic turn several hundred years ago.

I really enjoyed the contrast that the scene presented – the life and colors of the orange tree differ sharply from the gray, solemn backdrop of an ancient church. This was my first visit to Tarragona and I’m looking forward to writing about the city and sharing my photos in the coming months. I could have easily spent a week there, regardless of the fact that the winter winds can whip through the streets from the nearby shores.

Street Art in Gracia, Barcelona, Spain.

Although I spent a summer in Barcelona while in college, I’ve truly gained familiarity with the city in the years that I’ve been returning to Spain. I dedicated those early days of my travels to the more typically touristic of activities – Gaudí museums, the Sagrada Familia and the more heavily trodden alleys of the Barri Gotic. It was during a visit several years later in which I fell in love with the neighborhood of Gracia. This part of Barcelona is so close to the center, but somehow maintains a neighborhood ambiance. I am quick to return to Gracia upon setting foot in the city and spent a few hours wandering around the area with my camera earlier this year. [click to continue…]